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Hullabaloo


Thursday, January 28, 2016

 
QOTD: A sad conservative intellectual


by digby





















Conservative writer Matt Lewis on MSNBC earlier today:
"In "Too Dumb to Fail" I talk about how the evangelicals joining the Republican Party changed it. I think it's important that people of faith be involved in politics. I wrote about William Wilberforce, one of my heroes who had a religious conversion and ended up leading the fight against slavery and the slave trade in britain. It's a great example of how people of faith can make a positive difference. 
But I also think that here in America since at least the Scopes Monkey Trial, the evangelical movement has involved quite a bit of anti-intellectualism and has contributed to the dumbing down of the Republican Party.

And sadly when you look at the fact that a lot of evangelicals in Iowa seem to prefer Donald Trump this thrice married casino magnate to someone like Ted Cruz who, say what you will about ted Cruz, but I think he's the real deal when it comes to Christian conservatives. The fact that a lot of evangelicals in Iowa are supporting Trump I think speaks to the fact that they're prioritizing the culture war over their faith values.

He went on to say:
I think it's really unfortunate that people would rather have Donald Trump, somebody who really doesn't stand for much at all as far as we can tell, who has a liberal background. This is a guy who attracts a lot of unseemly characters and I think he has stoked this sort of xenophobic nationalist know-nothing trend and, in fact, if Donald Trump becomes the Republican nominee I worry it would redefine what it would mean to be a conservative. It would become being about this populist, white identity politics thing.
He's very sad. And I can see why. But I'm afraid that ship sailed a long time ago, back when the GOP decided that the culture war was their ticket to success. People like Matt Lewis and the writers at the National Review all fooled themselves into believing their followers actually listened to all that crapola about "conservative ideology".

They actually thought that when people would cheer at rallies when some politician said the words "tort reform!" that they were emotionally invested in the idea of restricting plaintiff lawsuits against big business. They didn't know what it meant. They just cheered because they figured it meant Republicans were going to stick it to someone they hate.

At least half of the GOP base was always motivated to become conservatives because they believed it was dedicated to beating the shit out of blacks, Mexicans, Muslims, hippies and feminazis and protecting their ability to drive Hummers and pack heat. The rest was just white noise. Trump is finally articulating their philosophy upfront and without apology.

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