Coming: Lilla-Livered Liberalism?

When I see things like the meltdown at Google or any of the various campus disgraces that can be mentioned, I like to ask: “When are liberals going to defend liberalism?” One liberal who is standing up for liberalism is Mark Lilla of Columbia University. As noted here back in November, Lilla wrote an op-ed for the New York Times criticizing the Democratic Party’s reliance on identity politics. For this, one of his feminist colleagues at Columbia called him a “white supremacist.”

Next week Lilla’s short new book that expands his original critique will be published, The Once and Future Liberal. Unfortunately I don’t have an advance copy, and will wait for it to come in the mail in a few days like everyone else. But Rod Dreher at The American Conservative has read an advance copy, and he passes along this wonderful passage from the book:

Electoral politics is a little like fishing. When you fish you get up early in the morning and go to where the fish are — not to where you might wish them to be. You then drop bait into the water (bait being defined as something they want to eat, not as “healthy choices”). Once the fish realize they are hooked they may resist. Let them; loosen your line. Eventually they will calm down and you can slowly reel them in, careful not to provoke them unnecessarily. The identity liberals’ approach to fishing is to remain on shore, yelling at the fish about the historical wrongs visited on them by the sea, and the need for aquatic life to renounce its privilege. All in the hope that the fish will collectively confess their sins and swim to shore to be netted. If that is your approach to fishing, you had better become a vegan.

It’s going to be fun to watch the apoplexy of the left over Lilla’s book.  Stay tuned: I’ll have more.

Just hope no one at Google hears about this book.

Damon Linker (another liberal defector from the party line) has more here.

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