Two out of the five featured articles this week are behind a paywall or require a subscription. I really enjoy your content but get frustrated when the highlighted articles require a commitment of some kind. Can you please highlight content that doesn’t require a commitment, or get a pass for your readers?

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Another great round of articles! However, Boghessian's piece was rather confusing. He seems to imply that we give Ibram X Kendi's (mis)management of significant resources a free pass, so that we can focus on debating his ideas...which Boghessian then states have already been roundly refuted by the scholars he names. Huh? Calling out Kendi as a fraud for his misuse of funds is absolutely key and relevant to dismantling (to use woke's favorite word...) his fallacious arguments and morally repugnant freak show. Antiracism was never anything but a front for black-directed racism and black supremacy driven by misanthropy, anomie, narcissism, and nihilism. His abuse of power is a legitimate and necessary point of dissention worthy of analysis and illumination. It's irrefutable proof of hypocrisy, greed, incompetence, and bad intent. Our society has already been seriously debating and analyzing his intellectually fraudulent ideas for long enough. Now it is time to put his and his compatriots' actions under a microscope.

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Politics makes for strange bedfellows. Sometimes simply being the enemy of the enemy is enough to make a bedfellow an ally and friend. Sometimes the enemy of one's enemy is so problematic that their mere presence in an alliance would enough to deter other potential allies from joining the cause. That is the case with Peter Boghossian. His uncritical acceptance of Viktor Orbán's hospitality disqualifies him from holding a seat at the friends and allies' table.

It's not necessary to describe Mr. Boghossian's infatuation with the now-lliberal and anti-democratic Hungary here. The New Republic already did it in a piece titled "The University of Austin Goes to Hungary." The lede reads: "Some of the 'classical liberals' who founded an ersatz college for 'free speech' sure seem more at home in Viktor Orbán’s repressive regime." Unlike Mr. Bohgossian's article, this one is not behind a paywall. https://newrepublic.com/article/168080/university-austin-hungary-shapiro-boghossian

The following excerpt captures Mr. Boghossian's attitude toward the dissent-free society Orbán has created after hollowing out Hungary's constitutional democracy:

"As his conversation . . . progressed, it became clearer that Boghossian’s affection for Hungary had less to do with a high-minded commitment to 'the liberty of others' and more to do with, well, his own feelings. 'You know when you go to a place and you can just feel it? It feels comfortable, safe,' Boghossian tells [Ilya] Shapiro. (In May, the chair of MCC [the Mathias Corvinus Collegium], who is also Orbán’s political director, told The Guardian that American right-wingers 'see Hungary as a conservative safe space.') As Boghossian describes it: 'Hungary is a place where people go if they’ve had enough and they’re fucking sick of it, or they want a taste for where it’s like where they can say anything that they want without being accused of anything heinous. I’ve experienced nothing but freedom here.… This place is like paradise to me' . . ."

Mr. Boghossian's criticism of Ibram X. Kendi (who, in the opinion of many, is an intellectual and a race grifter) is welcome, of course, even if Boghossian is in a minority in characterizing the sex-obsessed red-baiterJames Linsday's output as "quality scholarship."

However, Mr. Boghossian has earned his case of guilt by association. This is how the highly acclaimed Jacob Heilbrunn* summarizes the situation in Hungary in an essay that explores the American right's fascination with Orbán:

"The right’s ardor for Orbán has prompted some performative confusion in Western media. An Economist headline asked, 'Why Is the American Right Obsessed With Viktor Orbán?' And an article in The Hill by Kim Lane Scheppele, a sociology professor at Princeton, was titled: 'Orbán Dazzles US Conservatives—What Do They See in Him?'

The most common answer is that Orbán has made Hungary a laboratory for the conversion of a liberal democracy into an authoritarian state. The thinking goes like this: For an American right fascinated (in an obviously self-interested manner) by the creation and maintenance of minority rule, the formula begins with a crackdown on the press. Snub international institutions (in Orbán’s case, the European Union) and depict the Holocaust survivor George Soros as a diabolical financier. Add in an assault on the rule of law. Finish off any lingering political opposition by gerrymandering it out of existence. . . " https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/08/viktor-orban-american-conservatism-admiration/671205/

Mr. Boghossian is certainly correct that "We can sit at the adult table and have honest, evidence-based discussions about the issues Kendi is trying to address." Let's hope those adults are staunch defenders of liberal, democratic values and systems whose bona fides have not been compromised the way Mr. Boghossian's have by association with the right-wing version of Mr. Kendi's leftist illiberalism.

* "Jacob Heilbrunn is a journalist based in Washington, DC, who serves as both senior editor and contributor to the National Interest. Formerly a member of the editorial board for the Los Angeles Times, and a senior editor for the New Republic, he is currently a regular contributor to the New York Times and Washington Monthly in addition to his efforts for the National Interest. Also, Heilbrunn is the author of They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons, which was published by Doubleday in 2008." https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/heilbrunn-jacob

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