Cliches Conservatives Say
Like many of us who pontificate for a living, my column-writing colleague
That would explain his new book, which takes on one of the world's least-threatening problems, the political cliches that many people utter as a substitute for original thoughts.
It is titled, The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas. With a title like that, need I bother to mention that the author is a conservative?
As such, he focuses on the cliches that trouble him most, which happen to be those that he has heard uttered by liberals. That's sort of like reading Playboy for the articles; it's interesting, but something important is missing.
I do agree that some cliches like "violence never settles anything" need to go, at least until we find a good substitute for the word "never." In fact, history offers many examples of violence settling things, although not always in ways that were expected by its initiators.
But the more of Goldberg's book that I read, the more appreciation I feel for the pithy power of the bumper-sticker truisms that he ridicules.
I like, for example, the old chestnut, "Better ten guilty men go free than one innocent man suffer." Goldberg responds, "So you won't mind if those ten guilty men move next door to you?" Sure, but why blame the innocent guy for the ten guilty guys next door? I would blame our criminal justice system for its failure to do what taxpayers pay them to do: protect not only our lives and property but also our constitutional rights.
This barroom argument would not annoy me as much if there were not 289 exonerations of convicted individuals thanks to DNA evidence since 1989, according to the
And the author doesn't like "Diversity is strength," either. ("Cool," he writes. "The
Yet, without getting into the deep weeds of affirmative action debates, this country has prospered as a result of its mulligan stew of ethnics -- its Pages and Goldbergs, etc., etc. -- and our ability, more often than not, to work together with a sense of common purpose despite our differences.
And, surely, Goldberg is not serious in his pot shots at this old gem: "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." Sure, he writes, "if the other man is an idiot." But, so what? An idiot can kill you just as dead as a sane man can. And even the Rev.
In fact, I would argue that one person's cliche is another person's wisdom.
To illustrate and offer a bit of balance to what Goldberg has initiated, here are a few of the most annoying cliches, in my view, that I often hear from the political right:
"We don't solve problems by throwing money at them."
Sure. But you don't solve many problems by sucking money out of them, either.
"Poor people need to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps."
Easier said than done, my friend. I tried to pull myself up by my own bootstraps and almost tumbled over on my head.
"Keep the government's hands off of my
Not easy. You'll have better luck with your bootstraps.
"Liberals love free speech as long as it supports the left." Unlike conservatives, who love free speech as long as it is does not come from the Quran or the Dixie Chicks?
"America: Love It Or Leave It."
Funny, but, I haven't heard that one much since President
"Why are all the news media slanted to the left -- except
That was a joke. It's not a cliche yet. But give it time.
Read the latest political news.
- Of Bedrooms and Boardrooms
- Budget Cut Blues: America Needs More Informed Citizenry
- Pentagon Spending Spree
- Why the 'Pro-Growth Centrists' are Wrong
- Social Security's Dual-Income Trap
- Mitt Romney Must Find Tactical Advantage
- New Marco Rubio Faces Key Test
- Mitt Romney's Pitch to Hispanics Won't Work
- Turning the Other Cheek to Donald Trump
- Trampling the Right to Vote
- Ham-Handed Solution to a Problem That Doesn't Exist
- New Florida Voter Purge Should Come As No Surprise
- Romney and Bain: Actual 'Entitlement Society' in Action
- An 'Independent' Super PAC Demonstrates Supreme Court's Folly
- On Picking an Unprepared Vice-President
- Fat Cat Urged to Bankroll Anti-Obama Hatefest
- The Massachusetts Indian War of 2012
- Chameleon Nation
- Cabinets Gone Wild
- Which Kind of Capitalism? A Debate for Obama and Romney
- More Campaign Surrogate Blunders
- Are We Better Off Than in 2008?
- The Defeat of a Man of Reason
- Our Politics is a Mess, But Only One Party is The Cause
- Right-Wing Rage Trips Itself
- 'Money Primary' Pushes Obama to the Left
- Mitt Romney's Stellar Performance
- A Campaign Treading Water
- Mitt Romney Feeds the Crocs
- The Power of the Incumbency
- Demise of a Centrist Nominee Dream
- The Media's Religion Deficit
- Crushing College Dreams
- We Can't Afford Energy Subsidies and Tax Breaks
- The Truth's Liberal Tilt
- Mitt Romney's Media Handicap
- George Bush's Pithy Endorsement
- Spending Debate Creates an Opportunity for Mitt Romney
- The State of the Military-Industrial Complex Is Strong
- Republicans Have Bad Brains?
- The Citizen and the Government
- The President's 'Other Gospel'
- Voter IQs Need Refresher Course
- Cliches Conservatives Say
- Generation Pap
- Are Government's 'Strategic Communications' Coming to American Airwaves?
- The Job Stall
- Who Lost Latin America?
- United States Unlikely To Condemn Argentina's 'Outlaw Behavior' -- Yet
- French Elections Lesson
- Companies Save Big On Corporate Taxes With the Help of Lobbyists
- Happy Anniversary, or Partisan Boasting?
- On Losing Control of the Message
- My Papers? No Thank You
- Pothole Nation
- Why Being 'On The Right Track' Isn't Enough
- The Poor as Collateral Damage
- The Real Deal About College Costs
Cliches Conservatives Say | Politics
(c) 2012 Tribune Media Services, Inc.