The Corner

Cluck, Cluck, Bwok, Bwok

Those are chicken sounds if you weren’t sure. They are aimed at our friend Josh Marshall who once again dodges making an argument by saying that the protests of conservatives make the argument for him. Maybe Josh doesn’t realize this, but this is precisely the sort of substance-less debate that makes people think liberals are condescending and cowardly. I don’t think Josh is either of those things, but as I pointed out before simply saying “see the conservatives are angry about X or Y and therefor X or Y must be true” is one of the lowest and cheapest forms of argumentation around. If Marshall thinks conservative arguments are outlandish on their face, he should link to them and let his readers decide. Even better, explain why they’re outlandish. It must be easy, right? Or ignore them entirely (you wouldn’t believe how many insults and cheap shots I ignore everyday). But offering opinions without arguments is precisely the sort of thing which has ruined liberalism’s image for millions of Americans over the last few decades. And, anyone can simply spout opinions. It’s backing them up that makes ones writing worth reading.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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