Opinion

A Liberal Dose of Nonsense

He’s physically repellent but writes quite elegantly, from the left, needless to say. He recently took a swipe at us dumb Christians for believing, he being Jewish and referring to our Lord Jesus as a crucified rabbi. Adam Gopnik is his name, and his reference to Jesus Christ was just a name-drop while reviewing some books on liberalism: “Try publishing an anti-communist book in China or a critique of theocracy in Iran,” he writes. “Liberal values and practices allow their most fervent critics a livelihood and a life—which they believe will somehow magically be reconstituted after liberalism. They won’t be.”

Where Gopnik gets it wrong is that publishing in America today is no different from in China or in Iran. The party is sacrosanct in the former, a theocracy in the latter, and it’s all political correctness in the good old USA. Try publishing an anti-#MeToo book and see how many publishers will knock at your door. Liberal institutions in Europe and America ensured freedom of speech and all that goes with it. In the past, that is. Today, Hollywood and the publishing industry are as constrained as their equivalents in China and Iran. Hollywood’s bad guys nowadays are always right-wing white men, and the same applies to books being published: White men are evil racists, rapists, and whatever else today’s writers can come up with. So, Mr. Adam Repellent, it’s not only in China and in Iran where liberalism is dead, it’s also deader than the proverbial doornail over here. They shoot you in the old Forbidden Kingdom, they jail you for life in Persia, and they cancel you in the United States. For a writer it’s a death sentence, unless you play along like Gopnik.

“Publishing in America today is no different from in China or in Iran.”

But I digress. America reminds me of a woman I knew when I was young, a real beauty known more for her promiscuity than for her comeliness. America is the opposite, known for her freedoms rather than for her suppressions. Abe Lincoln restricted civil liberties, authorized his generals to arrest and imprison suspected opponents without trials or charges, and purged government officials who refused to take loyalty oaths. He also ordered his spies to read civilian mail and telegraph communications. His critics accused Abe of heading an unconstitutional dictatorship, leading him to wonder whether free republics had a fatal weakness.

Never mind, Abe is an American idol, my hero Robert E. Lee is an unmentionable, and the fact that Lincoln was planning to repatriate all blacks back to Africa is not a proper drawing-room conversation subject. And then you have Woodrow Wilson, who put everyone in jail who was opposed to Uncle Sam going to war in Europe. And FDR, who jailed 150,000 American-born Japanese, took away their businesses, and consigned them to camps because their eyes were different from ours. Again, never mind.

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