The Tyranny of Conservative Cliches

In his latest book, The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas, Jonah Goldberg argues that liberals hide their ideology behind tired aphorisms such as “violence never solved anything” or the Constitution is a “living document.”

Unlike liberals, conservatives admit to having an ideology (although we prefer the term philosophy). We are also comfortable enough with our intellectual history that we don’t shy away from arguments, invoking authorities from the Bible and Publius to Hayek and Reagan. Nevertheless, conservatives use clichés, as everyone does. Here are some we should avoid.

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