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What Would Christopher Hitchens Say?

Forecasts of societal demise, if for no reason other than their consistency throughout history, always run the risk of making critics appear hysterical and melodramatic. Even so, one can’t help but wonder whether America has lost the infrastructure necessary to support intellectual greatness.

Christopher Hitchens was born, raised, and educated in England, but as an author and polemicist he acquired his most persuasive power and propulsion in the United States. He wrote his most controversial and skillful essays for American publications, authored biographies of Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine, and became an American citizen at the Jefferson Memorial just a few years before he died of esophageal cancer.

In the introduction to his fifth essay collection, Arguably, he wrote that “the people who must never have power are the humorless. To impossible certainties of rectitude they ally tedium and uniformity.” Under the banner of intellectual exploration, he presented essays on topics as seemingly disparate as the United States Constitution, the literature of Saul Bellow, and oral sex. “An essential element of the American idea,” he noted, “is variety.”

His humbly stated but deeply held conviction on the necessity of argument broadens into a mission statement for aspiring writers: “Still, I like to believe that these small-scale ventures make some contribution to a conversation without limits of proscriptions: the sin qua non of the sort of society that knows to keep the solemn and the pious at bay.”

Since 2011, the year of Hitchens’ death, social media has emerged as dominant in public discourse, and in confirmation of Marshall McLuhan’s “the medium is the message” theory, has largely reduced the conversation Hitchens hoped to inform and enliven to the dueling screams of mobs. The perpetually outraged try not only to impose limits and proscriptions on what topics are suitable for debate and what positions are acceptable to articulate, but seek to enhance the ideological tribalism that makes intellectual independence nearly impossible.

Suffering under the noxious atmosphere of the tweet, slogan, and hashtag, Hitchens now looks like the last public intellectual, that rare thinker with the ability to address a variety of subjects and engage with a diversity of thoughts. The best public intellectuals are those who evade category. Hitchens was a pugnacious atheist, democratic socialist with libertarian sympathies, advocate of neoconservative foreign interventions, and committed foe of the religious right. He was also pro-life, a Bush supporter, and Obama voter who stunned the left with his defense of the Iraq war, and angered the right when he opposed waterboarding and NSA data mining.

No matter the topic or the position, Hitchens’ greatest consistency was his eloquence. A master of the essay and an exemplar of the beauty of the English language, his imagination, acting through the channels of his keyboard and pen, always managed to defy expectations in the demonstration of literary and journalistic excellence.

The legacy of Hitchens is currently under assault from men of lesser talents and inferior intellects. Many leftists have let loose with vomitous declarations that Hitchens was “Islamophobic,” due to his aggressive criticism of Islam, most especially its political application. Matthew Yglesias, in an exhibition of his own ignorance on the subject, recently posted to Twitter [1] that he often imagines how annoying he would find Hitchens’ pro-Trump columns if the writer were still alive today.

change_me

Set aside Yglesias’s poor taste in implying that he is relieved Hitchens died of cancer: it is impossible to imagine Hitchens defending, much less supporting, the anti-intellectual con artistry of Donald Trump.

Another affront came from evangelical promoter Larry Taunton, who wrote a book based on two brief discussions with Hitchens in which he claimed against evidence and in direct contradiction to the testimony of his subject’s close friends that as Hitchens neared his death he was on the verge of a Christian conversion.

Perhaps the worst insult to Hitchens, though, came from Bill Maher, who despite his claims of friendship with the author, seems to have never read his actual work. While interviewing juvenile shock jock Milo Yiannopoulos, Maher called him the “young, gay Christopher Hitchens.” This was the same Yiannopoulos whose aborted and recently exposed manuscript for Simon & Schuster was festooned with editorial comments imploring him to inform himself on basic matters of history and politics, and stop making jokes about black men’s penises. It seems unlikely that a similar note ever appeared in the margins of Hitchens’ books on the Parthenon or George Orwell.

It is unfortunate, but not unpredictable, that many of today’s pundits and commentators would have difficulty appreciating Hitchens, because his work, method for intellectual growth, and refusal to conform to ideological label or expectation is almost alien in contemporary American discourse.

Cass Sunstein, in Republic.com and its sequel Republic.com 2.0, began documenting in 2001 what has now become as troubling as it is obvious. Despite having the Library of Congress at our fingertips, most Americans consume news and opinion for the main purpose of bias reinforcement. This has resulted in political coverage that plays a similar role to pornography, one of the most popular forms of entertainment on the Internet. It allows the reader to satisfy himself, constantly finding validation for his own ideas, never straying into the challenging or uncomfortable.

This polarity and tribalism is fertile ground for partisans who pose as public intellectuals, and in the process produce writing that is boring because it is formulaic. Ta-Nehisi Coates is possibly, at present, the most fashionable and recognizable essayist in America. But with the notable exception of his sociopathic confession that he felt no sadness or anger on September 11, 2001, has he ever written a sentence that his readers could not finish for him?

Writers now function as brands of regular programming, comparable to a classic rock radio station playing songs by The Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Bruce Springsteen. And just as the inclusion of George Jones or Jay-Z in the afternoon rotation would cause many loyal listeners to change the dial, so, too, is Coates unlikely to argue that America is a complex society, not entirely defined by its history and legacy of white supremacy.

Hitchens did not broadcast according to the standard format, and for that reason, beautifully failed to provide comfort to one partisan tribe. In his essay “Fetal Distraction” for Vanity Fair, he carefully examined conflicting perspectives on the moral, political, and legal dilemma of abortion, where he found justification for all but the most extreme positions, and confessed that he once accompanied a former lover for the termination of her pregnancy. He was equally punishing and forgiving to feminists who claim to protect “freedom of choice” as he was to those who claim to defend “the sanctity of life.”

He concluded that “The only moral losers in this argument are those who say that there is no conflict, and nothing to argue about. The irresoluble conflict of right with right was Hegel’s definition of tragedy, and tragedy is inseparable from human life, and no advance in science or medicine is ever going to enable us to evade that.”

The contemporary publication of a similar essay would likely elicit both accusations of misogyny and claims that the author supported murder.

Most tragic among many developments unfavorable for the maintenance of a lively intellectual culture has been the steady debasement of language. Hitchens’ greatest gift was his rhetorical talent. When essays and commentary are consumed solely for the purposes of ideological affirmation, eloquence is secondary to argument. Norman Mailer, a man of the left, once explained his annual donation to William F. Buckley’s National Review with the words, “Good writing wins the day.” It was good writing that enabled Hitchens to thrive as a public intellectual, in spite of the challenges and frustrations he presented to liberals and conservatives alike.

Political debate and cultural discourse are poorer for Hitchens’ absence. Considering that one of his rules for young writers was to “never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity,” if he were still alive, he would have plenty to say about our current abysmal state of affairs. The mystery is whether or not anyone would still have the open mind and ear to hear it.

David Masciotra (www.davidmasciotra.com [2]) is the author of Mellencamp: American Troubadour (University Press of Kentucky), Barack Obama: Invisible Man (Eyewear Publishing), and the forthcoming Half-Lights at Evening: Essays on Hope (Agate Publishing).

48 Comments (Open | Close)

48 Comments To "What Would Christopher Hitchens Say?"

#1 Comment By EliteCommInc. On January 9, 2018 @ 10:58 pm

The problem is that most of the country is dissatisfied with where intellectual discourse has led in real terms of bread, butter and national identity.

#2 Comment By Richard W. Bray On January 9, 2018 @ 11:05 pm

It’s easy to imagine Hitchens supporting Trump. Nothing motivated the man more than hatred, and he hated his former Oxford classmate Bill Clinton and his wife as much as anything.

Hitchens also hated Mother Teresa and he was highly contemptuous of people who lack the requisite foolishness to become nicotine addicts.

Christopher Hitchens was a pathetic coward who went on publicly supporting the Iraq war after privately informing Andrew Sullivan of his serious doubts about that idiotic fiasco which he had done so much to promote.

#3 Comment By Donald On January 10, 2018 @ 12:59 am

Hitchens was a shallow man who squandered his gifts defending stupid positions. He loved the spotlight and rather obviously believed he was the second coming of George Orwell.

#4 Comment By Donald On January 10, 2018 @ 1:06 am

One other point. If you are honest with yourself you will notice that there are very intelligent people on all parts of the political spectrum, and you can find a smart person somewhere willing to defend virtually any position no matter how ludicrous or vile. Once you understand that, the fact that someone like Hitchens was obviously intelligent and well read and could write will no longer seem quite so important when you see some of the positions he took.

#5 Comment By Robert E. On January 10, 2018 @ 1:46 am

Hitchens legacy has largely been tied to the fortunes of larger “New Atheism” movement he was apart of, which was probably the greatest example of the fall of an intellectual group since the Young Hegelians were decimated by Marx.

Another similarity between these two groups was their ability to isolate those who would otherwise seem inclined to agree with them.

Does Hitchens deserve this? I think Masciotra gives a powerful argument that no, he doesn’t. I guess it depends on whether you feel he was an honest intellectual or just something of a gadfly.

It is easy to see the need for even gadflys in our day though, as I can definitely feel the dreadful predictability in most public “intellectuals” that is spoken of in this essay.

#6 Comment By Fazal Majid On January 10, 2018 @ 1:49 am

He was first a Marxist, then a warmongering sycophant to the Neocons. You would do better following his brother Peter Hitchens instead, as he had much greater clarity of vision.

#7 Comment By Tom S. On January 10, 2018 @ 6:39 am

Hitchens would have been in heaven had he lived. He could have continued skewering the Clintons, and Trump would have been a fish in a barrel for his rhetorical harpoons.

#8 Comment By Cash On January 10, 2018 @ 8:26 am

Hitchens never wrote anything memorable. Which is why the comparisons to Orwell are so wrongheaded. I once read all of Orwell’s collected journalism and decades later I still remember what he had to say about TS Eliot or Dickens or some amazing turn of phrase. Five minutes after reading Hitchens I’ve forgotten what the piece was about. No other English language writer wrote more and said less.

#9 Comment By VikingLS On January 10, 2018 @ 8:30 am

Hitchens loathed the Clintons. He would have supported anyone who ran against Hillary. He also hated to abandon a position once he had staked it out. Like Richard Bray, I could easily have seen him supporting Trump purely out of his hatred of the Clintons, and then continuing to defend Trump rather than admit he made an error.

Hitchens was quite capable, and you can see this in his antireligous arguments, of dressing up childish arguments in eloquent prose. Americans are too easily impressed by this, and too easily impressed by a posh British accent.

Hitchens was at times brilliant and insightful, but at others he seemed more to just be trying to be contrary for the sake of getting a rise out of others. That, I think, is what Maher meant by saying Milo Yiannopoulos reminded him of being a younger, gayer, Hitchens. (Remember as well that Hitchens didn’t even attempt to make an argument to Maher’s audience, he just made an obscene hand gesture.)

I do wish Hitchens was alive because I would have liked to have heard what he had to say about current events, but you can’t simply imagine he’d have said what you would have liked him to have said.

#10 Comment By Sensei Rich On January 10, 2018 @ 8:43 am

There is zero chance Hitchens would have supported Trump, or really anyone in the current GOP. Aside from the overt bigotry Trump and his ilk continually display, Hitchens would have equally despised the Republicans willful ignorance and denial of science.

#11 Comment By Trevor On January 10, 2018 @ 9:27 am

Your comment about Larry Taunton is demonstrably false. I would suggest reading the book in its entirety before jumping to any such conclusions.

It’s a wonderful book about their friendship and search for truth. It should be read by everyone IMO.

#12 Comment By Paul De Palma On January 10, 2018 @ 9:36 am

What would he say? One might hope “sorry” would be among the first words out of his mouth for defending the Iraq war with its half a million or so deaths and a region in chaos.

#13 Comment By The Dean On January 10, 2018 @ 9:42 am

Christopher Hitchens being quoted at TAC? Really? He was a classic case of a well spoken intellectual atheist bereft of a moral plumb line. All I remember was his sonorous delivery on talk shows denouncing God and making fun of St. Mother Theresa of Calcutta.
Bright, educated and full of himself. When will writers and social commentators of his ilk realize that the vast majority of Americans see them as nothing more than amusing flotsam.

#14 Comment By Jack On January 10, 2018 @ 10:59 am

Surprised to see the odious Christopher Hitchens lauded in The American Conservative. He was unrelentingly pugilistic in his hatred of Christianity and Christians.

#15 Comment By Gary Seth On January 10, 2018 @ 11:21 am

That we lost Christopher Hitchens way too soon completely
validates the proposition that ” God Is Not Great “

#16 Comment By Donald On January 10, 2018 @ 11:31 am

To be fair, Hitchens wrote some really interesting essays even towards the end of his life. Here is an example—

[3]

There are many others. But most of what he wrote about both foreign policy after 9/11 and about religion in general was motivated by a fanatical posturing self righteousness. When you salivate over the prospect of war as Hitchens did then you aren’t that different from the fascists, jihadists, and Stalinists. Hitchens ended up as a typical public intellectual who loved bloodshed in a noble cause.

#17 Comment By JLF On January 10, 2018 @ 12:02 pm

Times have certainly changed. There is certainly no longer a place for Hitchens and his ilk. Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said that everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but no on is entitled to his own facts. Until now, that is. The internet gives “authority” to all kinds of contradictory “facts” and supports the most outrageous nonsense. Consequently, there is no need to challenge one’s assumptions because those assumptions can be “demonstrably” correct. I know mine are, although I can’t vouch for yours.

#18 Comment By Dimitri Cavalli On January 10, 2018 @ 12:06 pm

Until the end of his life, Christopher Hitchens remained an apologist for revolutionary terror, as evidenced by his admiration for Trotsky, and mass murder, as evidenced by his admiration for Lenin.

Hitchens would have been perfect for Twitter, in the sense that it’s a perfect vehicle for name-calling.

A search of Hitchens’ articles dating back to the 1970s shows that his favorite insults were “fascist,” “reactionary,” and “idiot.”

This conservative (neo- and paleo-) obsession with this repulsive publicity-seeker and overgrown child is embarassing.

#19 Comment By Liam On January 10, 2018 @ 12:18 pm

He was a good hater.

If and when one grows out of adolescence, that stales much more quickly.

#20 Comment By VikingLS On January 10, 2018 @ 12:22 pm

“There is zero chance Hitchens would have supported Trump, or really anyone in the current GOP. Aside from the overt bigotry Trump and his ilk continually display, Hitchens would have equally despised the Republicans willful ignorance and denial of science.”

He supported Bush and he supported Thatcher. He hated Princess Diana and Mother Therese. He hated the Clintons so much he betrayed the confidence of a friend to get a shot at them.

I don’t know that he would or wouldn’t have supported Trump, but to suggest he wouldn’t have supported Trump because he was above that? No he wasn’t.

Remember, Hitchens despised Clinton for executing a brain damaged black man, but supported George W Bush who made a joke of executing a black woman.

Hitchens was way to inconsistent for any of us (and I overstated it above myself, though my guess is he would have sided with Trump because of his hatred of both the Clintons and Islam, but that is a guess.) what he would and wouldn’t have done.

#21 Comment By Nicolas Martin On January 10, 2018 @ 12:46 pm

Hitchens was a pop intellectual. He was witty but not wise, and his analysis was shallow. The perfect Bill Maher guest.

#22 Comment By BobS On January 10, 2018 @ 12:50 pm

Whatever he would have said, you’d have wanted to catch him saying it early in the morning. Anytime after lunch and he’d have been slurring his words too much for anyone but another drunk to understand.

#23 Comment By Cynthia McLean On January 10, 2018 @ 1:15 pm

He was a mean dude. I shed no tears when he died.

#24 Comment By Kara Bismarck On January 10, 2018 @ 1:16 pm

I would love to hear more, but Fox News is the only mainstream alternative; I tried, and still occasionally give it a shot, I just get too frustrated. As you may have guessed, my television news comes mostly from MSNBC; however, I do realize that it is also conforming to my main beliefs.

Your article brought me sheer joy, and I would like to thank you for your intelligent perspective. I am mostly socially left, but open to all sides, if presented intelligently, on other issues.

Hopefully you won’t mind having me as a grateful new follower.

Your article was such a relief to a pain of which I wasn’t aware.

#25 Comment By George On January 10, 2018 @ 1:21 pm

His brother Peter Hitchens is still alive and writing. And wiser than Christopher ever was. (Maybe a tie for articulation skills.)

#26 Comment By Ron Powell On January 10, 2018 @ 1:42 pm

Many of the criticisms of Hitchens in these responses simply reinforce the thesis put forward by the author. To wit, what does belief in a God, much less Christianity, have to do with being a conservative (or a liberal, for that matter.)? Similarly, Mother Teresa deserved to be mocked for her absurd belief that being impoverished was somehow noble and a gift from God. Defend Henry Kissinger, or Bill Clinton’s dissembles? Go for it. I’m with Hitch.

#27 Comment By LFM On January 10, 2018 @ 1:50 pm

I was sometimes daunted, although seldom convinced, by his arguments when I was younger. As I grew older, I discovered that any time I actually knew something about a subject he had taken on, he was either wrong or ignorant or both. A minor, non-ideological example (insofar as H was ever non-ideological): he once wrote an essay about the horror that was Martha Stewart (!), in his view a kind of bourgeoise bitch-goddess encouraging people to spend money they did not have, and ignoring the fact that Stewart, in reviving semi-lost arts like basic cooking, sewing and home repair skills, could actually help people to save money.

In that piece, he was especially incensed over her ‘waste’ of an expensive loaf of bread to make a bread bowl for salad, apparently unaware that one uses the innards of the bread bowl to make croutons for the salad. As I said, not an especially ideological piece, but it shows how carelessly he tossed off his writing, always aiming at easy targets and without taking the trouble to think about what he was saying, beyond trying to make it sound clever and amusing.

#28 Comment By Jeeves On January 10, 2018 @ 1:58 pm

Sorry to see so many and such a variety of Hitchens haters in these comments. He probably did his case for being a public intellectual no favors by his frequent television appearances. But I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that were he alive, he wouldn’t have a Twitter account.

#29 Comment By David Nash On January 10, 2018 @ 2:01 pm

What books/articles I have read by Hitchens call to mind the condemnation of Henry Drummond against the journalist Hornbeck — “You never pushed a noun against a verb except to blow up something.”

#30 Comment By EarlyBird On January 10, 2018 @ 2:04 pm

I really, really miss Hitchens. He was a great writer because he was a great thinker. He was a great thinker because he was, in his way, a great man.

The closest we have to this kind of public intellectual currently is a friend of Hitchens and fellow Brit-cum-American, Andrew Sullivan. Sullivan gave up on his daily blog due to intellectual and physical exhaustion, but he now does a post in the New York magazine every Friday which is hugely valuable. Unlike Hitchens, he gets worked up. But like Hitchens, Sullivan’s first and last agenda is to simply state the truth as he can grasp it. He’s brave.

#31 Comment By joseph hyde On January 10, 2018 @ 2:17 pm

Oh my, what a sorry lot of HitchenHaters. I loved him and his work, agreed with most of his positions, and when I disagreed, I could readily comprehend his position. I’m grateful for his contribution, wish him the best wherever his spirit has gone, and hope he’s having a lovely conversation with Vonnegut over tea.

#32 Comment By Adriel Kasonta On January 10, 2018 @ 3:04 pm

“My brother never joined anything which could be called ‘the Right’. He remained a Marxists and an admirer of Leon Trotsky till the day he died. People who classify him as having been on the right do not understand the ways in which revolutionary Marxism has altered since the collapse of the USSR. Intelligent revolutionaries, whose main aims have always been internationalist, globalist and multicultural, now seek to pursue their aims through supranational bodies, such as the EU, and interventionist liberalism, such as that now practised by the USA.” – Peter Hitchens on his brother in our interview from 2016: [4]

#33 Comment By MM On January 10, 2018 @ 3:27 pm

“There is zero chance Hitchens would have supported Trump, or really anyone in the current GOP.”

I’m pretty sure I know how Hitch would’ve felt about the modern Left, identity politics, Antifa, and the continuing assault on free speech in the public sphere.

But I suspect he’d probably have sat out the 2016 election, while excoriating both of the major party candidates…

#34 Comment By Jeff pulver On January 10, 2018 @ 5:19 pm

Mr. Hitchens did one thing above all else.spoke his mind and did not have to apologize for any of it. He gave reason after reason for his opinions he welcomed the challenge. Which is quite a bit more than most baffoons who have left there comments here would ever agree to do.somebody commented on his being a coward…he was anything but….sounds like the haters are only validating their own projection… pity.Mr. hitchens you are sorely missed!

#35 Comment By Dale On January 10, 2018 @ 6:34 pm

Keep on truckin’, Hitch.

#36 Comment By TimG On January 10, 2018 @ 11:45 pm

Ditto to Trevor.

You obviously haven’t read or paid attention to Taunton’s book.

His main point is the capacity of Hitchens to hold surprising points of view and attitudes, wherever he ended up spiritually. Additionally his description of Hitchen’s friendship and loyalty paints him in a very positive light.

It’s a very fair book for all the ire and insecurity it stirred up among atheists.

#37 Comment By Donald On January 11, 2018 @ 11:45 am

“Mr. Hitchens did one thing above all else.spoke his mind and did not have to apologize for any of it.”

This is a precise demonstration why the Hitchens worship is ultimately shallow. If you are a public intellectual worth taking seriously, then you are responsible for what you say. And if some of your opinions were wrong, you owe it to people to admit it. But if you are a celebrity intellectual, then the whole point is to be entertaining. The idea that you have an obligation to get it right and to apologize if you get it wrong is a category mistake if applied to Hitchens.

#38 Comment By Tom Piatak On January 11, 2018 @ 1:23 pm

There was a time when this magazine had a different view of Hitchens:
[5]

#39 Comment By Terry Benoit On January 11, 2018 @ 4:11 pm

Hitch was not a serious man. From his takedown of M. Teresa (would-be saints need a serious takedown – this wasn’t it), through the Clinton Wars, past Gulf War II, up to his comments on believers in god, he was a braying ass. To paraphrase Krugman, commenting on another person, he was a stupid person’s idea of what a smart person is. For god’s sake, he made Alex Cockburn seem thoughtful and considerate in comparison.

#40 Comment By VikingLS On January 11, 2018 @ 4:52 pm

@Donald

That’s a good summation, although, to be fair, almost NOBODY is held accountable for their opinions not bearing out nor does being right actually result in people taking you more seriously in the future. That’s why you are actually more likely to see Christopher Hitchens or David Brooks praised on this website than Pat Buchanan or Bill Kaufman.

#41 Comment By KD On January 11, 2018 @ 5:43 pm

Please, Peter Hitchens is still alive and a much sharper thinker and writer.

#42 Comment By Dale On January 11, 2018 @ 5:58 pm

Tom Piatak:
“There was a time when this magazine had a different view of Hitchens”

Thank you for posting a link to your contribution to TAC from 2005. Neither yours, nor that of David Masciotra were written by “this magazine.”

#43 Comment By Ed On January 11, 2018 @ 7:24 pm

I looked forward to reading his late literary essays in the Atlantic, though honestly, he never said anything really new. It was book chat, reassuring rehashes of what he’d already said and what people were thinking in England when he was young — nothing especially valuable, but nothing particularly pernicious either, the sort of values chat you find in many periodicals. Nothing terribly wrong with that.

I can’t say I enjoyed his political (or religious, or rather, anti-religious) stuff. He seemed to go out of his way to be offensive, whatever phase of his development he was in. Maybe Hitch should have split the difference and been less rebarbative and his political scribblings and less anodyne in his literary criticism.

#44 Comment By Jeremy Buxton On January 11, 2018 @ 9:41 pm

Christopher Hitchens was a great writer and, for all his failings such as his attacks on mother Theresa, a truly good man who called jihadist evil for what it was. He so well described the War on Terror as “the war in defence of everything I love against everything I hate”. Amen to that! When he died I gave thanks in my church for the life of an atheist who stood up against the worst deniers of God, the jihadist criminals.
Peter Hitchens however is a gifted writer whose reactionary stance gives conservatism a bad name.

#45 Comment By Donald On January 12, 2018 @ 7:58 am

VikingLS—

Fair point. Most professional punditry is just for entertainment or for telling people what they want to hear. It infects the entire political culture. Judged on that standard, Hitch was very good. He wrote well, was well read, and was pretty consistently entertaining.

#46 Comment By joell On January 12, 2018 @ 1:16 pm

Hitchens proudly admitted that he “routinely drank enough to floor a mule.” I remember seeing him live on C-span one morning, disheveled and obviously very hungover. During his last years, I stopped taking him seriously and reading his articles.

#47 Comment By pkn On January 29, 2018 @ 5:59 pm

Despite our being on opposite ends of things economic there was very little I disagreed with in his writings. His fall from grace was his support for the Iraq war, dislike of radical Islam/religion, and his early revulsion to the Clinton’s. Had he remained silent on those issues he would be revered as he was prior to his heresies.

#48 Comment By Jana Mackay On April 9, 2018 @ 8:53 pm

I wish this were really shocking. But there are obviously a vast number of people who are unbelievably ignorant of who Christopher Hitchens was, and who have either cherry picked what they read or read nothing at all of what he wrote. They probably only watched some YouTube — no reading required. They know who they are.