At War (or Not) with the "Elites"
In addition to the Peggy Noonan
column (already cited in my post below
) there are some of good links worth exploring on this question of an American/conservative/Tea Party backlash against so-called "elites."
One is this column by Anne Applebaum
which Jonah Goldberg lays to waste here
. Applebaum then responds to Jonah
, and Jonah responds--again
--to Applebaum. Note, too, this oldie but goodie
from the Goldberg files.
The dangers of populist anger (like the dangers of all anger
in politics) are nothing new and nothing to be dismissed. Every expression of popular outrage and exasperation, however, does not constitute some vast threat to the health of the republic. There is such a thing as righteous anger and, even when it is clumsily expressed, a wise student of politics does well to consider the complaint on its merits (and as it was obviously intended) rather than to scour it for what amounts to the equivalent of spelling errors and a few over-broad generalizations. The political philosopher, Leo Strauss, is noted (when he isn't being attacked as the god-father of warmongers) for making the very sensible and irrefutable point that if you want to understand a text or the work of a great author, you have to understand that author the way that he understood himself. It seems to me that this maxim is desperately needed by more than a few would-be observers of American life and the American people. It's not fair to be critical of them or of it until that kind of clarity is achieved.
1:59 PM / October 14, 2010
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