This is what I call the really amazingly flattering and humbling email I get in praise of the book. After I read it, and dash off an effusive thank you to the reader, I say to myself “So, I got that going for me, which is nice.” This is of course a line from Bill Murray in Caddyshack:
So I jump ship in Hong Kong and make my way over to Tibet, and I get on as a looper at a course over in the Himalayas. A looper, you know, a caddy, a looper, a jock. So, I tell them I’m a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama, himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald… striking. So, I’m on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one – big hitter, the Lama – long, into a ten-thousand foot crevasse, right at the base of this glacier. Do you know what the Lama says? Gunga galunga… gunga, gunga-galunga. So we finish the eighteenth and he’s gonna stiff me. And I say, “Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.” And he says, “Oh, uh, there won’t be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.” So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.
Anyway, it might not make the most sense. But for some reason it always comes to mind after I get an email from someone telling me this whole thing was worth it. Here’s today’s most gratifying gunga-galunga email:
Finished the book yesterday.
I guess I have to use one or the other of the cliches of praise, so I’ll
settle for this one: Liberal Fascism is a tour de force.
You rose to the occasion of your difficult premise, and I believe that
you proved it. This will not sit well with anyone on the Left, I
believe, at least until some open up a little and digest it. It would be
good for any who do.
Nor will it sit well with many who consider themselves centrists.
Or many who are conservatives. Everyone will be challenged by it.
I had long had a sense that you were up to something while you were
writing this book and I had an uncharacteristic drive to get to it as
soon as it was available.
The intellectual clarity you bring to this confusion about the meaning
of modern American liberalism and to the perverse energies of the 20th
Century is liberating.
This is a vitally important book. For one thing, you not only stopped
playing on the liberal field, you tore the stadium down and bulldozed
the property. I will never see another political debate in this country
the same way again.
I’m not a flatterer, and nothing that I’m saying here is meant to
flatter. I think you were honest in your intent, right down to the “sick
and tired of being called a fascist by fascists” motivation, and that
you did your homework. Your writing resonates with your mastery of the