Breitbart is apparently in the tank for Trump, as I’ve already speculated. Last week, National Review (NR)–which has been slowly transforming into a more establishment publication–gathered Republican, conservative, and libertarian bloggers, pundits, and media personalities, and published a “symposium” against Donald Trump.
Notable conservatives included Brent Bozell, Dana Loesch, Glenn Beck, Erick Erickson, Andrew McCarthy, Katie Pavlich, and Thomas Sowell. They all stated the same thing, more or less: Trump is not a conservative; he’s dangerous.
The following is a portion of the piece from Dana Loesch (who just endorsed [score]Ted Cruz[/score], by the way):
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“Why are other politicians excoriated when they change their minds–as, for example, Rick Perry did on the question of whether HPV vaccinations in Texas should be compulsory–but when Trump suddenly says he’s pro-life, the claim is accepted uncritically? Why is it unconscionable for Ted Cruz to take and repay a loan from Goldman Sachs to help win a tough Senate race but acceptable for Donald Trump to take money from George Soros? Why is vetting Trump, as we do any other candidate, considered ‘bashing?’ Aren’t these fair questions?”
The folks at Breitbart were unamused. Later, NR’s Kevin Williamson published a piece called “Our Post-Literate Politics,” in which he laments those who have succumbed to Trump’s cult of personality. Admittedly, while the piece is accurate and insightful, it does condescend at times. Breitbart’s John Nolte wrote a response piece in which he slams NR for going “full-snob”:
“Apparently it is unforgivable that the hoi polloi are simply too busy going about the business of keeping our world turning to have the time to read ‘Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’; too busy fighting our wars, unplugging our toilets, fixing our cars, processing our food, delivering our heating oil, and working three part-time jobs. The Unwashed have, however, read enough to know that Democrats never do this–never attack their own voters like NRO and the rest of the Establishment have this year.”
He continues to bash NR for criticizing the American voter:
“The Unwashed might not have read Shakespeare, but they can read a paycheck. The Unwashed might not have read ‘Capitalism and Freedom,’ but they have read a pink slip as their job went overseas or to an exploited illegal immigrant.”
He ends with this:
“Impotent rage is a helluva drug.”
Nolte’s position is understanable, because NR is as establishment as they come. Many at NR are likely dreaming of a Rubio, Bush, Christie, or Kasich nomination.
What’s frustrating is Nolte deifying the American voter. How dare you criticize the voter! They’re unclogging our toilets, and waiting tables; they don’t have time to be informed! Why aren’t conservative writers allowed to call it like they see it? Would Nolte prefer it if NR offered their symposium in a tweet-storm?
There is a large percentage of the voting population that is politically illiterate. Do you know how I know that? Poll after poll shows it, not to mention that for decades, voters have fallen for a parade of snake-oil salesman–many of whom are in office today, continuing to win in spite of their atrocious and publicly available records. And the voters are about to do it again. Trump is the diet pill commercial, and the voters are the obese feverishly dialing the 1-800 number. Lose weight without diet and exercise! Keep eating that tub of butter with your bare hands!
Nolte says that while the “unwashed” may not be reading Shakespeare, they can read a paycheck. Ok, but can they distinguish a conservative record from a liberal one? Does the the belief that the government is taking too much from your paycheck somehow directly translate into the ability to discern which candidate will do something about it? Nope. Nolte condemns NR, but in return, rather than countering their argument, he simply offers self-righteousness.
The Democrats don’t criticize their voters! Nolte says. But, how is that benefiting them? They have groups and sub-groups pitted against one another, all unwittingly working toward keeping the Democratic Party’s power, even while diminishing their own quality of life.
Conservatives need to criticize the uninformed who are blinded by bombastic rhetoric and cults of personality. Maybe it’ll wake them up. Just because somebody is working two jobs to get by, they don’t get a pass on being politically illiterate. It’s a legitimate concern to criticize voters– especially if it helps elect better candidates to the benefit of the country.
Nolte should keep in mind that self-righteousness is just as much of a drug as “impotent rage.”