Saturday, November 21, 2009

Andrew Klavan cracks me

Because I recognize myself, especially a few years ago, and my then knee-jerk and lightly reasoned desire to be one of the cool and smart and virtuous people. Klavan embodies the process many of us went through as we shifted - slowly, against our will, as if in a fog - from our school-encouraged, culturally-encouraged, media-encouraged assumptions ..... to our current, defiant conservatism.

Addendum: Andrew Klavan may as well be commenting on an observation by the Assistant Village Idiot:
[T]he abandoning of liberalism is so often a personal issue, involving self-honesty and the simpler virtues, rather than a mere change of opinion and perspective. If self-honesty became the fashion in America, liberalism would cease to be a force.

To be fair, we’d lose a lot of conservatives and libertarians as well. But self-deception are incidental to those approaches, not central.
As a backup to the embed: video link


A ripple, here and there:
Why are some conservatives so hateful to Lindsey Graham? Are such conservatives militant and exclusionary? Rejecting a big tent and demanding purity?
The accusation amounts to a false construct. No one is saying Lindsey Graham ought be burned as a witch. However, do we not get to both agree and disagree with a Republican Senator? Are we to abandon reason and fall into line for a political party or for an individual senator?

Lindsey Graham is sometimes reasoned and sometimes unreasoned. Bringing things back around to Andrew Klavan: we Lindsey Graham critics recognize, in Senator Graham, the same knee-jerk and lightly reasoned desire to be one of the cool and smart people which once characterized us. And we get to speak up, in principled fashion, when light reasoning leads Senator Graham in a misguided policy direction.

At bottom, probably, the issue is about whether a more conservative Republican could be elected in South Carolina. Moderate Republicans say no. Moderate Republicans say:
We must attract the electoral center via embracing some of the policies of the left. The party needs Senator Graham, and the party needs conservatives not to knock him and weaken him.
Conservative Republicans say:
We do not attract voters via embracing fantasy. We attract voters via speaking truth.
Moderate Republicans reply:
Be realistic: the electoral center is not listening closely enough to be swayed by truth. We must get Republicans elected for the good of the nation.
Conservative Republicans reply:
Raise the quality of the conversation. Persuade. We are not electing clerks to take tallies of voter's misguided assumptions and to then fall into line with those assumptions. Lead.
Moderate Republicans:
Sen. Graham is a powerful leader on many important issues. He is an influential voice. His powerful leadership on those issues outweighs his occasional misguided forays.
And the intraparty debate carries on. Maybe the tension, back and forth, is a good thing: builds muscle.


Bob said...

I hope you are right about it building muscle!

gcotharn said...

Me too.