Dear Jonah Goldberg,
I literally just completed your book Liberal Fascism. It was an amazing read and a wonderfully eye-opening experience. However, I must admit that I was very hesitant to purchase your book after its initial publishing due to my fear that I would be giving into an “extreme right hit piece.” For this very reason, I avoid “extreme left hit pieces” as well. Yet over the past year, I have heard more and more about your book from Internet reviews and, frankly, from your appearances on television. You slowly won me over and I began to actively pursue your book in chain book stores. To my surprise, I could not find a physical copy of the book in some of the large chain stores. This increased by interest that much further. When I read that the paperback was coming out, I rushed to one of these stores the day after and, lo and behold, there it was. Strangely I felt as if I was committing a form of social taboo by purchasing the book. In fact, I was secretly worried about how the cashier would respond to me. In an awkward adolescent way, it felt like buying a pornographic movie or magazine. Nevertheless, I pushed through and dove headstrong into the book. As I was reading it, I could not help but feel so foolish for having waited so long to buy it.
In the past, I have always been drawn to the skepticism of the New Deal, however, my objections were based, honestly, on the propaganda or opinions of conservatives. Unfortunately, I had not made the intellectual investment necessary to justify my skepticism. Your book represents a significant step forward for me in that respect. Indeed, my appetite for more has grown. Yet I am conflicted about whether I should invest more time in this journey since I do not feel as optimistic as you about the American people or about turning this country around. We are further behind in this intellectual/philosophical battle than I previously thought. In fact, “we are all fascists now.”
How do we find a way to pin down a Progressive dogma that seems un-pinnable? Even if you are successful in re-educating the American people about the history of the Progressive/Democratic party, will this be enough. Can we as conservative or libertarians create a purity of principle that can be as attractive to the majority of America?
Admittedly, I sound quite pessimistic and downright depressing. It is not in my nature to speak in this way. However, the task of overturning 100 hundred years of such subtle deceit on the part of the Left seems impossible. At the risk of creating a moral equivalent of war, do we have the intellectual armament, soldiers, or in roads at major universities to stop our retreat? In other words, do we have to use the same techniques or strategy of the Left, or do we have something more valuable and sincere to offer the American people? Do we fight fire with fire or do we fight fire with ____?
My frustrations I am sure are not new to you. What is new to me is your ability to unearth a cohesive history of the American Left. Can you help me move forward?
Thank you for being a sounding board for my frustrations.
[Name withheld, MD]