Except it wasn’t really a review at all, because the Andrew Malcolm, the main Ticket blogger, never actually read Going Rogue. And neither, really, had the WaPo reviewer — she didn’t have time to finish it. Yet both were able to write a full and convincing review anyway. Why? Well, the answer to that seems to be Malcolm’s real point:
So, a reviewer can just write what he/she thinks the book is or heard it is or wants it to be. And if no one else reads what they’re writing about or reads anything they disagree with, who can challenge anybody on anything?
It’s perfect for a hurried society, like Washington every day or the modern quadrennial presidential campaigns. People reciting at each other things they’ve heard from others.
This way nobody has to learn anything new or adjust what they’re already certain of. Dumb is the new American smart.
He’s right; and this, I would argue, is a major challenge for YAL and other groups in the liberty movement: We’re saying something new and different; we’re trying to focus the national discourse on truth, not just the way we think something “is or heard it is or [want] it to be.” This means that we’re starting the race with a heavy handicap simply because we are not just “reciting at each other things they’ve heard from others.” It’s just one reason why Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell, etc. are right when they constantly emphasize the importance of educating ourselves and others.Published in