The Toadyism of the Small-Minded Bookstore
Alan Dershowitz recently said that it’s not worth it to shop in small, independent bookstores anymore. None of them carry any books that go against the leftist slant of the owners. You won’t find a copy of Dershowitz’s new tome, Get Trump.
Dershowitz is right, but in my view there is a more nuanced argument to make. Independent bookstores are free to cater to the demands of their customers. It’s fine to specialize. What is so irritating is the pretentious virtue-signaling done by small leftist bookstores. They claim to be places of light-filled wisdom, diversity and enlightenment. In fact they are politically correct propaganda mills. It’s the smugness that is so grating.
They’re Not Actually Diverse
Take, for example, Politics and Prose, a famous independent bookstore in Washington, D.C. A leftist Mecca, P & P advertises itself as open-minded, diverse (of course), LGBTQ, and against the banning of books. So why would P & P not carry or promote my book, The Devil’s Triangle: Mark Judge vs the New American Stasi? As many Stream readers know, it recounts the nightmare I lived in 2018 when the Democrats tried to draw me into the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination. Using opposition researchers, lies, extortion attempts and even an attempted honey trap, the Stasi left tried to bury me and my high school friend.
So let’s break this down. Politics and Prose is a bookstore in Washington, D.C. that has a special interest in Washington politics. Past speakers have included Ruth Marcus and Dahlia Lithwick, two insufferable leftists who were featured promoting their anti-Kavanaugh books. A forthcoming speaker is Joan Biskupic, CNN Supreme Court reporter and the author of — wait for it — a new anti-Kavanaugh book called Nine Black Robes.
I am a native Washingtonian. My grandfather was a professional baseball player for the Washington Senators. My father worked for National Geographic, a D.C. institution. My late brother won the Helen Hayes Award in 1986, given to the best actor in Washington, D.C. I was born in Washington, I went to school here, I committed journalism here. In 2018 I was thrust into one of the most explosive political battles of the 21st century. Every media outlet in America wanted to talk to me. The Washington Post did hit pieces on me. Reporters harassed my friends and family. I wrote a book detailing what was done — a book that uses evidence to directly refute many of the books that have been featured at Politics and Prose.
My book, The Devil’s Triangle, is not stocked by Politics and Prose.
We Can See What They Worship
I repeat: Bookstores can cater to whomever they want. One of my favorite all-time bookstores was the Newman Bookstore at Catholic University, where I was an undergrad. Newman catered to the Catholic community around the university. If you needed a copy of Hans Urs Von Balthasar’s The Glory of the Lord, and it was the days before Amazon, that’s where you went to find it. At one point Newman was in the basement of a small campus building near the railroad tracks, and I remember how cool it was — in both senses of that word — to visit there in the high summer.
In those undergraduate days, I shopped both at Newman and at Politics and Prose. I am a Catholic and Catholic writers like George Weigel, Teresa of Avila and Dietrich von Hildebrand always had the best arguments to me about the meaning of life. Still, I had intellectual curiosity and wanted to see what the communists at P & P were up to. I would also go to Borders Books — remember them? — to get some trashy pulp fiction for the beach. I loved Jim Thompson; his masterpieces like The Killer Inside Me and Savage Night were too hot for both Newman and P & P.
In short, I had, and have, diverse interests. I always come back to the Christian books that ultimately convinced me about the truth of Jesus Christ, that he is God and love and light and mercy. While they deny it, liberals have their own theology. In a sense, Politics and Prose is like the old Newman Bookstore, except they cater not to God but to the High Church of Socialism. To them, I’m the devil.
Mark Judge is a writer and filmmaker in Washington, D.C. His new book is The Devil’s Triangle: Mark Judge vs the New American Stasi.