The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas

Overview

The bestselling author of Liberal Fascism dismantles the progressive myths that are passed-off as wisdom in our schools, media and politics.

According to Jonah Goldberg, if the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist, the greatest trick liberals ever pulled was convincing themselves that they’re not ideological.

Today, “objective” journalists, academics and “moderate” politicians peddle some of the most ...

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The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas

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Overview

The bestselling author of Liberal Fascism dismantles the progressive myths that are passed-off as wisdom in our schools, media and politics.

According to Jonah Goldberg, if the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist, the greatest trick liberals ever pulled was convincing themselves that they’re not ideological.

Today, “objective” journalists, academics and “moderate” politicians peddle some of the most radical arguments by hiding them in homespun aphorisms.  Barack Obama casts himself as a disciple of reason and sticks to one refrain above all others: he’s a pragmatist, opposed to the ideology and dogma of the right, solely concerned with “what works.” And today’s liberals follow his lead, spouting countless clichés such as:
 

  • One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter: Sure, if the other man is an idiot. Was Martin Luther King Jr. a terrorist? Was Bin Laden a freedom fighter?
  • Violence never solves anything: Really? It solved our problems with the British empire and ended slavery.
  • Better ten guilty men go free than one innocent man suffer: So you won’t mind if those ten guilty men move next door to you?
  • Diversity is strength: Cool.The NBA should have a quota for midgets and one-legged point guards!
  • We need complete separation of church and state: In other words all expressions of faith should be barred from politics …except when they support liberal programs.

With humor and passion, Goldberg dismantles these and many other Trojan Horses that liberals use to cheat in the war of ideas. He shows that the grand Progressive tradition of denying an ideological agenda while pursuing it vigorously under the false-flag of reasonableness is alive and well.  And he reveals how this dangerous game may lead us further down the path of self-destruction.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Conservative columnist Goldberg (Liberal Fascism) takes on those who, in his view, regurgitate popular nostrums as an alternative to conducting informed discussion. The wide-ranging narrative covers such topics as ideology vs. pragmatism; separation of church and state; the quest for “diversity”; social Darwinism vs. social justice; and the “Living Constitution.” Though Goldberg’s obvious purpose is to hammer liberal rhetoric, he relies on overstatement to clinch his points. Are we actually “almost at the point where we have a constitutional crisis if a kid says ‘God bless you’ to a sneezing public-school teacher”? Such hyperbole detracts from the legitimate concerns he raises, such as that sloppy language can lead to sloppy thinking or the easy acceptance of extreme ideas. While commitment to a partisan outlook does not necessarily invalidate the product, the observer of today’s political whirligig will regard this book as a touch one-sided. Agent: Jay Mandel, WME. (May)
-JOHN PODHORETZ
"Jonah Goldberg is the voice of the post-Reagan conservative generation."
-VICTOR DAVIS HANSON
"Goldberg draws on both the Great Books and popular culture to rip apart the commandments of the modern therapeutic society. Behind all the feel-good, come-together mush, Goldberg finds the age-old driving forces-power, profit, and plain old ignorance. The dissection of these feel-good assumptions is informal and light, but the conclusions are deadly serious-and chilling."
-DAVID MAMET
"What can one say to the self-proclaimed 'independent' who never has nor ever will vote other than Democratic; or to the wise soul suggesting, of any conflict at all, "the truth must lie somewhere in between"? Mr. Goldberg reminds us that one must stand up and demand of the muddled and supine either an absolute declaration of their principles and acknowledgment of the results of actions having flowed therefrom or a straightforward admission of their intransigence in refusing a concise reply."
-MARCO RUBIO
"Whether you love or hate what he has to say, you've got to love the way Jonah Goldberg says it."
-MITCH DANIELS
"The puncturing of pretensions and disruption of lazy thinking are extra base hits in journalism.  Doing so with humor and originality on every page qualifies Goldberg's work as a grand slam."
-BRAD THOR
"Straw man down! In the PC prison yard of accepted political thought, Jonah Goldberg has just shivved progressivism. Bold, brilliant, and bursting with humor, every page of The Tyranny of Clichés is right on the money. If you thought Liberal Fascism was good, wait till you read The Tyranny of Clichés --it is fantastic!"
-VINCE VAUGHN
"Everyone says 'think for yourself' but very few people do. In The Tyranny of Clichés, Jonah Goldberg reveals how we've become trapped by ideas we think we understand but don't. A must read."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595230867
  • Publisher: Sentinel HC
  • Publication date: 5/1/2012
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Jonah Goldberg’s first book, Liberal Fascism, was a number one New York Times bestseller. He is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the founding editor of National Review Online. He is also a Los Angeles Times columnist, a Fox News contributor, and a member of the board of contributors at USA Today. The Atlantic named him one of America’s fifty most influential commentators. He lives with his family in Washington, DC.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Ideology 19

2 Pragmatism 39

3 No Labels 59

4 Dogma 66

5 Separation of Church and Stat 76

6 Power Corrupts 84

7 Diversity 89

8 Social Darwinism 100

9 Slippery Slope 114

10 Dissent 122

11 Social Justice 131

12 Community 147

13 Ten Guilty Men 153

14 Living Constitution 159

15 Let Them Eat Cake 171

16 Violence Never Solves Anything 180

17 Middle Class 190

18 Science 204

19 Youth 220

20 Ounce of Prevention 228

21 The Catholic Church 234

22 Spiritual but Not Religious 256

23 Understanding 261

24 Democracy and Unity 268

Acknowledgments 278

Notes 280

Index 304

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 7, 2012

    Goldberg does a very nice and cogent job is laying out arguments

    Goldberg does a very nice and cogent job is laying out arguments I hear from liberal colleagues and friends quite frequently. It is a very detailed work which efficiently explicates how asinine and foolish these arguments really are.

    16 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 12, 2012

    Excellent

    Anything Jonah puts his pen to is worth reading. "Liberal Fascism" is one of the best history books I have ever read about Hitler/WWII/Fascism.

    11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2012

    The Left will hate this book.

    The Left will hate this book.

    11 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2012

    Another standard right-wing polemic that primarily serves to was

    Another standard right-wing polemic that primarily serves to waste paper and ink. The only thought-provoking thing in this book is the question it raises of whether Goldberg is actively lying or simply lacks the brainpower or intellectual honesty to actually comprehend the ideas he so clumsily tries to smear. If you like strawmen and tribal reinforcement, by all means go ahead. Otherwise, you'll get more meaningful social commentary from the Twilight series.

    4 out of 57 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2012

    More right wing lies

    Goldberg is one of the very worst right wing hacks. What is pathetic is he is obviously a victim of projection. Everything he accuses the left of doing is exactly what republicans do. A complete waste of time and paper.

    3 out of 36 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    Wonder how many libs rating this 1 star actually read it Wonder how many libs ratung this 1 star actually read it

    Very good book, definitely worth reading

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2012

    Same old story

    Another right wing fascist lier.

    1 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 27, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Well Researched and Highly Entertaining (and Informative!)

    Mr. Goldberg (or recent fame from his Liberal Fascism book) comes back with a really entertaining look at how the Left lives off of cliches in their approach to policymaking, voter "informing" and in denigrating all other outsiders. Yes, a conservative can be very funny when writing about political topics (he's not alone on this). A very worthwhile read, and broken up well so it works well as a lunchtime distraction with chapters of manageable length.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2013

    a very good read, that the left will hate.

    a very good read, that the left will hate.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2013

     

     

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 6, 2012

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