Tonight’s question, greetings, and banter here. (More)
Today Conor Friedsdorf took up the mantle of “The unwashed masses should defer to paid opinion-mongers” in defense of Kevin Williamson, after Bill Maher voiced the same theme in defense of Laura Ingraham on Friday night. But Sady Doyle argued that there is no “reasonable” way to say “abortion is murder” and Noah Berlatsky was equally pointed:
The left is constantly told that we’re shutting down debate and thereby threatening free speech. But no one is owed a platform at a mainstream publication. The record of conservative governance, and the record of conservative pundits, makes a strong case that conservative ideas have little to offer in response to our greatest problems now, if they ever did.
Yes, lots of people believe in conservatism, but lots of people believe in astrology, too. That doesn’t mean that mainstream publications should start running serious op-eds about what the arrangement of the stars says about the major political issues of our day. (Though admittedly astrology is a lot less harmful than conservatism.)
The rise of Trump should have led gatekeepers to question the legitimacy and the value of conservatism. Predictably, though, it has done the opposite. Power is always its own justification, and Trump’s narrow, fluke victory has convinced editors at The New York Times and The Atlantic that what America really wants and needs is more serious conservatism to challenge readers. But “serious conservatism” is an oxymoron, and readers are ill-served by garbage provocations, bigotry, and ignorance couched as “challenges.”
Should Williamson, Ingraham, and their “Policy debate is for paid professionals only! Do not try this at home!” defenders take a cue from Tony Robbins’ no-excuses apology for his thoughtless comments about the #MeToo movement?
Today on Campus
Ask Ms. Crissie at 8am ET – “His Extremism Is Mirrored in Their Own?”
Credit: Adobe Stock Images. Standard License.