Robbed, Again

Yet another resignation letter, this time from Andrew Sullivan:

It seems to me that if this conservatism is so foul that many of my peers are embarrassed to be working at the same magazine, then I have no idea what version of conservatism could ever be tolerated. And that’s fine. We have freedom of association in this country, and if the mainstream media want to cut ties with even moderate anti-Trump conservatives, because they won’t bend the knee to critical theory’s version of reality, that’s their prerogative. . . But here’s what I do truly and deeply miss: writing freely without being in a defensive crouch; airing tough, smart dissent and engaging with readers in a substantive way that avoids Twitter madness; a truly free intellectual space where anything, yes anything, can be debated without personal abuse or questioning of motives; and where readers can force me to change my mind (or not) by sheer logic or personal testimony.

I disagree with about 92% of everything Sullivan says. As far as I know, everybody does. Sullivan isn’t a sheep, so everybody finds him annoying at some point. But it’s undeniable that he’s a good, gifted writer, which is precisely why New York Magazine doesn’t want him. Like Bari Weiss, Sullivan will be fine. But we, the readers, are robbed yet of another formerly good periodical.

5 thoughts on “Robbed, Again”

  1. I am reminded of the statues of abolitionists going down. Sullivan was one of the key people in legalizing gay marriage with his “conservative” case for it. The idea was that, by not recognizing gay marriage, the government was discouraging gays from pursuing long term monogamous relationships and that was bad for society. In essence, if gay people are going to exist, we want them getting married to each other instead of hooking up in bathhouses and giving each other AIDS. What is particularly important about this thinking outside of gay marriage is that it is a model of how to argue productively. Sullivan knew how to appeal to mainstream Americans instead of simply helping people on the Left feel superior about themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Any discerning readers who will miss Andrew Sullivan’s effusive bragging about how he single-handedly created the concept of Internet blogging — or proved that Sarah Palin’s child Trig was actually somehow her illegitimate grandchild, or fell hopelessly in love with Barack Obama and was emotionally crushed every time Obama made a political decision that “disappointed” him — can take heart:

    For only $200 a year, they can now subscribe to his new Weekly Dish church of self-worship blog as a “Founding Weekly Dishhead” charter member.

    Sullivan’s always been crazy as a loon, and I’ve enjoyed reading him for the same reason that I used to read Melissa McEwan at Shakesville.


  3. How right you are, Dreidel, how right. And yet, without a healthy dose of narcissism and/or other forms of self-regarding navel gazing, I doubt whether any writer would be worth reading. It’s the reader’s job to look at the writing with an equally healthy dose of scepticism.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. \ I disagree with about 92% of everything Sullivan says.
    \ Sullivan’s always been crazy as a loon

    Well, I read this old article and agreed with most of it. In the early days of Trump, Sullivan was one of the few smart enough to warn against “so those Democrats who are gleefully predicting a Clinton landslide in November need to both check their complacency”.

    Democracies end when they are too democratic.
    And right now, America is a breeding ground for tyranny.

    Good QUOTE (as an example):

    For the white working class, having had their morals roundly mocked, their religion deemed primitive, and their economic prospects decimated, now find their very gender and race, indeed the very way they talk about reality, described as a kind of problem for the nation to overcome. This is just one aspect of what Trump has masterfully signaled as “political correctness” run amok, or what might be better described as the newly rigid progressive passion for racial and sexual equality of outcome, rather than the liberal aspiration to mere equality of opportunity.

    Much of the newly energized left has come to see the white working class not as allies but primarily as bigots, misogynists, racists, and homophobes, thereby condemning those often at the near-bottom rung of the economy to the bottom rung of the culture as well. A struggling white man in the heartland is now told to “check his privilege” by students at Ivy League colleges.

    And so they wait, and they steam, and they lash out. This was part of the emotional force of the tea party: not just the advancement of racial minorities, gays, and women but the simultaneous demonization of the white working-class world, its culture and way of life. Obama never intended this, but he became a symbol to many of this cultural marginalization. The Black Lives Matter left stoked the fires still further; so did the gay left, for whom the word magnanimity seems unknown, even in the wake of stunning successes. And as the tea party swept through Washington in 2010, as its representatives repeatedly held the government budget hostage, threatened the very credit of the U.S., and refused to hold hearings on a Supreme Court nominee, the American political and media Establishment mostly chose to interpret such behavior as something other than unprecedented. But Trump saw what others didn’t, just as Hoffer noted: “The frustrated individual and the true believer make better prognosticators than those who have reason to want the preservation of the status quo.”

    Mass movements, Hoffer argues, are distinguished by a “facility for make-believe … credulity, a readiness to attempt the impossible.” What, one wonders, could be more impossible than suddenly vetting every single visitor to the U.S. for traces of Islamic belief? What could be more make-believe than a big, beautiful wall stretching across the entire Mexican border, paid for by the Mexican government? What could be more credulous than arguing that we could pay off our national debt through a global trade war? In a conventional political party, and in a rational political discourse, such ideas would be laughed out of contention, their self-evident impossibility disqualifying them from serious consideration. In the emotional fervor of a democratic mass movement, however, these impossibilities become icons of hope, symbols of a new way of conducting politics. Their very impossibility is their appeal.


  5. Loved the idea of this project:

    Translations from the Wokish
    A Plain-Language Encyclopedia of Social Justice Terminology

    Most of the entries haven’t been created yet, but the ones that have been are interesting and partly new to me.

    Remember the discussion on your blog whether races exist? The entry on “Race” talks about this very issue.

    The entry on “Objectivity” was also interesting.


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