Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Washington Post Reaches New Low in its Attempt to Appeal to Conservatives – Provides Jonah Goldberg with Major Space

And Mr. Goldberg Delivers – A Useless, Ineffective and Made Up Argument Against Liberals

This Forum has frequently (some say ad nausea) made the case that the once great newspaper, the Washington Post, is trying to recover economically by appealing to Conservatives.  Regardless of whether or not one agrees with them, Conservatives support media better than anyone else, as the economic good fortunes of the Wall Street Journal, Rush Limbaugh and his ilk and Fox News can attest to.

So the Post has turned much of its previously independent and high quality editorial space over to Conservatives.  There is nothing wrong with a diverse opinion section, but the Post seems to be seeking quantity over quality.  Nothing more illustrates this point than the Post’s publication of a major screed by one of the most intellectually vapid Conservatives, Jonah Goldberg. 

Mr. Goldberg’s piece uses the Rush Limbaugh model of argument.  That model says that you never, ever actually engage an opponent.  What you do is take both sides in an argument.  You formulate your position and you formulate the opponent’s position, and then you use your position to decisively defeat your opponent's position, which of course you have just made up.  This means you always win the argument, but it is hard to see the glory or the prestige in winning an argument against yourself.

In his Post article Mr. Goldberg  does this in a classic way.

Here’s what Mr. Goldberg does.  First he claims that one difference between Conservatives and Liberals is that Conservatives have an ideology but Liberals do not.

One of the great differences between conservatives and liberals is that conservatives will freely admit that they have an ideology. We’re kind of dorks that way, squabbling over old texts like Dungeons and Dragons geeks, wearing ties with pictures of Adam Smith and Edmund Burke on them.

But mainstream liberals from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama — and the intellectuals and journalists who love them — often assert that they are simply dispassionate slaves to the facts; they are realists, pragmatists, empiricists.

But having made that distinction he now finds he needs a Liberal ‘ideology’ to argue against.  But since there isn’t one, he has to make one up.  And obviously the one he makes up is not going to be all that favorable to Liberals.  But even that does not allow Mr. Goldberg to sound rationale and convincing.  Consider this clever (?) riposte against Liberal support for Affirmative Action.

It’s a nice thought. But consider some of the great minds of human history, and it’s striking how few were educated in a diverse environment. Newton, Galileo and Einstein had little exposure to Asians or Africans. The genius of Aristotle, Socrates and Plato cannot be easily correlated with the number of non-Greeks with whom they chatted in the town square. If diversity is essential to education, let us get to work dismantling historically black and women’s colleges. When I visit campuses, it’s common to see black and white students eating, studying and socializing separately. This is rounding out everyone’s education?

Yep, He uses the fact that Newton amongst others lived in a non-diverse culture to argue against diversity.  How convincing is that argument?

And apparently Mr. Goldberg’s answer to Affirmative Action is to return to segregation

Similarly, we’re constantly told that communities are strengthened by diversity, but liberal Harvard sociologist Robert Putnam has found the opposite. In a survey that included interviews with more than 30,000people, Putnam discovered that as a community becomes more ethnically and socially varied, social trust and civic engagement plummet. Perhaps forced diversity makes sense, but liberals make little effort to prove it.

quoting this study, but utterly failing to recognize that the study actually supports the idea that we need a more diverse environment in order to eliminate the community traits described above.  What an idiot!

So Mr. Goldberg wins a famous victory over Liberals in his own mind,  proving once again one of the known aspects of modern Conservatism.  Specifically, that they cannot win in a fair fight, so they have to spend a lot of energy making sure the fight is not fair.

As for the Post, well, it’s hard to see how they can go any lower, but stay tuned, their ambition to give their editorial and opinion section completely over to mindless Conservatives may not be abated even by exposing themselves to Mr. Goldberg.

1 comment:

  1. Mr. Goldberg is as low as anyone can go. I still can't believe he makes a living with his drivil.