The Corner

Politics & Policy

A Few Thoughts on Henry Olsen’s Attacks

Henry Olsen writes (on Twitter) that “the libertarian-inspired GOP high priesthood of econ policy has blasted [Marco Rubio’s] ‘common good capitalism’ speech. They’re wrong; it’s time for conservatives to throw them and their tired liturgy out of the GOP temple.” He adds: Kevin D. Williamson “represents a strong element that seeks to stamp out dissenters.”

A few thoughts.

  1. The GOP is not a temple. It is a political party. Republicans would do well to remind themselves of that from time to time, and to spare themselves any effort throwing me out of it, inasmuch as I do not belong to it.
  2. I am interested in the juxtaposition of “throw them out” with Olsen’s accusation that I am one who “seeks to stamp out dissenters.” That’s a funny pairing. In what sense have I ever attempted to stamp out dissent? Through criticism and disagreement? I am afraid that Henry Olsen has gone Millennial on us and now cannot tell efforts to “stamp out” disagreement from the instruments of disagreement themselves. And wouldn’t “throwing out” dissenters be included in efforts to “stamp out dissent”? It seems to me obvious that it would.
  3. In his Washington Post column, Olsen writes that I am among those libertarians who are, as he puts it, “philosophically opposed to any federal government action.” But I am not philosophically opposed to any federal government action. Olsen’s claim here is categorically untrue, and demonstrably untrue, and obviously untrue, and known to be untrue by Henry Olsen. There are many federal government actions I support. What I oppose is the course of action proposed by Senator Rubio and shared to an extent by Senator Warren. My attitude toward Rubio — and his fondness for corporate welfare benefiting Florida business interests such as sugar — does not constitute blanket opposition to “any federal government action.” Olsen’s characterization here is intellectually dishonest, and he and the Washington Post ought to correct the record.
  4. Olsen’s headline reads: “Conservatives’ debate over their future is going to be bitter and fierce.” That’s fine. It will be as bitter as it needs to be, and probably more. But it should be honest, too.

Most Popular

Culture

Two NFL Apologies

So Drew Brees defended the American flag and all it stands for, said he didn’t agree with kneeling for the national anthem and correctly described this gesture of open disrespect as disrespect. "Is everything right with our country right now?" said the Saints' future Hall of Famer. "No, it is not. We still have ... Read More
Culture

Two NFL Apologies

So Drew Brees defended the American flag and all it stands for, said he didn’t agree with kneeling for the national anthem and correctly described this gesture of open disrespect as disrespect. "Is everything right with our country right now?" said the Saints' future Hall of Famer. "No, it is not. We still have ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Chesterton’s Cops

Conservatives are big on “Chesterton’s fence.” That’s G. K. Chesterton’s principle that you cannot reform what you do not understand, that you should not for the sake of convenience knock down a fence until you understand why it was put up in the first place. When encountering a fence in his way, ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Chesterton’s Cops

Conservatives are big on “Chesterton’s fence.” That’s G. K. Chesterton’s principle that you cannot reform what you do not understand, that you should not for the sake of convenience knock down a fence until you understand why it was put up in the first place. When encountering a fence in his way, ... Read More
Education

Destroy the ‘Public’ Education System

‘Public” schools have been a catastrophe for the United States. This certainly isn’t an original assertion, but as we watch thousands of authoritarian brats tearing down the legacies of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, it’s more apparent than ever. State-run schools have undercut two fundamental ... Read More
Education

Destroy the ‘Public’ Education System

‘Public” schools have been a catastrophe for the United States. This certainly isn’t an original assertion, but as we watch thousands of authoritarian brats tearing down the legacies of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, it’s more apparent than ever. State-run schools have undercut two fundamental ... Read More
Media

The Media’s War on Words

I recently ran across a piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer that lays out four racist words and phrases that should be banished from the English language. It begins like this: Editor’s note: Please be aware offensive terms are repeated here solely for the purpose of identifying and analyzing them honestly. ... Read More
Media

The Media’s War on Words

I recently ran across a piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer that lays out four racist words and phrases that should be banished from the English language. It begins like this: Editor’s note: Please be aware offensive terms are repeated here solely for the purpose of identifying and analyzing them honestly. ... Read More
Culture

On the Letter

I thought it right to congratulate John MacArthur and Harper’s magazine on putting together an open letter in defense of intellectual liberty — including the liberty to make mistakes -- as a necessary component of social justice. And further congrats on assembling its broad church of signatories. MacArthur ... Read More
Culture

On the Letter

I thought it right to congratulate John MacArthur and Harper’s magazine on putting together an open letter in defense of intellectual liberty — including the liberty to make mistakes -- as a necessary component of social justice. And further congrats on assembling its broad church of signatories. MacArthur ... Read More
Media

The Unrelenting Assault on President Trump

There has never been a presidential campaign in the United States where the administration was so massively opposed by the principal media outlets as in this election. Nor, in at least a century, have the national political media so widely and thoroughly discarded the traditional criterion for journalistic ... Read More
Media

The Unrelenting Assault on President Trump

There has never been a presidential campaign in the United States where the administration was so massively opposed by the principal media outlets as in this election. Nor, in at least a century, have the national political media so widely and thoroughly discarded the traditional criterion for journalistic ... Read More