I want to bring to your attention (just briefly and in case you missed it) to something that was said in the comment section under my Conservative Malaise?
post. It seems to me that it is something that merits more thought and consideration than it appears to be getting--even in the best of the critiques of this so-called "brain-death" looming in conservatism.
The commenter "SjB" writes:
"I am one of the 'great unwashed masses' (despised by purists) who is
struggling with the steep learning curve in American politics. I am
also one who has read some of the articles complaining about us with
revulsion . . . Recognize that we are not stupid, you aren't the only ones who would
like to stuff a napkin in Beck's mouth at times. [On the other hand] [r]ealize that Beck
treats us with respect, as do all of the Fox hosts and guests. What do
you offer us? Stop griping, start sharing your knowledge, and help us
get up to speed or please duct tape your keyboard."
Rush always likes to parody those on the left who seem to believe that his audience consists entirely of "mind-numbed-robots"--giving evidence that these leftists have no respect for the autonomy and intelligence of the public. Are there some slack-jawed yokels who hoot and holler and pant with fever after every word some particular host may say? Uhhh, sure. But I'm afraid that it's also true that some "intellectuals" imitate these performances when it comes to their own versions of "rock stars" too . . . The point is that the default assumption ought not to be that any one commentator or intellectual has a monopoly on the truth and, similarly, no one should assume that whenever any given intellectual or commentator makes a misstep or is guilty of an inconsistency, that he and his friends "in the know" are the only ones who see it.
Back when I was a young graduate student and I began to do some teaching on the side, wise professors of mine used to caution me to remember "that guy in the back of the room." The "guy in the back of the room" is the guy who, though quiet and unobtrusive, may know more than you do (and certainly much more than you think he does). When it comes to the occasional (o.k., maybe even the regular) outrageous outbursts of some radio and television personalities, I'd venture to guess that there are a lot more "guys in the back of the room" in the watching and listening public than either side of this debate has been willing to recognize.
The goal of smart conservatives ought to be to draw them in.