Here is Andy’s opening salvo:
“What happened to you?”
It’s a question I get a lot on Twitter. “When did you become so far right?” “Why have you become a white supremacist, transphobic, misogynistic eugenicist?” Or, of course: “See! I told you who he really was! Just take the hood off, Sully!” It’s trolling, mainly. And it’s a weapon for some in the elite to wield against others in the kind of emotional blackmail spiral that was first pioneered on elite college campuses. But it’s worth answering, a year after I was booted from New York Magazine for my unacceptable politics. Because it seems to me that the dynamic should really be the other way round.
The real question is: what happened to you?
The narrative according to Andy is that he is the victim, the perpetual victim of malevolent actors. Act One, is that he was fired from New York Magazine, that hold-over from April 1968! And the reader hasn’t even arrived at the the point, in the essay, when all the Guest Stars make their appearances. Its like those 80’s Night-Time Soap Operas, except that it not a collection of washed up old actresses, dressed by Nolan Miller, in heavy makeup, assisted by strategic lighting and melodramatic scripts: specializing in dismissive exits, while one of these players is left wounded by a well aimed disparaging remarks: this had all the dramatic impact, the staying power, of a the 21 inch black and white screen of the 1950’s . The Guest Stars in Andy’s tale of his victimology make their appetences, just a partial list:
The CRT debate, liberal critiques of a Fox News hyped campaign, the GOP, “critical race theory” as a cynical, marketing boogeyman, Derrick Bell, Republican propaganda and guile, American elites, a profound cultural dislocation, the specter of “white supremacy,”, the largest, freest, most successful multiracial democracy in human history., one political party, one media monoculture, “social justice reckoning”, NYT woke star, Kara Swisher, Derrick Bell, Kimberlé Crenshaw, (“intersectionality”), tendentious post-modern theorizing.’, * Ta-Nehisi Coates, “blue period.” …
This is just the beginning of Andy’s hysterical screed, it goes on, and on, and on! Andy doesn’t miss the opportunity to plug his new book, about to be published. I’m certain to have missed much …
Like the professional Neo-Con, Andy exhausts the readers patience, and the ability to make sense, of what might be the point of his ‘essay’. It rambles on, as each of his political obsessions is given rhetorical liberty, to strut upon the stage that Andy has – he allows his stream of consciousness its full toxic freedom!
The last paragraph Andy present himself as the voice of reason, a Hero of ‘the right side of liberalism’ in the face of ‘tribal pile-ons’ and ‘the poison and nihilism on the right’:
But I am not making a tactical argument here. I’m making a deeper moral argument. We can and must still fight and argue for what we believe in: a liberal democracy in a liberal society. This fight will not end if we just ignore it or allow ourselves to be intimidated by it, or join the tribal pile-ons. And I will not apologize for confronting this, however unpopular it might make me, just as I won’t apologize for confronting the poison and nihilism on the right. And if you really want to be on “the right side of liberalism,” you will join me.
The ‘liberalism’ that Andy extolls is the ‘liberalism’ of The Economist, in all its pretense of ‘values’ celebrated by Bagehot in his day, and still has a column written by Adrian Wooldridge, under the pen name ‘Bagehot’. ‘Liberalism at Large, The World According to the Economist’ by Alexander Zevin provides a vivid history of this newspaper and its politics.
* On Ta-Nehisi Coates, here is Mr. Sullivan’s ‘free imaginative variation’ on Mr. Coates and ‘He combined the worldview and vocabulary of CRT with the vivid lived experience of his own biography.’ In sum Mr. Coates is a CRT fellow traveler.
A specter of invisible and unfalsifiable “systems” and “structures” and “internal biases” arrived to hover over the world. Some of this critique was specific and helpful: the legacy of redlining, the depth of the wealth gap. But much was tendentious post-modern theorizing. The popular breakthrough was Ta-Nehisi Coates’ essay on reparations in the Atlantic and his subsequent, gut-wrenching memoir, “Between The World And Me.” He combined the worldview and vocabulary of CRT with the vivid lived experience of his own biography. He is a beautifully gifted writer, and I am not surprised he had such an emotional impact, even if, in my view, the power of his prose blinded many to the radical implications of the ideology he surrendered to, in what many of his blog readers called his “blue period.”
Mr. Sullivan is still an admirer of the writing of Charles Murray, the co-author of the utterly notorious ‘Bell Curve’.
Headline: Charles Murray On Human Diversity
Sub-headline: The indefatigable writer and political scientist talks IQ with me, and much more.
Charles has a new — and probably explosive — book coming out soon, Facing Reality. This conversation is not about that. Instead, I wanted to discuss his last book which received almost no attention, Human Diversity.
You can listen to the episode right away in the audio player embedded above, or right below it you can click “Listen in podcast app” — which will connect you to the Dishcast feed. For three clips of my conversation with Charles — on the different career choices that high-IQ women often make; on the “unearned gift” of those with high IQs; and how IQ is irrelevant to the human worth, dignity, and essential equality of all people — head over to our YouTube page.
What opens this almost two hour long ‘interview’ is Andy and Charles commiserating about their victimhood status, as ‘outsiders’, and their means of coping. It’s like watching Network Television, before the Internet, that featured those ubiquitous confessional interview programs. I listened for nine minutes, Andy turns everything into usable political kitsch, with himself as its focus: a function of his rampant narcissism. Andy tries unsuccessfully to mask the moral sensibility of the Inquisitor!