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An uncompromising look at the dark side of clichés and how liberals use them to camouflage their true beliefs

“We are only as free as the least free among us.” Is that really true, or is it the kind of statement most people will nod at without actually thinking about? Bestselling conservative author Jonah Goldberg calls it a liberal cliché—fundamentally wrong and potentially very dangerous.

According to Goldberg, if the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist, the greatest trick liberals ever pulled was convincing themselves they’re not ideological. Today “objective” journalists and academics and “moderate” politicians peddle some of the most radical arguments by hiding them in homespun aphorisms. Barack Obama casts himself as a disciple of reason and sticks to one refrain above all others: he’s a pragmatist, opposed to the ideology and dogma of the right, solely concerned with “what works.” And today’s liberals follow his lead, spouting countless clichés.

Goldberg exposes the truth behind many of these clichés, including “the living constitution,” “social justice,” and even simple words like “inquisition.” With humor and passion, he dismantles these Trojan horses to show how our thinking is profoundly shaped by deeply ideological concepts and convenient myths that most of us accept uncritically—to our great detriment.

You’ll learn the real history of dangerous liberal clichés, such as:

–“Better ten guilty men go free than one innocent man be put behind bars.” So, you won’t mind if those ten guilty men move in next door?

–“One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” Sure, if the other man is an idiot. Was Martin Luther King Jr. a terrorist? Was Bin Laden a freedom fighter? 

–“Violence never solves anything.” Really? It solved our problems with the British Empire and ended slavery.

–“Diversity is strength.” Cool. The NBA should have a quota for midgets and one-legged point guards.

–“We need complete separation of church and state.” In other words, all expressions of faith should be barred from politics—except when they support liberal programs.

From Gandhi to Marie Antoinette to Madonna, Goldberg explores the context of clichés in our culture and shows how often we rely on them at the expense of serious thinking.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Straw man down! In the PC prison yard of accepted political thought, Jonah Goldberg has just shivved progressivism. Bold, brilliant, and bursting with humor, every page of The Tyranny of Clichés is right on the money. If you thought Liberal Fascism was good, wait till you read The Tyranny of Clichés—it is fantastic!”

    Brad Thor, New York Times bestselling author

  • “What can one say to the self-proclaimed ‘independent’ who never has nor ever will vote other than Democratic; or to the wise soul suggesting, of any conflict at all, ‘the truth must lie somewhere in between?’ Mr. Goldberg reminds us that one must stand up and demand of the muddled and supine either an absolute declaration of their principles and acknowledgment of the results of actions having flowed therefrom or a straightforward admission of their intransigence in refusing a concise reply.”

    David Mamet, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Everyone says ‘think for yourself’ but very few people do. In The Tyranny of Clichés, Jonah Goldberg reveals how we’ve become trapped by ideas we think we understand but don’t. A must-read.”

    Vince Vaughn, actor and producer

  • “The puncturing of pretensions and disruption of lazy thinking are extra base hits in journalism. Doing so with humor and originality on every page qualifies Goldberg’s work as a grand slam.”

    Mitch Daniels, Governor of Indiana, author of Keeping the Republic

  • A New York Times Bestseller
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