the maudlin man
Another one of those “this would be funny if it weren’t so sad” moments. Or is it the other way around?
I’ve tried to write about a few of the redeeming qualities conservo-pundits do possess recently, if only to round out the endless criticisms of said pundits from the alt-right. But I’m not sure I can stomach it any more. I think the best policy is to just ignore the frauds or to write them off in as few words as possible – and then point to real, thoughtful conservatives and their contributions. Like this piece from Joe Carter at First Thoughts, for instance:
These St. Georges slaying the liberal dragons are placed beyond reproach. You are no more allowed to question the right’s preferred cult of personality—CoulterHannityBeckLimbaughPaulLevinRandPalinWhoever—than liberals can challenge Obama. Even thinking contrary thoughts about these figures is enough reason for them to question your conservatism (if not your patriotism, manhood, and love for small animals).
The result is that the conservative movement is becoming increasingly ineffective, insular, and irrational—in other words, we’re becoming the mirror image of the political left.
This reliance on personalities rather than ideas is particularly worrisome. Conservatism has never exactly been a bookish movement. And since the rise of talk radio during the Clinton-era, we’ve become accustomed to having ideas and issues presented to us in the form of pre-digested talking points.
But it doesn’t have to be this way, does it? Isn’t it possible that we could create a movement where people read books—real books, not insta-books ghostwritten for a former Morning Zoo DJs or brick-sized political novels about narcissistic atheist industrialists? Is it too much to ask that ideas be presented to us in a sober manner rather than like a dramatic reading of the apocalyptic Left Behind novels? Shouldn’t we hold our pundits and politicians to the same standard of behavior—no screaming, lying, talking gibberish, or fake crying on national television—that we expect of our children?
If not then the movement has morphed into something beyond recognition. I don’t know what this syncretic cult of libertarian populism should be called, but its certainly unworthy of the label “conservative.”