Over the last year or so, several elitist conservatives have attacked Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin and Mark Levin.
These attacks are bad and wrong.
The Right needs all types of voices - and non-PhD's like Rush and Levin and Hannity do a great job of countering "progressives" while speaking plain English. Palin does, too.
In the academic world, using the vernacular and sounding blunt and a bit "crude" counts against you, but in the political world it can be absolutely necessary if your trying to build a national movement which can appeal to all classes, creeds and races.
In other words, for the GOP to become a "big tent" and a majority, the GOP needs communicators like Jefferson and Lincoln, like Patrick Henry and Sam Adams and like Reagan and Palin. One group of communicators will inspire some people with their elegant rhetoric; other communicators will inspire other people with their gutsy plain-talking. Since we need to reach everyone, there's a place for both types of communicators - and more!
Frum's and Brooks's and Manzi's attack on what they feel is the coarse & extremist right-wing is therefore misguided: we will not make the USA more conservative by making the GOP less conservative.
REPEAT: we will not make the USA more conservative by making the GOP less conservative.
And we will not draw more people into the conservative movement by having self-appointed gatekeepers like Frum and Brooks and Manzi attack other conservatives whose style seems beneath them.
Reagan called it the 11th Commandment: Thou Shalt not attack your fellow Republicans.
I wouldn't go that far all the time. Debate within the right is fine.
But when the attack isn't based on substance, but chiefly on style - and when the style attacked is attacked because it's populist and mass media oriented and the critic is an elitist, well then it only serves the enemy.
It's not unlike when THEE-ATER people criticized the nickelodeon, or when Hollywood attacked the boob-tube.
The attacks were bad anbd wron and served no one and advanced nothing.
Neither movies or television made storytelling or drama - or theater - less... er um well less anything. They were additional venues for actors and writers, new venues which brought storytelling and drama to millions and millions and millions more people - people who might not have otherwise seen anything at all.
Therefore was a GAIN for culture, and not a detriment to culture.
Rush and Palin and Levin might not make great graduate school teachers but they are great mass communicators.
We need them to build the movement more than we need Brooks or Frum or Manzi.
And maybe that's what's really bugging Brooks and Frum and Manzi: they are probably venting their own anger at being less popular than people they think are less deserving of adulation than themselves.
I think they should grow up and get over it.