May 08, 2009
what if you aren't nice but you just don't like meanness?
I read Hawkins regularly, and I like his blog. Although I don't consider myself especially nice, the point of this post is not to take sides in this dispute so much as it is to make an admission by way of disclosure (at the risk of repeating myself).
In his rebuttal to Adams, Hawkins (who is in a position to know these things, so I won't fact check him), makes a couple of observations I just can't ignore:
it's worth noting that Ann Coulter is the single most popular conservative columnist in America...So noted.
Moreover, the Right is slowly but surely narrowing the media gap. For example, WorldNetDaily -- which Mr. Graham disparagingly mentions -- gets more traffic than the Associated Press and the top seven conservative talk radio hosts alone reach more than 60 million people a week combined.The problem is, Ann Coulter irritates me and I can't stand WorldNetDaily. (I feel guilty for not disparaging that dishonest outfit even more.)
If Coulter and WND are "the Right," then to that extent, I'm very definitely not.
Nor can I stand Michael Savage. Yet the man is often described as a conservative. (No references are necessary here, as I don't want to be seen as picking fights. But trust me. He is routinely called a conservative -- by conservatives.)
My point is, if Ann Coulter, WorldNetDaily, and Michael Savage represent conservativism, then I have a huge problem with conservatism, and I cannot call myself a conservative.
If the Birth Certificate Truthers (a major WND movement -- and for me the straw that broke the camel's back) represent conservatism, then I cannot call myself a conservative.
Whether conservatives "should" play more dirty, I don't know. (Playing dirty is the nature of politics, and no one can change that.)
I only know that by the standards of Coulter, Savage, WND, and the Birth Certificate Truthers, I am not a conservative, and will never be one.
This is not to say that I would not vote for a conservative over a liberal. I would do so unhesitatingly, as I have many times. My problem is that I'm lacking in the enthusiasm factor, and I would be dishonest if I did not admit it.
Yesterday, Glenn Reynolds linked a piece which maintains that "conservatives need to fire the marketing department." I understand the point. But how do you fire what conservatives like?
OTOH, might my complaints involve just a matter of taste? If I happen not to like certain personalities, certain styles of writing, and certain beliefs, should these things go to the way I define myself? I mean, it's not as if someone set up a conservative litmus test which says that if you are a conservative, you have to like Ann Coulter, Michael Savage, and WorldNetDaily, and you have to believe Barack Obama was born in Kenya, so perhaps I'm being illogical and I'm setting up an unreasonable test.
Is there some pressing reason I should have to decide between liberal and conservative? Where was that rule written, and who wrote it? Liberals and conservatives? Perhaps it's time to return to basics. After all, rejecting these labels was a primary reason I started this blog.
UPDATE: Deafening Silence links this post with some interesting observations. Thanks!
posted by Eric on 05.08.09 at 10:33 AM
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