Having noticed that Bill Kristol has agreed with Billy Graham that Seventh Day Adventists are “great on New Testament doctrine,” I have to wonder how much canonical weight Bill’s judgment here would carry among Murdochites. (My friend Boyd Cathy has created this term for those whose minds are totally imprisoned in the synthetic world of the Murdoch media.) Now I can figure out why Kristol the Lesser has conferred his seal of approval on the Seventh Day Adventists. His least favorite Republican presidential contender, the Donald, has been lording it over Dr. Ben, a political competitor who, unlike the Presbyterian Trump, is a lowly Adventist. Trump’s comments on this subject seem hardly worth remembering, and for all I know, they may have been said jokingly. But Kristol decided to come to the defense of the candidate whom he’s hoping will knock out the hated Trump, not because Bill really wants a black Adventist surgeon named Ben Carson to become the GOP nominee but because he needs Carson to get rid of Trump. At that point he and the other neocons will push one of their paid lackeys, preferably Rubio, to the front of the line, providing they can do a number on Dr. Ben.
All of this should seem obvious to anyone who has been following the GOP presidential contest with open eyes. The problem is, authentic Murdochites would never accept the view that Bill Kristol is not speaking as an expert on the Bible. Neocons for the adepts are experts on everything they deign to address, just as Marxists used to claim an extensive knowledge about everything because of their Marxist “science.” Allow me to mention that I’ve just finished an anthology of essays mostly on historical topics, which Northern Illinois University Press will be publishing after my book on fascism. Among those distortions and half-truths I engage in this volume, the bulk came from neoconservative journalists, typically misrepresented as “conservatives” or “libertarians.” Friends ask me why I would waste my time dealing with these lightweights. The answer is simple: These lightweights get loads of publicity in the neoconservative and established leftist press; and whatever kooky stuff they write about the past or about the Bible or about anything else they “explain” to the rest of us, is widely treated as the alternative position to what the academic Left is saying. Unfortunately what these self-described scholars are peddling are not really alternative views but what the Left used to proclaim before it went on to even nuttier positions.
I for one wouldn’t care what these scribblers wrote if they weren’t reaching millions of people, at least some of whom have told me the following nonsense: There is no reason to write anything else on fascism because Jonah Goldberg has already treated this subject from a “conservative” point of view, and everyone who counts, including Ted Cruz and the New York Times Bestseller list, has recognized the brilliance and comprehensiveness of Jonah’s scholarship. Or: the Germans and Austrians were entirely responsible for World War One because Victor Davis Hanson and Max Boot say so. What supposedly seals the case is that the Weekly Standard ran an article maintaining that Kaiser Bill planned to invade the US as soon as he finished off “democratic” England. Since most of this article was an attack on the “horrid” Germanophile H.L. Mencken, it was unclear whether Mencken was embroiled in the invasion or was simply ready to cheer it on. Let’s not get into Lincoln and the American Civil War, subjects about which there is no significant difference between what the PC Left drums into our heads and what the “conservatives” are proposing as their non-alternative alternative. Tom DiLorenzo may have to devote the rest of his earthly existence to the “conservative” defenders of the “conservative” Lincoln, trying to change their obstinate minds. I shall gladly leave him this task.
In a less uniformly leftist and less ideologically leftist culture, I would not feel obliged to write my “revisions and dissents,” which is the provisional title of my anthology; nor would other non-leftist revisionist historians have to fight what usually looks like a combined leftist-neocon front on historical questions; nor would I find myself battling “conservative interpretations” of subjects like fascism prepared by culturally illiterate partisan Republicans. Even more depressing is the activity of the Murdoch media, which spits out instant historical interpretations that have no factual content but correspond to neoconservative prejudices or momentary GOP strategy. Each time I encounter this nonsense my blood pressure goes through the roof. The new Authorized Version rarely deviates from what the establishment Left taught us in college and graduate school. But back then one could easily extract alternative views from traditional conservatives, from libertarian authors like Murray Rothbard or from some traditional Marxist who had an interesting take on some historical development. Murdoch and his friends have been able to white out the discussion of alternative historical views from the non-authorized Right. And even worse, they duplicate what they pretend to oppose.
Of course on certain subjects they go their own way, particularly when it comes to the Middle East. I’ve no idea how Murdoch’s Jerusalem Post can pretend that no Palestinian was ever ethnically cleansed during the creation of the Israeli state. In a well-researched dossier, Israeli historian Ilan Pappe puts the figure for non-combatant Palestinians who were killed or driven from the present Israeli territory (excluding the West Bank) at about 800,000. One does not have to be an enemy of the Jewish state (and I am certainly not one) to recognize that Palestinians do have justified historical gripes. Furthermore, their territory was not a land waiting for a people when Jewish settlers arrived from Europe. On this historical point the neocons and their sponsors differ significantly from everyone else, and the rest of the Left may be closer to the truth here than the neoconservatives and establishment Republicans. Also on those very few issues on which “conservative” history now diverges from the opinions of the rest of the Left, the Old Right, or what’s left of one, may find itself closer to the official Left than it is to the faux conservatives.