Ed Driscoll

Tugging On The Strongest Links

Vox Day (he of the bitchin’ tonsure; his hairstyle looks a bit like the design on the Washington Redskins’ helmets of the early 1960s) interviews Jonah Goldberg on Liberal Fascism, which debuts tomorrow:

What did you mean when you said that it’s not an Ann Coulter book in your interview on the Glenn & Helen Show?

It’s a response to this jabbering fraction of a man named Tim Noah at Slate who has been insisting for about four years, sight unseen, that I have written what he calls an Ann Coulter book. And by that I mean a bomb-throwing book that sheds heat, not light. Now, I think there’s a place for them and I think there’s more serious argumentation in Ann Coulter’s books than a lot of people on the Left are willing to concede because they don’t want to give her arguments any credence. But at the same time, it is indisputable that Ann is something of a performance artist. She is most useful for entertaining people who already agree with her and for providing ammunition and morale to her side. She does not go into a college lecture hall and persuade very many people who are sitting on the fence on an issue.

I didn’t want to write that kind of book. Ramesh Ponnuru has been a great influence on me and one of the things he often says is that he is much more interested in dealing with liberalism’s best arguments rather than its worst ones. I think a lot of people on the Right, a lot of people in punditry generally, have gotten very comfortable playing these games of simply looking for the weakest link in the other side’s chain and entirely ignoring the stronger ones. This book is aimed at the strongest links, or at least that’s what my intent was. I’ll leave it to other people to decide how successful I was.

My take (which I’ll discuss in depth in an upcoming issue of the New Individualist is that Jonah was extremely successful, find out for yourself here.