From a reader:
Just finished the book. I had listened to your critics’ complaints while in the process of reading it, and must say I now don’t think they’ve been fair (or read the book). You devote good chunks of time trying to anticipate and address most their objections: you’re calling us fascist, why don’t you talk about Ike/Reagan/Newt/republicans, you’re stretching too far in the second half of the book, etc.
They need to let go of their favorite epithet and read the book. Liberty lovers from across the entire political spectrum ought to be interested in every threat, even if it involves closely examining their cherished self-image. Could they be so certain there is no, and could never be, such a threat from The Left?
Whenever I’ve been stuck arguing the point, the most effective retort I ever came up with was to tell them I wanted neither Jerry Falwell (their fascist bogeyman) nor them making decisions for me. That wouldn’t win the argument, but at least I could enjoy the sound of gears grinding as their minds struggled with the juxtaposition. Rarely had any of them (Ivy League lib arts majors) actually studied the original Great Works, only the pomo critiques of the original Great Works.
The older I get, the more conservative I get with how I order my own life, yet the more libertarian I become with how I want society ordered. Someone, somewhere, can always be counted on to come up with a perfectly good reason to transfer power from me to the government. [Nicely put! — Me]
Thanks for book and congrats on its ranking and the Pulitzer nod for the column – well deserved.