We Are Professionals: Part XXII: Romney Secret 47% Video
Corruption in Washington: Part XXIII: Romney Secret 47% Video

Must-Read: In my view, the conservative intellectual crisis is the fact that David Brooks can write--and the New York Times publish--this piece on the conservative intellectual crisis. The only mention of race comes at the end, where Brooks writes that "most young conservatives are comfortable with ethnic diversity and are weary of the Fox News media-politico complex."

There is no acknowledgement that for David Brooks's bosses at the Wall Street Journal, National Review, and the Washington Times, income stagnation for America's middle- and working-classes was a large part of the point. One of America's biggest problems, according to Bill Buckley, Irving Kristol, James Q. Wilson, Russell Kirk, Midge Decter, and company, was that lucky duckies were mooching off of the wealth created by the talented. The idea was to redistribute income upward by destroying the lucky duckies' claims to income: redistributive taxes, unions, high-quality low-cost public higher education, welfare--and then on to cutting back unemployment insurance, Social Security, and Medicare.

But how then did the conservatives of the 1980s and 1990s think that they could wield power? One road was specious claims of the benefits of supply-side tax cuts, repeated often enough to gain credibility via a complaisant press. The second road was via those whom Brooks calls the "sort of cheesy" Republicans: those like Lee Atwater, Karl Rove, and company, who offered the (white, male) lucky duckies the full menu headed by racial supremacy and misogyny: keep the Negroes, the feminizes, the illegals, and the abortionists in their place.

Yes. David Brooks in the 1980s and 1990s writing for his mendacious little magazines and editorial pages was a lucky ducky indeed: it was "good to be a young conservative"then:

David Brooks: The Conservative Intellectual Crisis: "I feel very lucky to have entered the conservative movement... in the 1980s and 1990s... National Review, The Washington Times, The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page...

...There was a sharp distinction then between being conservative, which was admired, and being a Republican, which was considered sort of cheesy....Many grew up poor, which cured them of the anti-elitist pose... [of] Princeton['s]... Ted Cruz... Cornell['s]... Ann Coulter... or Dartmouth['s]... Laura Ingraham and Dinesh D’Souza... Being cultured and urbane wasn’t a sign of elitism. Culture was the tool they used for social mobility. T.S. Eliot was cheap and sophisticated argument was free. The Buckley-era establishment self-confidently enforced intellectual and moral standards....

The... landscape has changed in three important ways... [to] the ruination of the Republican Party.... Talk radio, cable TV and the internet have turned conservative opinion into a mass-market enterprise... through perpetual hysteria and simple-minded polemics and by exploiting social resentment... mak[ing] itself offensive to people who value education and disdain made-for-TV rage.... Conservatism went down-market in search of revenue... [and] got swallowed by its own anti-intellectual media-politico complex... Beck to Palin to Trump.... Conservative opinion-meisters began to value politics over everything else.... White evangelicals are willing to put aside the Christian virtues of humility, charity and grace for the sake of... political victory....

Blinkered by the Republican Party’s rigid anti-government rhetoric, conservatives were slow to acknowledge and even slower to address the central social problems of our time... stagnant wages, meager opportunity, social isolation and household fragmentation. Shrouded in obsolete ideas from the Reagan years, conservatism had nothing to offer these people because it didn’t believe in using government as a tool for social good. Trump demagogy filled the void....

[But while] conservatism is now being led astray by its seniors... its young people are pretty great. It’s hard to find a young evangelical who likes Donald Trump. Most young conservatives are comfortable with ethnic diversity and are weary of the Fox News media-politico complex. Conservatism’s best ideas are coming from youngish reformicons.... A Trump defeat could cleanse a lot of bad structures and open ground for new growth. It was good to be a young conservative back in my day. It’s great to be one right now.

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