728 x 90
728 x 90
728 x 90
728 x 90
728 x 90

Deconstructing the Lefty Magazine “The Nation”

Deconstructing the Lefty Magazine “The Nation”

Above: Barack Obama is one of the many high-powered supporters of this supposedly “dissenting” magazine.

This article was first published at Townhall.com on June 19, 2024.

It’s fun to read how “progressive” publications and organizations promote themselves to their gullible base.

One way is by spinning conspiracy theories—yes, this from the folks who often  decry their opponents as “conspiracy theorists.” For example, there was the Georgetown law professor who titillated her Washington Post readership with fears about how “extremist, dangerous, and unconstitutional constitutional sheriffs” (who actually might number a few dozen nationwide) posed an existential threat to the republic. Ironically, one of her suggestions for preserving “Our Democracy” was to abolish elections for sheriff and replace them with appointment.

Then there was the Newsweek article ““Millions of Angry, Armed Americans Stand Ready to Seize Power If Trump Loses in 2024.”  The grounds for this silly claim were statistics showing that more Americans were buying guns and that gun-buyers were disproportionately white and rural.

Leftist groups such as Common Cause also like to scare their readers by claiming the conservative “Convention of States” movement is a deep, secret conspiracy.

The Nation

However, one of my more enjoyable recent reads was a promotional mailer sent out by The Nation. This is a magazine that has long been a feature of the far Left.

Interestingly, the mailer was directed to my mother at my current address. But my mother never lived at that address. And she was a Republican. And she has been dead for nearly five years. This gives you an idea of how current and “with it” the folks at The Nation are.

Anyway, I know my mom would not begrudge me a good time, so I opened the mailer.

Its basic pitch amounts to this: The Nation is a courageous, independent, progressive mag that practices bold, fearless journalism. It engages in the dissent needed to protect “Our Democracy.” It speaks truth to power. So send us money!

Along with its appeal to those who fancy themselves hip and independent, The Nation adds in some hate. It includes, of course, the de rigueur sliming of former President Trump. But there is a lot more: Those with other viewpoints are liars. Pro-lifers “couldn’t care less about the living.” An adviser to former President Trump on Supreme Court nominations is a “supervillain.” The Southern Baptist Convention has made a “deal with the devil.”

If its website is any measure, The Nation doesn’t much like Israel either.

I started to read The Nation in high school. It has been a staunch promoter of more government intervention in our lives. In the latest mailer, it expresses outrage that a government water system is being privatized and that government is not diverting even more of our money into social programs. (How much more do they need?) Like other leftists, it regularly attacks our “mediating institutions”—that is, the organizations that stand between the individual and the central power: traditional families, local governments, religious organizations, and so forth.

Now, you might well ask: How can The Nation say it is supporting dissent and “speaking truth to power” and then promote giving more power for the powerful? Do they understand what they are doing?

The Endgame

The mailer provides a clue. It features two lists of people who endorse or have endorsed The Nation. Both lists are rosters of the rich and powerful. The living endorsers include Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, some U.S. Senators, mainstream media figures, and other stalwarts of the Washington, D.C. regime. Other endorsers, like Franklin Roosevelt, are no longer alive (although I think FDR might have some reservations if he saw today’s version). But what all of them have in common is that they are or were major figures in the relentless growth of central government power at the expense of everything else.

During the 1970s, when I was in law school and the Soviet Union was still tyrannizing hundreds of millions of people, I used to spend some of my spare time in the university library reading Soviet journals. Communism was still very much a threat to the United States, and I wanted to know as much about our adversaries as possible.

One of my favorite Soviet sources was a magazine called New Times. Like the rest of the Communist press, it was subject to tight censorship and it followed the official party line. But New Times did not present itself as a party-line publication. It presented itself as a liberal, open-minded alternative to more rigidly-Communist outlets.

But the New Times wasn’t really pulling something over on the censors. On the contrary, its “liberal” and “independent” posture made it more attractive to naïve people who thought of themselves as liberal and independent. This rendered them easier to propagandize.

The Nation is the New Times of the establishment Left. It assumes an independent and fearless image, but it serves the political goals of the federal “monster state.” I don’t know if the editors at The Nation are conscious of this or not. But that is the effect of what they do.

Rob Natelson