The Power Line Show, Ep. 159: Come Again? The “1619 Project” Divides the Left?!

There are several new wrinkles in the saga of the New York Times‘s egregious and ideological “1619 Project” beyond the fine Roger Kimball essay that Paul highlights below. This can only mean one thing: time for another episode with “Lucretia,” Power Line’s International Woman of Mystery, and scourge of all things politically correct.

New developments in the story include a stinging letter to the editor of the New York Times magazine from five eminent American historians who are chiefly of a liberal bent themselves, such as Sean Wilentz, James Oakes, and Gordon Wood. For the record, I’m not a huge fan of Gordon Wood (explaining why in this long essay from a while ago) or Wilentz, but it is significant that these historians have decided to take such a public stand. I can only imagine that many historians and political scientists of a liberal bent likely agree with them, but like dissenters from the climate “consensus,” they are afraid to say so publicly for fear of being branded as a privileged white racist. The response of the Times editor is pretty weak, but provides occasion for us to correct the slanders directed at Lincoln from this woeful enterprise.

In fact some “historians of color” also dissent from the willful narrow-mindedness of the 1619 Project, such as Adolf Reed, who offers his quirky critique at the website of . . . (checks notes) . . . World Socialists?? What have the socialists got against the 1619 Project? It seems that these old-school revolutionaries think the embrace of identity politics actually serve the reactionary end of preventing a socialist revolution in our time. Pass the popcorn, as we marvel at the left’s intramural civil war over the civil war.

More broadly, the left is having an identity crisis paradoxically because of its tight embrace of identity politics. That’s the case of another great article just out we talk about toward the end of this episode, and you’ll want to listen all the way to the end for some discussion of different methods of cooking the traditional Christmas rib roast (mine will be on a rotisserie grill!), and ending finally with the proper exit music for the season—”Christmas Wrapping” from The Waitresses. Merry Christmas everybody!

You know what to do now: listen here or download the episode from our hosts at Ricochet.

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