- by Gitabushi
At one point, I estimated that about 40% of my political opinion came from Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit. He’s pretty smart, he’s a Law Perfessor, he’s a libertarian, he’s a musician with synesthesia. Not exactly dumb.
Another 20% came from Jim Geraghty. Maybe another 10% came from Jonah Goldberg.
What I mean is, they summed up conservative thought in a pithy sentence that condensed a bunch of concepts into an easily-applied touchpoint.
For example, Glenn Reynolds is credited for Reynold’s Law:
“Subsidizing the markers of status doesn’t produce the character traits that result in that status; it undermines them.”
He also was the first place I saw that explained some of the confusing policy decisions from government as “Less opportunity for graft.” Which makes perfect sense, when you think about it.
Geraghty and Goldberg have fallen in my esteem. I think neither really grasped the Trump phenomenon. At the very least, neither grasped it as well as Glenn Reynolds did.
And, full disclosure, I was NeverTrump until about 3 November. I really considered voting for Hillary Clinton, I hated Trump that much. But I have been pleasantly surprised…much of the explanation for that is here:
All of this is to explain why I really think you should purchase and read his latest book:
Full disclosure: I don’t think I’ve *ever* finished a non-fiction book before. I usually get the idea of what they are saying, get bored, and stop.
Not this book.
It *is* pretty short, but it is chock full of ideas. I found it stimulating my thought throughout, whether in the introduction, thesis, explanation, application, or conclusion.
It really explains the Front Row vs Back Row mentality that characterizes the current political realignment. If you want to be ready for what happens next, you should read this book.
I think it well worth your time, and well worth your money.
One thought on “Must Read, er, Book!”
Geraghty and Goldberg were both prescient about Trump and much, much more principled than many, many of their peers. And it is weird to use the success of the conservative establishment in mitigating and circumventing Trump as a sword to criticize them. Trump is who we thought he was. Committed to economically harmful policies like tariffs despite all evidence to the contrary. A fig leaf support for gun rights that was blown away by the first crosswind (the NRA hit me up for money last week–after you squandered my money going all-in on a gun grabber?–not likely!). The best Trump has done has been to stay out of the way of…wait for it, the conservative establishment. If you laud Trump for appointing Justice Gorsuch to the Supreme Court–and you should–you are lauding him for going along with Mitch McConnell and Leonard Leo. If they ain’t the establishment, nobody is.
Anyway, thank you for flagging this book (which, rather remarkably, I hadn’t yet heard of). I’ve been beating this drum for a while. Living Constitutionalism has necessarily meant unelected judges who are by necessity modern-day aristocrats translating their cultural mores into law. See: the current state of religious liberty, which is wrong as a matter of first principles, wrong as a matter of original public meaning, and sharply against the public will. But it meshes with the aristocratic orthodoxy of the day and so be it. Or abortion. The caselaw is mainly driven by the views of the rich and important–wouldn’t it be awful if you had to make an embarrassing call to your doctor friend to avoid a little shame to your family? If they think of the millions of poor babies killed, it is more likely as a feature than as a bug (take it from Justice Ginsburg).
LikeLiked by 2 people