Apparently, many liberals were disappointed in the administration’s performance before the Supreme Court. They felt that the government’s lawyer, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, did not respond effectively to the challenges of some of the conservative justices.
The editor of Commentary, John Podhoretz, offered an explanation on his magazine’s blog. “American liberals,” he wrote, “know their own language, but they don’t know the language of their ideological and partisan opposite numbers. ... Conservatives speak liberal, but for liberals in the United States, conservatism might as well be Esperanto.”
I have argued this point for many years. In my book to be published later this month ("Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph"), I argue that the left is a victim of its own brainwash. How could they not be? All they hear, see and read from childhood on, from elementary school through graduate school, on TV and in the movies, are leftist ideas.
Yet this is not true for conservatives. One would have to grow up in a silent monastery not to be regularly exposed to liberal and leftist ideas.
For 30 years, I have had leading left-wing thinkers on my radio show, and I continue to be shocked at their lack of awareness of conservative arguments. About two years ago, for example, I asked one of the most powerful Democratic members of Congress -- a major force behind every tax increase -- what tax rate he thought might be too high. He replied that he had not given it thought. I asked a leading liberal writer who maintained that all American wars since World War II had been imperialist if he thought the Korean War was also imperialistic. He replied that he didn’t know enough about that war to respond.
After interviewing leftists, liberal listeners frequently ask me why I don’t invite the best liberals on to my show.
The answer is that I have had some of the best liberals on my show. They just don’t tend to do well when challenged by thoughtful conservatives.
That may be why the majority of influential liberals refuse to go on conservative talk radio or to debate conservatives.
I bumped into New York Times columnist Tom Friedman at Dulles Airport a few months ago and asked him if he would ever come on talk radio. He said he doesn’t do such shows. Yet shortly thereafter he went on NPR. What he meant to say was that he doesn’t go on conservative shows.
Why don’t liberals read us or listen to us or debate us?
Because the left has convinced itself that the right is unworthy of such attention.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”