From a reader:
Herrdoktor Goldberg, First-time, long-time. Big fan – you’ve made a good start at becoming our generation’s Johnson (Paul or Samuel, not Lyndon). Love the book (sans title). Might have an inkling as to why you’re not getting the serious, honest engagement you’d (and I’d) hoped for from actual liberals. I think the book is being perceived, largely due to the title, in a similar manner to which most Christians perceived (correctly, in that case) the DaVinci Code. Thanks to 30 years of Conservative denigration of the word “liberal”, there is now quite a market out there for yet another opportunity to join in the fun. Likewise the DaVinci code cashing in on anti-Christian propaganda, and likewise the allergic reaction of those being bashed to that bashing, whether real or imagined. It is understandable that liberals assume you’re following the Dan Brown gravy train. The tragedy here is that you’re not actually bashing liberalism. Far from it – you’re a truer liberal than many you’d hoped to engage. Alas that the book wasn’t called “Progressive Fascism” or “Left-wing Fascism” or even “American Fascism”. I hope going forward that you will consider adopting and rehabilitating the word “liberal’, now that the Left seems finally to be Moving On from 50-years of misbranding. Still can’t figure out why the true liberals went along with it then – no reason to continue now. If you put half the effort into reclaiming liberalism as you do into wrestling the meaning of “right-wing”, Syllabus of Errors, cough, cough, into submission to your philosophy I think you could do it.
Thanks again for your work,