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Jonah Goldberg tells Mackinac Center liberals hide behind fake facts to pretend they aren’t ideological

Liberals like cloaking their ideology under the mantle of facts, according to National Review Online editor Jonah Goldberg, who spoke Friday at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Traverse City, Mich. 

Goldberg was promoting his new book The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas.

Liberals like to say they only care about facts and that ideology is secondary, but Goldberg pointed out that the facts they like to refer to are frequently based on flawed studies. They like to pretend that their views are rooted in science rather than ideology.

“They like to say that ‘We are fact-finders; conservatives are ideologues,’” Goldberg said

To illustrate this, Goldberg pointed to a World Health Organization study ranking health care systems around the world that ranked the United States at 37 worldwide. This study was based on financial fairness (how much the system redistributed from the top to the bottom to pay for health care) rather than the actual quality of health care.

Goldberg called such studies “Trojan horses” filled with liberal assumptions about the world to seize ground “unearned by argument.”

The left equates the word ideology with things like  Jacobinism, Nazism or communism.

That’s fine, those are all ideologies, but they do not define ideology. All I mean by ‘ideology…’ is a checklist of your principles.”

Goldberg’s problem is that the media portrays people on the right as crazy ideologues, and that is portrays those on the left as just wanting to do what’s right and that government has to be involved in all of our problems.

“This is a mistake that libertarians never make, conservatives rarely make, and liberals always make; and it’s that the government can love you….one thing it can’t do is give you meaning,” Goldberg said.

We need the fulfillment of “earned success,” to be fulfilled in life, Goldberg said.

He mocked liberals for saying “‘violence doesn’t solve anything’ to gain the moral high ground and mask deeply ideological agendas, noting that violence “solves all sorts of problems, particularly violent problems.”

“We on the right need to be ready to call them out,” Goldberg said.

Goldberg closed with these words: “Be happy warriors. Enjoy the side of the fight that you’re in because it’s a really good side to be on….it’s an eternal fight…help out the cause when and where you can.”

He then quoted T.S. Eliot, saying: “There is no such thing as a truly lost cause because there is no such thing as a truly won cause.’ As long as you don’t give up, there’s hope.”


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