Christian Schneider, a “conservative” columnist for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, wonders what went wrong. Here’s part of his lament:
But it’s also possible that us eggheads, sitting behind our glowing screens philosophizing about voter behavior, stopped actually going out and talking to real voters. Just as modern technology allows members of each party to live in their own virtual reality — a conservative can now go the entire day without reading or hearing a dissenting viewpoint — that same technology can cause internecine fractures within parties themselves.
For instance, a conservative who listens to talk show radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin or Sean Hannity likely has a far different assessment of the Republican Party than those who curl up with copies of National Review or the Weekly Standard, or even my regular column. While ostensibly working for the same goals, these groups might not even recognize each other if they walked by each other on the street.
Missing from his tua culpa is any recognition that his vaunted Republican intelligentsia has been complicit in rationalizing Republican lies, such as trickle-on economoics and the Great and Glorious Patriot Lie for Irag, and Republican bigotry, such as the right-wing culture war, mass incarceration, and the war on
black and brown people drugs.
The difference between the “conservative intelligentsia” and Rush Limbaugh is a difference in style only.
Genteel venality is still venality.