The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas

By Jonah Goldberg - Rating: 8/10

The main thesis of Tyranny of Clichés begins with the notion that conservative and libertarian arguments tend to get rebutted, not with counter-arguments, but with a series of stock statements like “Violence never solves anything” or “I’d rather see ten guilty men go free than one innocent man be found guilty.” These clichés are presented by liberals/progressives (whatever is the label du jour?) as self-evident truths with basis in a pragmatic analysis of the issues. Goldberg proceeds to dismantle those positions by showing how deeply rooted in ideology these statements are, and how, with a little scrutiny, they emerge as empty words with no backing in reality. Well, that’s the idea at least. On more than a few occasions it felt like he was just tit-for-tatting about how conservatives may do this thing, but you guys do it too… but totally to the max dudes! Not there’s anything wrong with this sort of political reverse 1-upping, but it drifted a little away from that aforementioned main thesis. No matter, the entire book is written in a lighthearted tone that makes for fun reading.

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