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Do As I Say (Not As I Do)
Cover of Do As I Say (Not As I Do)
Do As I Say (Not As I Do)
Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy
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Prominent liberals support a whole litany of policies and principles: progressive taxes, affirmative action, greater regulation of corporations, raising the inheritance tax, strict environmental regulations, children's rights, consumer rights, and more. But do they actually live by these beliefs? Peter Schweizer decided to investigate the private lives of politicians like the Clintons, Nancy Pelosi, the Kennedys, and Ralph Nader; commentators Michael Moore, Al Franken, Noam Chomsky, and Cornel West; entertainers or philanthropists Barbra Streisand and George Soros. Using publicly-available real estate records, IRS returns, court depositions, and their own published statements, he sought to examine whether they lived by the principles they so forcefully advocate.
What he found was a long list of contradictions. Many of these proponents of organized labor had developed various methods to sidestep paying union wages or avoid employing unions altogether. They were also adept at avoiding taxes; invested heavily in corporations they had denounced; took advantage of foreign tax credits to use non-American labor overseas; espoused environmental causes while opposing those that might affect their own property rights; hid their investments in trusts to avoid paying estate tax; denounced oil companies but quietly owned them.
Schweizer's conclusion is simple: liberalism in the end forces its adherents to become hypocrites. They adopt one pose in public, but when it comes to what matters most in their own lives–their property, their privacy, and their children—they jettison their liberal principles and adopt conservative ones. If these ideas don't work for the very individuals who promote them, Schweizer asks, how can they work for the country?
From the Hardcover edition.
Prominent liberals support a whole litany of policies and principles: progressive taxes, affirmative action, greater regulation of corporations, raising the inheritance tax, strict environmental regulations, children's rights, consumer rights, and more. But do they actually live by these beliefs? Peter Schweizer decided to investigate the private lives of politicians like the Clintons, Nancy Pelosi, the Kennedys, and Ralph Nader; commentators Michael Moore, Al Franken, Noam Chomsky, and Cornel West; entertainers or philanthropists Barbra Streisand and George Soros. Using publicly-available real estate records, IRS returns, court depositions, and their own published statements, he sought to examine whether they lived by the principles they so forcefully advocate.
What he found was a long list of contradictions. Many of these proponents of organized labor had developed various methods to sidestep paying union wages or avoid employing unions altogether. They were also adept at avoiding taxes; invested heavily in corporations they had denounced; took advantage of foreign tax credits to use non-American labor overseas; espoused environmental causes while opposing those that might affect their own property rights; hid their investments in trusts to avoid paying estate tax; denounced oil companies but quietly owned them.
Schweizer's conclusion is simple: liberalism in the end forces its adherents to become hypocrites. They adopt one pose in public, but when it comes to what matters most in their own lives–their property, their privacy, and their children—they jettison their liberal principles and adopt conservative ones. If these ideas don't work for the very individuals who promote them, Schweizer asks, how can they work for the country?
From the Hardcover edition.
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  • From the book

    NOAM CHOMSKY


    Social Parasite, Economic
    Protectionist, Amoral Defense
    Contractor



    I never thought a self-described socialist dissident and anti-imperialist crusader could be so thin-skinned.

    I had sent Noam Chomsky several e-mails, questioning him in a mild but insistent way about his personal wealth, investments, and legal maneuvers to avoid paying taxes. What I got back was a stream of invective and some of the most creative logic I have ever seen in my life. No wonder he is considered one of the most important linguists in the world; he's adept at twisting words.
    Noam Chomsky doesn't look like your typical revolutionary. The soft-spoken MIT professor is thin and poorly dressed, with a shy smile and gentle manner. But when he speaks or writes about America, the Pentagon, and capitalism, this self-appointed "champion of the ordinary guy" erupts as if the wrath of God had descended from heaven.

    Chomsky doesn't think America is a free country: "The American electoral system is a series of four-year dictatorships." There is no real free press, only "brainwashing under freedom." In his book What Uncle Sam Really Wants, he describes an America on par with Nazi Germany. "Legally speaking," he says, "there's a very solid case for impeaching every American president since the Second World War. They've all been either outright war criminals or involved in serious war crimes." His views on capitalism? Put it up there with Nazism. Don't even ask about the Pentagon. It's the most vile institution on the face of the earth.

    Chomsky may sound like a crank, but he's a crank taken seriously around the world. Hundreds of thousands of college students read his books. Michael Moore has claimed him as a mentor of sorts, and the leadership of the AFL-CIO has gone to him for political advice. The Guardian declares that he "ranks with Marx, Shakespeare, and the Bible as one of the most quoted sources in the humanities." Robert Barsky, in a glowing biography, claims that Chomsky "will be for future generations what Galileo, Descartes, Newton, Mozart or Picasso have been for ours."(1)

    Though he originally made his name as a professor of linguistics, his political radicalism has made him a superstar. He is embraced by entertainers and actors as some kind of modern-day Buddha. Bono, of the band U2, calls him "the Elvis of Academia." On Saturday Night Live, a cast member carried a copy of his collected works during one skit in obvious homage to him. In the film Good Will Hunting, Matt Damon played a brilliant young man who quotes Chomsky like some Old Testament prophet. The rock band Pearl Jam even featured Chomsky at some of their concerts. With thousands packed into a concert hall, the slender Chomsky would come out onstage and ruminate on the horrors of American capitalism. Other rock bands have proclaimed him their hero, and one even named itself "Chomsky" in veneration.

    Chomsky regularly lectures before thousands of people. In Blue State strongholds like Berkeley, California, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, hundreds are turned away at the door. Even in Texas, the heart of Bush Country, a recent campus appearance brought two thousand to the auditorium. David Barsamian, host of Alternative Radio, explains that the professor "is for many of us our rabbi, our preacher, our rinpoche, our pundit, our imam, our sensei."(2)

    Chomsky plays the part. He dresses simply, proclaims his lack of interest in material things, and holds forth like a modern-day Gandhi. His low-key, deliberate manner is part of his secret. MIT colleague Steven Pinker recalls, "My first impression of him was, like many...

About the Author-
  • Peter Schweizer is a fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author of several books, including Reagan's War. Rochelle Schweizer is a writer and a media consultant. They live in Florida with their two children.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Peter Schweizer takes aim at liberal political figures who he says fail to put their money where their mouths are. With his keen articulation and lightly sardonic style, Grover Gardner is the perfect choice to read these seven profiles in hypocrisy. With a sly twinkle in his voice, Gardner articulates the author's criticism of Noam Chomsky, who condemns American imperialism while charging $12,000 per speaking engagement and storing his gains in offshore accounts. Also profiled are Al Franken, Nancy Pelosi, Barbra Streisand, and the Clintons. Most eye-opening is hearing Gardner gleefully describe Michael Moore, whose criticism of American enterprise smacks up against a $380,000 corporate stock and bond portfolio that has included shares in Merck, McDonald's, General Electric, and Halliburton. S.E.S. (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine
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Do As I Say (Not As I Do)
Do As I Say (Not As I Do)
Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy
Peter Schweizer
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