David's Bookclub: 'Bullies'
Ben Shapiro's Bullies is less a book than a marketing campaign for the conservative rage movement.
A decent book is an opportunity to probe problems with insightful questions, serious self-reflection and forthright intellectual honesty. Bullies neither attempts these tasks nor recognizes they exist. That's by design.
Bullies exists to perpetuate conservative culture warfare. This warfare has little to do with ideas and policy - and everything to do with the bottom line. The only surprise about a book like Bullies is the question: How much longer till the audience gets tired of hearing the same message over and over and over again?
And the intended audience? The fearful aggrieved of America's uncertain classes.
Bullies is well timed at least. The readers Shapiro seeks were sold a bill of goods that said 2012 was the time the silent majority would finally kick those Commie Democrats to the curb.
Then November 6 happened. The guy Breitbart.com, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and crew had said was incompetent, shadowy, dangerous for America, and actually deeply unpopular won a second term in quite convincing fashion. As the house of cards crumbled, a darkly amusing idea made its way through conservatives circles: Mitt Romney had lost because he was too moderate, too unwilling to take the fight to President Obama, and too willing to be bullied.
Thus the new marching orders: get madder about the same old things - but
in an even more deranged fashion. If only we get mad enough and punch back, comrades, we'll finally win!
We'll never get there, but Shapiro doesn't care. The day we do, he's out a job.