Goldberg is similarly devastating when it comes to other truisms. Take the liberal talking point that we shouldn’t be beholden to “ideology” or “dogma” but should instead be “pragmatic.”
The left doesn’t like labels because the ones that correctly describe their thinking — Marxism, statism, socialism, liberalism, even progressivism — are justly held in low esteem. Goldberg traces this line of attack back to a denunciation of “ideologues” by Napoleon, who saw them as a threat to his power. Yet if you feel like Chinese food for lunch and your friend prefers Mexican, there is no correct “empirical” answer independent of your taste. It’s an honest difference of opinion. Conservatives are open about their politics, yet from President Obama on down, liberals claim they just want to know, as the president put it in his inaugural, “whether it works.” Then they breezily insist that what works is always more government. There is no ideology whose adherents think it doesn’t work. Ideology and dogma are simply scare words for values.
Conservatives promote “social Darwinism”? No, eugenics and weeding out the unfit were backed by liberals — H.G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Oliver Wendell Holmes and the founders of modern democratic socialism, Beatrice and Sydney Webb. Meanwhile, the supposedly heartless “robber barons” were, except for Andrew Carnegie, not Darwinists. They were fervent Christians who gave massively to charity because they wanted to uplift the poor. Even Carnegie believed, “He who dies rich dies disgraced” and became one of history’s greatest benefactors.
The left loves to delve into the rule book and mend the world’s ills by regulatory tinkering, but even when they’re expressing what they believe to be simple, universal truths, Goldberg finds the flaws in their thinking. When liberals are talking, he shows us why even the truisms aren’t true.