Re: The Cut of His Jib - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Re: The Cut of His Jib

Stacy, you are wrong as wrong can be. That is NOT the gist of the skeptical-of-Palin argument. Yes, it might be the gist of the David Brooks argument, but there is plenty of middle ground between Palin lovers and, on the other hand, those who despise Palin just because they are cultural snobs. Indeed, there is JUST AS MUCH cultural snobbery — of a reverse kind — among those who assume the ONLY reason to oppose Palin is snobbery as there is among the elitists like Brooks. And the reverse snobbery is just as ugly, sir, as the Brooks variety. Indeed, it is despicable. The conservative movement will never recover if it can’t allow honest disagreements about qualifications, political tactics, and the like. To assume that everybody who disagrees with you is not just mistaken in judgment but actually ill-motivated is the attitude of a permanent political minority. And to go looking for cultural victimhood (oh, those terrible elites are so mean to us!) is just as wrong as any other sort of faux-victimhood grievance. My friend, it’s time to stop the culture wars, on both sides, within the conservative movement. Those wars are self-destructive. Yes, if somebody throws a deliberate haymaker, like Brooks did, then fight back — AT BROOKS. But don’t overgeneralize by acting as if Brooks and his ilk are the only sorts of people who can possibly disagree with you.

Here’s what is dangerous: Groupthink. And no-shades-of-gray-think. In early 2006 (and before), when I wrote critically of PResident Bush, I was subjected to incredibly angry mail from those on the right. By 2007, when I wrote in defense of other aspects of the Bush record, the same people who were angry at me for criticizing him were now castigating me for defending him. It’s as if people can’t make a distinction between their current feelings about a person and the actual issue being discussed. There’s a “team” mentality, as in being a fan of a team, that seems to kick in. The attitude seems to be that unless you support the team unquestioningly, you should be an outcast. But this isn’t sports. This is our country. And nobody is all good or all bad. And not everybody who disagrees does so for bad motives, just as not all who agree are ones who do so for good motives.

We have a movement to rebuild. Unless deliberate insult has been offered, it should not be assumed. Because with the people who may win election next Tuesday being the sorts who literally want to change the rules of the game to ensure that conservatives no longer have a level playing field any more, it may be true soon more than it has been true since 1776 that we will all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.

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