Crazies to the Left of Me, Wimps to the Right

Crazies to the Left of Me, Wimps to the Right

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by Bernard Goldberg

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Enough of the leftist lunatics like Rosie O'Donnell who think "Radical Christians" are "as big a threat to America as Radical Muslims." Enough of the hyperbolic liberal rhetoric comparing Bush to Saddam and Mel Gibson to Hitler. Enough of the hyper-partisan, ultra-PC liberal media, which often seem more sympathetic to the "victims of humiliation" at Abu Ghraib than


Enough of the leftist lunatics like Rosie O'Donnell who think "Radical Christians" are "as big a threat to America as Radical Muslims." Enough of the hyperbolic liberal rhetoric comparing Bush to Saddam and Mel Gibson to Hitler. Enough of the hyper-partisan, ultra-PC liberal media, which often seem more sympathetic to the "victims of humiliation" at Abu Ghraib than to our troops dying at the hands of Iraqi fundamentalists.

Enough, too, of the gutless wonders on the right who don't have the courage to stand up for their own convictions. Enough of their pandering, trolling for votes, and outspending the Democrats.

Now with powerful and provocative new material, Bernard Goldberg's Crazies to the Left of Me, Wimps to the Right sounds an even louder alarm than before—warning that, if the wimps on the right don't regain their courage and reclaim their principles, the crazies on the left just might win the White House in '08.

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Crazies to the Left of Me, Wimps to the Right
How One Side Lost Its Mind and the Other Lost Its Nerve

Chapter One

Crazies to the Left of Me . . .

When I was growing up in the Bronx in the 1950s, I didn't know about liberals or conservatives. But I did know about the New York Yankees.

The Yanks were my life back then. Sometimes when they'd lose, which was almost never, I would stop eating. When I was ten years old, I was the Mahatma Gandhi of the Bronx. Gandhi fasted for long stretches in order to change an oppressive social order. I fasted for maybe a day until Mickey or Yogi or one of the other Bronx Bombers knocked one out of the park and the Yankees won again. In both cases, going without food highlighted a terrible injustice, and in the end our sacrifices made the world a better place.

Back then, the Yankees' many critics (most of them sore losers from Brooklyn) would say that rooting for the Yanks was like rooting for General Motors. As a kid I didn't quite grasp the meaning, but I knew it wasn't good. General Motors was big business, the embodiment of corporate power. GM was—forgive my language—Republican!

Which meant the tycoons who ran General Motors went to snooty country clubs and ate expensive meals at fancy restaurants. We hung out on the roof of the tenement—a place we called "tar beach"—and ate at diners; that is, on those rare occasions when we ate out at all. Republicans didn't represent us. We were Democrats. And I can honestly say that during my entire childhood in the Bronx, I never met even one Republican there. Not one. Frankly, I don't think they existed.

TheDemocrats were for the "working man," just like my father, who got up before dawn every day and headed off to a factory where he ran big, clanking machines that put embroidery on dresses and tablecloths and just about anything else. He worked hard and although he never made a lot of money he always took care of his family. He and all the others like him were the blue-collar backbone of the Democratic Party.

None of the men I knew growing up had white-collar jobs. They all worked in factories, like my father did, or in little dry-goods stores selling hats and coats, or in garages fixing cars. The women stayed home and took care of the kids. None of them had jobs outside the house. That would have reflected badly on their husbands, an indication that the man of the house couldn't provide for his own family. None of the grown-ups had gone to college. Most of them hadn't even finished high school, which wasn't the least bit unusual in those days. Their savior was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who got them through the dark days of the Great Depression. FDR, because of his polio, could hardly move without a wheelchair. But to the faithful where I grew up, he could walk on water.

So, it's not exactly a mystery why years later, when my interests extended beyond Yankee Stadium, I took the road my parents had traveled and became a Democrat. I didn't even have to think about it. It's just who I was. Up North we were all liberal Democrats, of course, but on the news we heard about the other kind of Democrat, who lived in the South, the conservative kind. But in those days no decent person, certainly not after the civil rights movement began, would get caught so much as washing his hands in the same sink as a conservative. They were not like us. They were bigots and cowards who had to hide behind a flimsy excuse they called states' rights, and the muscle of nasty sheriffs, to hang on to a way of life that struck many of us as not worth hanging on to. I despised conservatives back then.

In the early '60s, when I was still in high school, we took our first long family road trip south, to visit relatives in faraway, exotic Florida. We traveled in my dad's prized possession, a two-tone, black and white, 1954 Plymouth, which he would polish with an old rag every chance he got. Someplace in the South—Virginia, or one of the Carolinas maybe—we pulled into an old, wooden roadside restaurant for lunch. This was still the Old South, remember, and before we even got out of the car, I saw the sign, one I had only seen before on television and in the newspaper. No coloreds allowed, it said.

My parents weren't bigots. They were appalled, like decent people everywhere, when they watched the news and saw Bull Connor sending his dogs after civil rights marchers, or state troopers beating black people with nightsticks just because they wanted the same rights as everyone else had in America. And they even knew, I suspect, that the same kind of people who didn't want blacks in their restaurant didn't want our kind—Jews—in there, either. But my parents were of a certain generation, and so they were willing to accommodate the bigotry—or at least turn a blind eye—in order to get a sandwich, a soda, and get the hell out of there.

They didn't want to rock the boat. I, on the other hand, at seventeen, wanted to sink the damn thing with every last racist son of a bitch in it. So I told my folks that I would wait in the car while they and my little brother went inside to eat. But, as it turned out, they decided not to go in, either. And before you could say "Jim Crow," we were back on the highway heading south.

It was exciting to be a liberal in the 1960s. America was changing and we were on the right side, the side of equality and decency and fair play. That's what the country was about, wasn't it? Being a liberal back then made me proud. Conservatives, on the other hand, were on the wrong side of history. They were an embarrassment.

Crazies to the Left of Me, Wimps to the Right
How One Side Lost Its Mind and the Other Lost Its Nerve
. Copyright © by Bernard Goldberg. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Bernard Goldberg is the number one New York Times bestselling author of Bias, 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America, and Arrogance. He has won eight Emmy Awards for his work at CBS News and at HBO, where he now reports for the acclaimed program Real Sports. In 2006 he won the Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award, the most prestigious of all broadcast journalism awards.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
May 31, 1945
Place of Birth:
New York, NY

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Crazies to the Left of Me, Wimps to the Right: How One Side Lost Its Mind and the Other Lost Its Nerve 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
mike-v More than 1 year ago
This was kind of a disappointment. I've seen him on TV before and, even though I didn't always agree with what he said, is almost always made me think. This was more "complaining" and less "thinking." He only offers a handful of proposed solutions to the world's problems, and they're all at the end, and offered half as a joke. The rest of the book he spends bitching about politics on both sides of the aisle. Very "grumpy old men." I hear his other books are better, so maybe I'll check one of them out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tunguz More than 1 year ago
It is always a pleasure to read anything by Bernie Goldberg, if for no then reason then because of the wit and humor that he brings to the discussions of contemporary issues. This is a very varied account of many of his personal gripes that he has with both left and the right in the US, but at the final analysis it is still the right that comes somewhat ahead, although it would seem it is primarily because they are better at not getting their foot stuck in their mouth as often as the liberals seem to be doing these days. One of the main things that Goldberg has an issue with is the lack of civility that goes on in public discourse, regardless of if it has to do political speech or just general politeness in everyday life. It is to Bernie's credit that he succeeds at dismantling those he disagrees with without having to resort to cheap ad hominem attacks and vicious recriminations. It would be great if some other best-selling authors followed in his footsteps. Otherwise, we may have to wait for another book by Bernard Goldberg.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
tarheelblue More than 1 year ago
Bernie Goldberg is an extremely knowledgeable writer that has been around the political arena enough years to know the ins and outs of both sides of the political spectrum. He discusses each issue in a manner that anyone can understand, along with enlightening his readers of what is really going on behind the scenes. Bernie's sense of humor makes this an enjoyable, as well as informative, read. I highly recommend this book to anyone that is concerned with the current situation of our country.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Humor & good sense made this the best political book I have read. Bernie should run for office.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This man 'nailed it'. One of their own has not lost his mind. Mr. Goldberg is true to his profession and a has a good grip on how the 'big business' of our government works. His humor is wonderful. He is a wordsmith and a thinker. He doesn't follow the crowd.
Guest More than 1 year ago
best book I've read in a long time. Informative without preaching. Love the polar objective views.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was very pleased to read bernard goldbergs latest bestseller crazies to the left of me and wimps to right of me cause I think he seems to say in this book of the frustration that Iam feeling about the political scene right now.the democract party and hollywood elite has gone off the deep end with there outlandlish and sometimes unamerican statements and sympathies and some on the right seem unwilling to stand up to them and this publication is also a warning of what will happen in 2008 if things dont change. I think the wisdom contained in this great page turner will make a great difference in the upcoming election.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bernie Goldberg is an enigma. He's made a career of paranoia about the 'liberal media', yet he's an awful writer (note the dusty references to Amelda Marcos and Rice-A-Roni above) and interviewer - and having thumbed through his last book and this one, he sets the bar extremely low. For conservatives desperate for some validation in a sea of bad news of corruption, scandal, and war, I suppose this book would be a comfort - but Goldberg's execution is atrocious. Unreadable.