Monday, July 23, 2018

The Big Lie

"They’re all dead now. All the unofficial fathers of modern conservatism: William F. Buckley, Russell Kirk, Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan. All of the self-anointed torch bearers for Edmund Burke are dead, and you might be tempted to think that these men (always men) would be aghast at what the Republican party has become under Donald Trump. Trump is, after all, a graceless, ignorant sack of shit. Whereas the forebears of his party were men of principle. Good men. Strong men. The kind of men you could have a whiskey and civilized argument with! These were the mythical good conservatives.

And being a “good” conservative is a very marketable thing to be right now. It’s done wonders for Senators like John McCain and Jeff Flake, both of whom have earned lavish praise for offering the occasional STERN REBUKE to Trump and doing little more. And it’s made stars out of columnists such as Bret Stephens, who was hired off his #NeverTrump cred and who has since spent his tenure at the New York Times taunting college students and defending Woody Allen.

Because we live in a two-party system, there is an eternal need for legacy media outlets like the Times and CNN to be “balanced,” to give conservatism a platform to rebut all those dirty, screeching liberals. It’s as if the Times strives to recreate every hallway conversation on The West Wing by dishing out a healthy salary to any conservative writer who imitates a William F. Buckley fart from 1971 like it's a bird call. It’s a nice thought, this balance. And lord knows that liberals (like me) have a habit of shouting down those that they don’t particularly agree with.

But here’s why I do that from time to time: it’s because conservatism is a big fucking lie."
Drew Magary, "The Great Lie of Conservatism"

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