Alternate headline: “Paul Krugman Will Not Read This Article”
Second alternate headline: “Paul Krugman: Lolcats > Conservatives”
Over the weekend a prominent figure in the art world, a liberal, came up to a group of us from Team Breitbart following a conversation that took place both on air and off, and told us we, particularly Big Journalism EIC Dana Loesch, are very respectable spokespeople for our side. Needless to say, we were flattered, but while I certainly didn’t attempt to sway him off of his position that we’re super cool, I would contend we are merely representative of the quality people in our movement, as opposed to exceptions to the rule that conservatives are racist, bigoted, intolerant, etc. Clearly the sweet accolade from the sweet man had a very powerful and illustrative subtext to it: he just doesn’t know many conservatives… if any.
One of the reasons for the existence of this very blog is because many of us contend that a substantial portion of the movers and shakers on the left, like the aforementioned gentleman, tend to live in bubbles. This is a common theme across several of the Bigs. Hollywood, the mainstream media, and academia, to name a few high profile arenas, are so overwhelming left-of center that it’s rare to find Republicans inhabiting them at all, much less outspoken Tea Partiers like the ones who make up the Bigs team. On the other hand, those of us on the right are constantly forced to contend with the best thought the left has to offer, or else we’d be forgoing academics in one of the world’s most educated societies, we’d be abstaining from entertainment in the country that redefined it, and as good as the fantasy of doing away with what we call “the mainstream media” sounds, that’s a process that would take decades to complete, if it’s even possible (or beneficial).
So we’re forced to listen, whether we want to or not. The schools, entertainers, and media outlets have us as a captive audience while these movers and shakers can comfortably build a career in the world of ideas without as much as consulting with those held by (at least) half of us.
Case in point, Nobel Prize-winning Princeton Economics Professor and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. Last week, Krugman was asked which websites he reads frequently, and after providing a list of liberals and leftists like Greg Sargent, Josh Marshall, Digby, and Atrios, he copped to not reading any conservatives online on a regular basis:
Some have asked if there aren’t conservative sites I read regularly. Well, no. I will read anything I’ve been informed about that’s either interesting or revealing; but I don’t know of any economics or politics sites on that side that regularly provide analysis or information I need to take seriously. I know we’re supposed to pretend that both sides always have a point; but the truth is that most of the time they don’t. The parties are not equally irresponsible; Rachel Maddow isn’t Glenn Beck; and a conservative blog, almost by definition, is a blog written by someone who chooses not to notice that asymmetry. And life is short …
A breathtaking admission. Krugman, who, rightly or wrongly, is regarded as one of the most serious thinkers the left has to offer, is perfectly content viewing the world through a prism constructed entirely of left-of-center thought.
Make sure to check out the first installment of Krugman’s post here. Some of the highlights are when he sings the praises of fellow JournoListos Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias before he taps Icanhascheezburger as one of his regular haunts.
That’s right, by Krugman’s logic, every website in our movement of millions is fluff compared to… the lolcats.
So while the leftist elite pass over our entire movement for photos of cute kittens with grammatically incorrect captions, we contend with liberal-left thought on a never-ending loop. Just this weekend I sat in Bill Maher’s audience, saw a movie starring Joy Behar, voraciously consumed the AP, AFP, and Reuters newswires for breaking stories, listened to a television interview where a prominent Hollywood actor describes how blacks should be making their own movies, and had a former teacher of mine warn me of the dangers of nuclear power. And that’s aside from any additional information I actively sought out for the express purpose of understanding the conscience of a liberal.
John Edwards was certainly right about one thing: there really are two Americas. But the battle isn’t between the haves (trial lawyers, Princeton professors, for example) and the have-nots (blog editors with student loans, for example), it’s between those in the public discourse who take their political and ideological opposition seriously and thoughtfully consider their positions and the reasoning behind them, and those who do not.
I’m proud to be a part of the former, and I’m better off for it too.