Elitism, in one sentence

“If Culture11 folded because it told conservatives things they didn’t want to hear, the real fault lies with those who couldn’t handle the discomfort.”
Jonathan Schwenkler

This he writes in defense of Culture11’s repeated attacks on Sarah Palin. If you want to build a political movement based on “the public is always wrong,” good luck with that. The GOP nominated a presidential candidate who got only 47% of the primary vote, and yet this fanatical obsession with blaming the “Wasilla hillbillies” — a rejection of the grassroots Republican voters who adored Sarah Palin — still consumes the elite mind.

That Palin fared poorly in the Couric interview, that her media rollout was generally botched, that she was perhaps unready as of Aug. 29 to be first in line behind a 73-year-old commander-in-chief — these are all criticisms that are worth discussing. But viciously undercutting her as an anti-intellectual dimwit in order to make her a scapegoat for the failure of others, when she is yet arguably the best hope for preventing the four years of Obama from becoming eight years of Obama? No.

If somebody genuinely wants to go to hell, they’re free to go, but I’m not volunteering for carpool duty on that trip.

Schwenkler seems to argue, as do so many of Palin’s critics, that there is something fundamentally wrong with the Republican Party seeking the support of voters who don’t have college diplomas. The anti-Palinites don’t merely reject “populism,” they reject the people. We have heard these voices before. From “poor, uneducated and easy to command,” to “bitter [people who] cling to guns or religion,” for many years we’ve heard these outrageous liberal slurs of ordinary Americans.

Slurs from liberals we’ve come to expect, but when people who style themselves “conservative” begin running down red-blooded, Red State, grassroots conservatives . . . Hey, buddy, I’m Merle Haggard and you’re on the fightin’ side of me. You are badmouthing my family, my friends, my neighbors — some of the most courageous, generous people anyone could ever hope to meet — and it is my duty and honor to defend them against the calumny.

Go ahead, look down your nose at the hicks in the sticks, tuned into Rush Limbaugh, Michael Reagan and Laura Ingraham. For all their faults and failings, those hicks are better people than you are — and that’s why you hate them so much.

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