It was a teensy bit satisfying to see former National Public Radio CEO Ken Stern on Tucker Carlson’s show last week talking about taking a year off and traveling about the interior of America and discovering how a lot of the East Coast elitists’ conceptions of the denizens out there are often misconceptions. I say just a teensy bit satisfying because the worth of it is that it is nice once in a while to hear someone say he was wrong. At least about the darkness of the heart and mind of your everyday American in flyover country. But I doubt that he will, safely back in the confines of the corridor, change a lot of hearts and minds there.
Now, in case you have been otherwise occupied,there have been a lot of strange- sounding attacks on the faithful Constitutional Conservative from some surprising quarters over the past two years, not least the outfit we all (used to) know and love, National Review. It coincided of course with the presidential bid, the successful bid, of one Donald J.Trump. If you have been paying attention to these, occurring as they have amongst the din from the USUAL suspects at NYTWAPOUSATODAYGANNETTABCCBSNBCCNNMSNBC, et al, you know whereof I speak.
Well. Suffice it to say, many of us have been flummoxed by the ad hominems thrown at us by those we thought were our compatriots in the fight against Leftism. At times it seemed that it was not personal, that it was only meant to shame us for falling in with the Trumpmeister and falling for his silly little Make America Great Again mantra. But through it all over these last two years we have seen many disturbing examples of the cognoscenti spouting catch phrases and epithets once reserved for use by the Media Matters and Democrat operative types. Our eyes have been opened to many a conflict of character and conflict of purpose attribute we had previously missed.
So that when the coming out, as it were. of the NPR exec was chronicled at National Review Online by Jim Geraghty, we read it with the learned grain of salt. This is Geraghty’s summation:
“No doubt, we on the Right have these blind spots as well. But we have the advantage of constantly encountering the left-of-center views from dominant institutions, so I think more counter-arguments permeate our “bubble.” I think we’re slightly better at revising our beliefs in the face of contrary data, although I’m sure a lot of progressives will scoff at this. But you’ve seen quite a few prominent conservatives rethink their views on incarceration and various criminal justice issues and whether drug use should be criminalized. Most Republicans are far more wary of military interventions and the promotion of democracy abroad after the Iraq War. There’s far more acceptance of gay marriage than a decade or two ago. No one is perfect, but I think Red America understands Blue America more than Blue America understands Red America.”
Did Geraghty take the opportunity to extol the values of, ahem, right-thinking people in Red America? No, he lauded us for “revising our beliefs” and conservative leaders as they “rethink their views”. And what are some examples of this? Well, according to him, we’re just not as keen on destroying ISIS and eradicating Al Quaeda over there, don’t you see? Because that’s ‘interventionism’, dont’yaknow? And we’re just all on board with Obama and Holder’s decriminalization of “non-violent” crimes and, heh, nothing wrong with puffing a little weed and snorting a little coke and getting it or distributing it anyway you can as long as you don’t kill anybody, right? And let’s have a hearty round of applause for that “far more acceptance of gay marriage than a decade or two ago” while we’re at it, huh?
See, the whole point of the lesson is not that the NPR guy went out there and found out that Red State values actually have some worth, it’s that he went out there and found out us folk out here are tolerant, accepting, evolving, and just so ….amenable…….according to Geraghty.
Well, kids, are we?
When Jim Geraghty says “We”, is he…..one of us? He makes some admissions about leftist institutions and their arguments permeating the “bubble” he lives in, and thinks we live in. But if we really lived in the right-wing bubble he proposes, how could it be that “Red America understands Blue America” more than vice-versa? But on that last score, I think he is dead on. We understand, and we might even tolerate …some things, sometimes. But have we really come around to discarding our core values? Are we as accommodating and amenable and congenial and open to revision as the man implies?
Somehow, I don’t think that’s us.