I envy Gerard Alexander for his future hate mail. #rsrh

Because he’s going to get EPIC levels of it.

Why are liberals so condescending?

Every political community includes some members who insist that their side has all the answers and that their adversaries are idiots. But American liberals, to a degree far surpassing conservatives, appear committed to the proposition that their views are correct, self-evident, and based on fact and reason, while conservative positions are not just wrong but illegitimate, ideological and unworthy of serious consideration. Indeed, all the appeals to bipartisanship notwithstanding, President Obama and other leading liberal voices have joined in a chorus of intellectual condescension.

It’s an odd time for liberals to feel smug. But even with Democratic fortunes on the wane, leading liberals insist that they have almost nothing to learn from conservatives. Many Democrats describe their troubles simply as a PR challenge, a combination of conservative misinformation — as when Obama charges that critics of health-care reform are peddling fake fears of a “Bolshevik plot” — and the country’s failure to grasp great liberal accomplishments. “We were so busy just getting stuff done . . . that I think we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are,” the president told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in a recent interview. The benighted public is either uncomprehending or deliberately misinformed (by conservatives).

This condescension is part of a long liberal tradition that for generations has impoverished American debates over the economy, social issues and the functions of government — and threatens to do so again today, when dialogue would be more valuable than ever.

Tells you something about the tenor of our times that I kept expecting to see Alexander pull a bait-and-switch and tell us that what the Left was saying was all true all along, ha-ha.  After all, it’s in the Washington Post (or, as Jim Geraghty called it last year, the Washington Bob McDonnell’s Thesis).  But nope: he meant it.  And then the poor guy invited a response.  I hope he wasn’t expecting one above the level of the intellectual equivalent of a rock through his window…

Via Reason Hit & Run, who also want conservatives to at least acknowledge the heavy lifting that libertarians do for the Right’s intellectual construct.  So acknowledged, cheerfully.

Moe Lane

1 Comment

  • MikeCG says:

    I took a class taught by Prof. Alexander a few years on Western European politics. He’s an incredibly witty, and highly intelligent, conservative academic. We need more like him in higher education.

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