I’m a little late to this, but on Tuesday Conor Friedersdorf responded again in the exchange we were having last week. (My earlier responses are here and here; you can follow the links back for his.) “I’ll double down,” he writes, “I think there is substantial evidence that the right is infected with the cancers of identity politics and political correctness, and that aggressive treatment is warranted.” He wants to know if I agree, or if I still think he’s overreacting.
Identity politics and political correctness are related but different concepts, and since his Tuesday post adds nothing about the former phenomenom I guess I can declare victory and let my earlier posts stand. As for what he does address, I agree with the Ilya Somin post he cites, which argues that those calling for Harry Reid’s head over the “Negro dialect” comment “should think long and hard about whether they really want to promote such an expansive definition of racism.” I further agree that Linda Chavez’s comments on the controversy are closer to the mark than Abigail Thernstrom’s. And I agree that George Will was right and Liz Cheney was wrong in their exchange on This Week.
I note that Will and Cheney were both appearing on This Week as conservatives, that Chavez and Thernstrom were both posting to the same conservative blog (The Corner at NRO), and that Conor found Somin’s post via Glenn Reynolds, whose supposed identity politics problem began this exchange. I have no idea what “aggressive treatment” is supposed to mean, but to the extent that political correctness is an infection (“cancer” seems overwrought), it seems to me that the right’s immune system is functioning just fine. So yes, I stand by my characterization of Dr. Friedersdorf’s diagnostic abilities.