Allow me to cut through the sheen of universalism in the above item. The wisdom in this item is clearly by and for progressives, who certainly need to be reminded of the virtue of civic pluralism from time to time, and in recent times most especially. Owing to their hegemony in media and academia, progressives are prone to a sort of snowball effect of self-righteousness which hardens into a campaign to eliminate dissent altogether and is slowed or stopped only when the campaign begins taking friendly scalps. We saw this in this past season of PC warfare when the victims stopped being the Kim Davis’s and started being student journalists and liberal university administrators.
Though we can say that conservatism is sometimes right where progressivism is manifestly wrong, the error in this piece is that conservatives in fact are dumb. Not all of them, but on the mean. There’s really no other way to explain the outcomes of left-right political battles. Conservatives always lose and only appear victorious in cases wherein progressives have defeated themselves.
The antipluralism which from time to time grips the political left can only flourish in the bubble of apparent concensus the left has surrounded us all with through their dominance in entertainment and news media. The right, contrastingly, is never in a position to convince themselves that they possess The One Truth sufficiently such that they are likely to prevail with it. They may of course believe that they have the better side of an argument, but they simultaneously know that their side of the argument will be prejudged, belittled, suppressed and undermined by a preeminent narrative machinery controlled by the left. We can quantify the entire extent of the conservative media: one cable news outlet, two national daily broadsheets, most of AM talk radio, a couple of magazines and syndicated columnists. This isn’t enough material to form an epistemic bubble. It’s only enough to appear as a blotch against the uniform fabric of civic and cultural concensus defined by progressives, who from time to time mobilize to scrub it out entirely.
Progressives of course tell themselves another story: that they are besieged underdogs fighting to the last tattered man in a twilight struggle of embattled progressive martyrs against a titanic and cruel rightwing opposition. They tell themselves this in conflict and in peace, in victory, detente and in defeat, whether self-inflicted or not. The progressive martyr-mythos is an example of how progressives fall prey to their own dominance. Simply put, a great deal of what progressives regard as truth is not true on its own merits, but is a secondary or tertiary myth mandated by some other mandatory conceit. No part of this teleological matrix is permitted to be interrogated openly, either from within, by DINO, reformist crypto-reactionaries or from without, by avaricious, stupid, bible-thumping NAZIs.
So, by way of an example, we see in the gun debate the only issue in which it is considered a positive virtue to not know what one is talking about. To know how a firearm works is to portray oneself as a zany “gun nut”. This characature is meant to prejudiciously anathematize rational defenders of private firearm ownership and, in turn, forge an axiomatic relationship between sane and insane, pro-gun control, anti-gun control which in further turn is meant to scare people from critically interrogating the illogic of fighting an epidemic of violence done with illegally possessed firearms concentrated in urban, black areas by restricting the legal possession of firearms in rural, white areas where the gun violence epidemic is not. That illogic is meant to avoid noticing the actual perameters of the gun violence problem which in turn effects a forestalling of any interrogation progressives’ prior assumptions about materialism as a root cause for criminality, and so forth. It’s a labrynth of mutually reenforcing revetments protecting a single, fragile conceit hidden somewhere within, but each are defended independently as if they were each immutable truths only a stupid or tragically misinformed person would doubt.