Friday, August 28, 2009

crazy like an (angry) fox (news)?

I've noted before that anti-government conspiracy theorists feed the big lie of an all-encompassing New World Order to feed their own inherent laziness. Conor Friedersdorf over at Doublethink Online has a different take -- essentially, that erecting straw men and angrily thrashing them down is more therapeutic for an angry political right than carefully reasoned debate.
The message delivered by Breitbart, Sean Hannity and other conservative commentators doesn’t merely misinform—it feeds a victim mentality on the right. In the talk radio telling, the liberal cultural elite isn’t merely wrong—it is nefarious, and it hates “real Americans.” That Breitbart calls the cultural left “totalitarians” is instructive. The word implies that the left is supreme, ruthless, and all-powerful. Pushing back from within existing cultural institutions is futile; conservatives might as well withdraw into an ideologically safe dugout, nurse their resentments, and pretend that the height of courage is picking off the least careful leftists with the rhetorical equivalent of sniper fire.

This needless retreat is among the biggest obstacles the right faces as it attempts to engage American culture on a more equal footing. Reversing its course depends on providing young conservatives with a less hysterical, more accurate assessment of their prospects: Ignore Andrew Breitbart! Should you pursue your living in entertainment or the press, you will be outnumbered ideologically. But so long as you conduct yourself professionally, possess talent commensurate with your peers, and produce good work—behaving as a professional, not a propagandist—you’ll go far whatever your personal politics. You’ll also meet a lot of nice people, many of them liberals, who’ll help you along the way.
BO-RING! Let's go yell at a congressman.

(For the record, I still like my lazy hillbilly stereotype for the conspiracy theorists. It's funnier.)

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