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January 26, 2016

Dear GOP: Calling your own base a bunch of stupid hicks seems like a bad idea

Ben's link dump this morning contained this feculent little bolus. A sample:

Lewis' essential argument is that the current crisis is decades in the making, the unintended consequence of a series of understandable decisions made decades ago to help address the challenges the movement faced in the 1980s and 90s. The first was the decision to court Southern evangelicals. Lewis is himself a Southern (West Virginia) evangelical, so here he criticizes his own when he notes that evangelicals have long shied away from engagement with the less-devout world. This has meant they as a group tend to lack intellectual curiosity and rigor. Bringing a decidedly unintellectual group into the movement, Lewis contends, encouraged the movement itself to move away from its strength, its use of argument to explain America's challenges and propose real solutions that solve them.

"Unintellectual"! May God save us all from the scourge of unintellectualism! It's almost like these rubes don't appreciate the unparalleled record of cultural and policy triumphs the GOP has accrued over the past two decades!

So...yeah. They really do think we're stupid. Their Delphic prophecies and magisterial command of political philosophy flies right over our thick ape-like craniums. Their brilliance is wasted on us, and they would like nothing better than to trade us in for a smarter (or at least more pliable, and certainly less white and male) base. Alas, they need our votes for the foreseeable future, so they must bottle up their contempt as best they can and lie to us through fake smiles. But the bitterness and contempt is seeping through the facade, as it always does.

Calling your own base a bunch of stupid hicks is not good strategy (not to mention petty and rude) if you want them to vote for you or your preferred candidates. Mainly because the so-called "intellectuals" who have been driving GOP policy for the past two decades have done a spectacularly shitty job of it. If I'm forced to choose between the lumpenproles and the think-tank eggheads, I'll throw my lot in with the peasants. They're a lot smarter than the sneering elites give them credit for, and they don't sit around all day inhaling their own ass-waft.

If the GOP brain-trust was arguing from a baseline of stellar success and policy wins, it'd be different. But the post-Reagan era has been an utter catastrophe in terms of actual conservative policy, and on all fronts: cultural, economic, foreign-policy, tax policy, you name it. The arrogance of these pissants is pretty rich, given their two-decade run of fecklessness and failure.

Let's put it this way (and I'm stealing this from co-blogger Andy): "An out-and-proud socialist is generating all the buzz on the Democrats' side, and a Democrat is leading the Republican polls. I'd say both bases have shifted decidedly leftwards." If the base is abandoning the intellectuals, it's because the intellectuals failed to make their case, not because the voters are too stupid to understand.

Those dimwitted Christians even have a go-to passage in the Bible for this sort of thing: "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7:18-20)


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posted by Monty at 01:37 PM

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