The Need for Ideological Diversity in American Cultural Institutions

As the left increasingly dominates, the right is increasingly distrustful, and that's not healthy.

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1. Political identity is increasingly important to Americans.

2. Concomitantly, Americans increasingly disdain people "on the other side." For example, only 50% of Republicans and 41% of Democrats were sure it would not upset them if their child married someone of the other political party. One can reasonably assume that this statistic would be worse if one asked "progressives" about "conservatives" and vice versa.

3. In a healthy liberal democracy, intermediary institutions serve as buffers between the public and the state, and give the public institutions and individuals to identify with and trust beyond partisan politics.

4. In the electoral realm, our two warring political tribes are roughly split, both in terms of strong partisans and their ability to win over less partisan voters.

5. In the cultural realm, however, major mainstream institutions are dominated by the broad left, with the more-radical left increasingly gaining ground within the left. Such institutions include the legacy media (or "MSM") such as the New York Times and NPR; the arts; Hollywood; the organized bar and many other professional associations; universities; the K-12 educational establishment, to include most elite private schools; corporate bureaucracies, particularly at growing tech companies; and even professional sports, once a bastion of implicit conservatism, has increasingly gone woke.

6. One can debate the causes of this dominance, whether it's a result of differing career preferences among conservatives and liberals, geographic concentrations of each group, discrimination by the establishment, gaps in intelligence and education between liberals and conservatives, and any combination thereof. That is all irrelevant to where I'm going with this.

7. As these institutions have become more and more dominated by progressives, conservatives have been fleeing them, for example, watching Fox News or OAN rather than listening to NPR. This gives these institutions even less reason to worry about being dominated by progressives, and further increases progressive domination. (As an aside, I was recently part of a conversation on Facebook in which a bunch of very well-educated libertarian-leaning academics were discussing how we used to enjoy NPR despite its liberal slant, but that it's become so unbalanced, one-sided, and overtly ideological that it's like listening to a propaganda station and we listen a lot less if at all. If this is how urbane libertarians with much cultural commonality with the NPR staff thinks, imagine what your small-town evangelical Christian conservative thinks…)

8. At some point, many right-leaning people begin to think of these major cultural institutions at best as things they don't have a stake in, and at worse as "the enemy."

9. It's not a healthy development in a liberal democracy for a large group of citizens to reject the major intermediary institutions of society, as it leaves them prone to demagoguery, conspiracism, and, not to put to fine a part on it, fascistic appeals, as the essence of fascism is to try to create a direct emotional connection between the state and its leader and the public at large.

10. We have seen this play out, I don't think I need to elaborate on that. We are fortunate that the demagogic leader was more or a narcissist than an actual fascist.

11. The institutions noted above in "7" should try to assimilate right-leaning people into their staffs. Imagine, for example, if major universities had even 10% conservatives in their Humanities departments, or the New York Times and NPR had 10% conservatives among their reporters. This would have a few salutary effects. People on the right wouldn't feel that these institutions are trying to exclude them entirely, which is in fact an increasing trend (recall how employees at the Atlantic revolted when the company hired Kevin Williamson); employees on the right are more likely to address, even if in non-ideological terms, issues that people on the right care about (say, news reporting about harassment of Christians abroad, or the latest big gun convention); and it would make the tone of what these institutions somewhat less hostile to the right. On the latter point, there is much ideological discrimination in hiring in the legal academy. But my Federalist Society friends almost universally state that they are treated fairly once they get a job, and that their mere presence at a faculty meeting or hiring committee meeting tends to tamp down more overt displays of hostility to conservatives.

12. Note that my claim is not (a) that these institutions lean too far left, because I have no objective measure of that or (b) that conservatives "deserve" representation at these institutions in some moral or normative sense.

13. Rather, I am concerned about institutional legitimacy. When you have a country divided into two tribes, and one tribe increasingly dominates most major cultural institutions, regardless of why, those institutions will gradually lose legitimacy within the other tribe.

14. Imagine instead of liberals and conservatives, the U.S. was divided between Catholics and Protestants. Each group did about equally well in elections, but the Catholics dominated the media, the arts, the universities, and so on. Would this be socially healthy, or a recipe for future civil conflict? If a demagogue–a former Catholic, no less–arose among the Protestants talking about the fake Catholic news and insisting that the Catholic establishment was going to, and eventually did plot to prevent his election, would you expect all the Protestants to believe the establishment from which they are excluded, or would a significant fraction be inclined to believe "one of their own?"

15. For the reasons stated above (and I repeat) our major cultural institutions should try to assimilate right-leaning people into their staffs and leadership. How they would do so, on what terms, and how they would overcome the objections of their own tribe are beyond the scope of this post. But the first order of business is to recognize the problem, and try to overcome it. (And, by the way, not by hiring from among the 2% or so of the population that is strongly libertarian leaning like I am, which would not do much to resolve the underlying problem.)

NEXT: "The First Amendment Is Interpreted by the Courts, not Tech Companies"

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  1. You unironically describe how the left has married corporate and federal power, and then say the right is at risk of falling to fascism…

    1. Though I suppose the bar has been set low enough, I should be congratulating you on realizing that the current state of affairs is a bad one.

      1. Alright, calmed down and breathed. Articles like this are very frustrating to read, because I just want to shake the writer and ask them how the fuck they not only didn’t see this coming but can’t see that the leftist currently in power have no ideological objections to suppressing ideas. They don’t support free expression. They don’t consider free expression a human right. They don’t consider free expression a part of healthy society. They have a ideological opposition to free expression.

        This isn’t a exaggeration or a ‘oh that evil other team’ sort of thing. This is a honest acknowledgment that the current strain of leftist thought holds a different set of values than I or the author does. We are only going to see more censorship and attempts to crush any opposing belief systems over the next couple years, because allowing other belief systems to propagate or exist isn’t one of their values, so they have no ideological or moral reasons not to try and crush them.

        1. Stop defending hate speech! We had to stop Trump’s fascist movement with any and all available means. Now that we have accomplished that goal, we must remake society in the libertarian progressive image to prevent another racist, misogynistic bigot from seizing power.

          1. …the libertarian progressive image…

            ???

          2. I am assuming you are being sarcastic. It is hard to tell in this day and age as even the most outrageous statements are being made.

            1. He’s not really a Rabbi either.

        2. “Articles like this are very frustrating to read, because I just want to shake the writer and ask them how the fuck they not only didn’t see this coming but can’t see that the leftist currently in power have no ideological objections to suppressing ideas. They don’t support free expression. They don’t consider free expression a human right. They don’t consider free expression a part of healthy society. They have a ideological opposition to free expression.”

          When conservatives have control of a campus in higher education, the result customarily involves censorship, conduct codes, viewpoint-based discrimination (hiring, firing, admissions, discipline, research), loyalty oaths, suppression of science, enforcement of dogma, suppression of reason, teaching of nonsense, and/or intense surveillance.

          Should the liberal-libertarian mainstream be interested in pointers from conservatives on freedom of expression?

          1. There is no mainstream any longer, precisely because the left has become so illiberal that it engages in terrorism (Antifa) and slander (the projection of its own love of violence onto the innocent Right), as well as deplatforming people, rather than allow dissenters to be heard. The left does not merely disagree with us; they are malicious and act in ways that make them not only blood enemies but irredeemable.

            This is why we must and will have war to the knife.

            1. (the projection of its own love of violence onto the innocent Right)

              “they are malicious and act in ways that make them not only blood enemies but irredeemable. This is why we must and will have war to the knife.”

              Sounds like someone doth protest too much on the love of violence thing.

              1. I take it you live in a different reality than those that see this every day. I live in Seattle and have offices in both Seattle and Portland. ANTIFA lives to destroy. My Portland office has been not just vandalized, but destroyed four times. We have since moved to a safer area of Portland.

                Even on the safest days, I defy anyone to walk down central Seattle or Portland with a Trump MAGA hat and NOT get physically assaulted. Yes, a significant part of the left loves violence. Protest too much? Impossible.

          2. The difference is that the right wants to control its own institutions, but is willing to let the left have institutions, too.

            The left demands to control ALL institutions, and sets out to destroy what it can’t take over.

            1. “The difference is that the right wants to control its own institutions, but is willing to let the left have institutions, too.”

              When you say institutions are you including courts and the existence of a liberal democracy? Because recent history suggests that the right has a real problem with anyone slightly on the left exercising any power in the institutions of government.

              1. Are you high? Have you been drinking or are you just delusional?

          3. On his hobby horse again about colleges that no one has ever heard of.

            1. Aquinas, Biola, Christendom, Dallas, Evangel, Franciscan, Grove City, Houston Baptist, Bob Jones, King’s, Liberty, Thomas More, North Greenville, Ozarks, Patrick Henry, Regent, Scranton, Taylor, Union, Wheaton, Brigham Young . . . how many times should we go through the alphabet, cataloguing the hundreds of low-ranked, censorship-shackled, nonsense-teaching right-wing campuses?

              1. I’m guessing at the vast majority of these colleges, the consequences for, say, denying the divinity of Jesus would be less severe than publicly arguing at Harvard or similarly-situated schools that, e.g., there is no such thing as a transgender man or woman, that it’s best for society that women stay home to raise their children rather than pursue careers, that in some cases homosexuality can be changed via therapy, that there are differences in IQ among ethnic groups that are genetically based, and other positions that a fair number of people believe but that are taboo at “liberal” schools. Note, please, that I am not endorsing any of those views (except for denying the divinity of Jesus).

                1. You guess wrong, in my experience.

                  Religious schools discriminate based on religious dogma in hiring administrators. I helped a friend (who was unequipped for the brawling) overcome claims he was “not Catholic enough” when he was a candidate for executive positions on one campus. He had been to mass weekly since before he started kindergarten.

                  They engage in viewpoint-based discrimination against essentially all classes of employees. Faculty members to janitors. Administrators to landscapers. Cafeteria workers to librarians. A nationally prominent basketball coach once asked me to identify the most important qualification for a college coaching position. Was it player development? In-game management? Recruiting? Defensive wizardry? Mastery of an offensive scheme? Alumni relations? Fundraising? We went through a list for some time, with other writers and coaches joining the discussion. Finally, he provided the answer: “It’s not even close — be a Catholic.” The coaches all laughed and nodded.

                  Conservative-controlled campuses limit research to flatter dogma. They suppress science and reason to flatter superstition. They fire faculty members for acknowledging that Muslims might be decent people They collect loyalty oaths. They enforced old-timey speech and conduct codes. They teach nonsense. There is a reason most conservative-controlled campuses are fourth-tier (or unranked) institutions. The reason is that they deserve it because they are low-quality, low-character institutions — echo chambers, yahoo factories, self-limited failures.

                  1. “Religious schools discriminate based on religious dogma in hiring administrators. I helped a friend (who was unequipped for the brawling) overcome claims he was ‘not Catholic enough'”…
                    Well, speaking of dogma, try getting an administrator job at Harvard (or other “liberal” colleges) if you tell your interviewer that you believe that all students should be treated as individuals, and thus there shouldn’t be any affirmative action or special programming for minority students.

                    1. I guarantee that you woke even get in the door to make that speech, not in Cambridge you won’t.

                    2. Is the dean of Harvard Law School an administrator?

                      Is the dean of Harvard Law School a conservative?

                      You’re flailing, professor. For good reason. This is why you lose.

                    3. Try getting ANY job at most PUBLIC universities if you say that.

                      PUBLIC universities and colleges.

              2. Except for BYU, no one has heard of any of these. What a clinger you are to worn out whining.

                1. Liberty and Regent are not obscure schools, even (especially?) in the can’t-keep-up backwaters inhabited by conservatives. They are not small schools.

                  Get an education.

                2. Don,

                  Lots of people have heard of Liberty

                  From 2019 to 2020, Liberty’s unduplicated headcount (individual student enrollment) for online and residential topped 127,000, and that number is trending 10% higher for next year.

                  1. Liberty’s in-person registration is 15K.

                    I don’t know of a flagship public campus with a smaller student body but I could name 30 off the top of my head that I know to be larger.

                    Don’t make stupid arguments.

              3. All of those colleges together don’t educate as many students as the flagship public university in my state.

                Further, they educate students with private money, not taxpayer dollars.

                And they regularly have speakers with opposing viewpoints.

                You are such a hypocritical moron.

          4. When conservatives have control of a campus in higher education, the result customarily involves censorship, conduct codes, viewpoint-based discrimination (hiring, firing, admissions, discipline, research), loyalty oaths, suppression of science, enforcement of dogma, suppression of reason, teaching of nonsense, and/or intense surveillance.

            Wait, you think this isn’t the case at universities dominated by progressives? Do you honestly think there isn’t any censorship or viewpoint-based discrimination at, say, Oberlin, Berkley, Swarthmore, Tufts, Macalister, etc.? You think that if you went to that school an espoused traditional conservative views, you wouldn’t have your application for a position (much less tenure track) be rejected or see students shunned from organizations or leadership roles, receive lower grades, or suffer any other consequences because of their views?

            Because, let me tell you, that’s been the case for a long, long time. At least the deeply religious schools I know were up front about it.

            1. “Do you honestly think there isn’t any censorship or viewpoint-based discrimination at, say, Oberlin, Berkley, Swarthmore, Tufts, Macalister, etc.? You think that if you went to that school an espoused traditional conservative views, you wouldn’t have your application for a position (much less tenure track) be rejected”

              This is one context in which it is especially unfortunate that this blog’s partisan decline has diminished Prof. Kerr’s inclination to participate. He could respond to this one with special insight. And, I expect, proper spelling.

              1. RAK, we expect proper thinking. You display that very seldom indeed.

                1. These are your peeps, Prof. Bernstein.

                  This is why you lose.

                2. He is really pathetic. Like a wind-up MSNBC talking points machine.

        3. I understand completely. I’ve had the chance to be the bug on the wall…the most conservative person in a meeting of liberals and the most liberal person in a meeting of conservatives. I see the miscommunication and misunderstanding. I see how liberals don’t understand conservatives (and don’t realize how close they on most issues).
          Liberals, including my wife, view conservatives as straw men with conveniently wrong beliefs. My wife listens to NPR every day and then she reads progressive blogs. She probably would be happy to see conservatives sent to concentration camps. She thinks people in rural America are all proto-KKK members ready to kill her because she is not white.
          I am old and in chronic pain. I don’t have energy for this fight anymore. I think the left is going to get carried away and do its best to make structural changes to the political process so that the GOP can be legally suppressed. It won’t be concentration camps; it will be the soft tyranny of China’s social credit system.

          1. You are correct, Grand Moff Tarkin.

        4. I like to remind people that Hillary Clinton entered college as a “Goldwater Girl.”

          We’re in the converse of 1964, before a lot of things imploded and the social tide turned. Higher ed is gonna implode, etc.

        5. The answer is quite simple. The author is far more sympathetic with precious lefties than he is with you coarse deplorables. I mean, he did spend four years whining, clutching pearls and getting the vapors over Trump being mean. If you want to play a game of Imagine, imagine if Bernstein and his ilk spent anywhere near as much effort attacking the left as they did attacking Trump.

    2. Huey Long’s famous quote when asked if fascism would ever come to America:

      “Sure, we’ll have Fascism in this country and we’ll call it anti-Fascism.”

      1. Wasn’t that Churchill? Huey Long said everyman deserved a chicken and a pot, I think..

        1. Not definitively linked to Huey Long, but the quote goes back to the late 1930’s.

        2. Long discussion from QuoteInvestigator.

          tl;dr – lot’s of people ascribed it to Long soon after his death, but they didn’t find any direct attribution. Mencken and Churchill expressed similar thoughts.

          It’s a neat quote, albeit almost a truism – the man/party on a white horse always promises he/they are just assuming the minimal powers needed to get through the present emergency, and only temporarily for the shortest possible period.

          What they actually do is the inverse, of course. IIRC the SA had the first camps opened for political opponents within a week or two of Hitler becoming chancellor.

      2. Oh. So that means the American right-wing are actually fascist because they constantly insist that they are against fascism, right?

        1. Does that also mean that anti-racists are actually racists? Oy gevalt!

          1. Sometimes. I’ll also note that the right likes to insist that the modern left are the REAL racists and they’re actually anti-racist because they profess to believe in color-blindness.

            1. So both parties are playing the old “I know you are but what am I?” game. Who said things get better after high school?

              1. Bowling for Soup was right.

                1. Did Bowling for Soup claim you were an idiot making arguments that a teen should be embarrassed by?

                  If so, spot on.

            2. I don’t know about the “modern left”, but the woke CRT left is racist as hell. They judge EVERYBODY by their race and age and gender. Textbook bigotry. And proud of it.

            3. It seems to me the left filters most issues and motives of others through the lens of race and gender. They use it as a political weapon. The right does so as well but not to the same extent by a long shot.

    3. The Right wants to put people like me into a concentration camp! I’ve seen the Nazi frogs on Twitter and Reddit and know I won’t be safe until these tech giants clamp down HARD on hateful language and conspiracy theories. Every MAGA Nazi needs to be on a watchlist! These people deserve to be fired and have their lives ruined for supporting a fascist president. We won’t forget who supported and enabled Trump’s behavior when Biden is in office. Prepare for a knock on your door from the FBI and then from Antifa with a Molotov cocktail!

      1. The malicious lie that the right are fascists and Nazis proves that the left are the fascists and Nazis.

        1. The “malicious lie” is based on two things:

          1) Perhaps most importantly actual self-described fascists or fascist friendly people explicitly put themselves in extreme opposition to the “left.”

          2) The historical evidence that fascist parties (and fascist friendly parties), including the Nazi party, tend to get support from self-described conservative and other right leaning parties. I mean I’d love to hear your amazing historical explanation about how the following regimes were somehow left-wing:

          Croatia under Pavlic
          Czechoslovakia under Tiso
          Hungary under the Arrow Cross Party

          And lets not forget that fascist friendly regimes of Francoist Spain and Vichy France.

          1. Is the Ku Klux Klan still considered a Republican affiliated group? How many members have to be real bigots instead of FBI agents for the hate group to be considered legitimate? It is easy to smear someone’s reputation by associating them with some crazed loon. Should Republicans spent all of their time in the media denouncing crazies instead of discussing policies?

            1. The Klan at its inception and back in it’s heyday was almost exclusively Democrats.

            2. RabbiHarveyWeinstein : Should Republicans spent all of their time in the media denouncing crazies instead of discussing policies?

              That would be an excessive demand. With Trump, however, it would be kinda nice to see him capable of doing it once. But from Charlottesville, to the Proud Boys, to QAnon, to the Capitol rioters – the words just always seem to stick in his throat. Each time we’re told Trump meant to, but things just didn’t come out right.

              We’ve been told that so often we now doubt it’s true.

              1. Have you seen the video of President Trump denouncing both white supremacists and Antifa as bad people, without any effort?

                He did it at Charlottesville. He’s denounced these things at least 38 times.

                Yet we’re told he never denounces these things. Is it any wonder that half the country doesn’t trust the Press?

          2. Mao
            Stalin
            Pol Pot
            The list goes on of right wing fascist evil. In the spectrum of political parties, the extreme left and right are equally evil.

            They will both wrap themselves in the flag to justify their devious and evil acts.

          3. Fascists were always on the left. Mussolini was a socialist. Hitler took over the National Socialist Workers’ party.

            The Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks hated each other although they were almost indistinguishable.

            They simply hated other parties on the left more because they competed for the same idiots.

            1. Remember when you called me an idiot up thread? That was kind of a silly thing to do considering your lack of historical knowledge.

    4. The right is always at risk of falling for fascism because it is a right-wing phenomenon. There’s a reason that all the fascist states or fascist-friendly states in Europe and the 1930s and 1940s were right-wing.

      1. Well said! No enemies to the left, denounce the bigots to the right!

        1. The left can also fall victim to various authoritarian and totalitarian ideologies.

            1. I don’t think wanting to alter the corporate income tax rate is the same on the authoritarianism scale as trying to overturn elections blatantly, but you do you.

              1. Cherry picking I see. How are the cherries this season? A bit early don’t you think? Regarding the overturning of an election, are you privy to the facts that prove your argument that no one else has seen? I will not go into the detail, but state election laws were illegally circumvented and this is an established fact. Had they not been circumvented, the election results may have been different. When you have half the country losing confidence in the electoral process, it is a leadership imperative that the facts be revealed and the guilty made to pay regardless of party affiliation. If they were misled, why was there no bipartisan demand or action to prove it? No answers or effort to seek the truth left them with no choice. Please clarify: Is an attempt to challenge election results wrong? How is that authoritarian? The right were not given any answers but were told to go pound sand. The left got caught lying regarding Fulton county Georgia and no action taken. Why can’t elections officials by compelled to give sworn testimony? Elections are important and we should take the time to immediately investigate claims and sanction anyone that makes knowingly false claims. I highly doubt the 1000’s of sworn affidavits are all wrong. Widespread vote buying took place in multiple states and some are now charged. 99% were for buying or illegally influencing voters for Biden or progressive local candidates.

                Authoritarianism is wrong, but so is blatant corruption. Biden is guilty of not disclosing and then lying about his and Hunter’s ILLEGAL business partnerships with China, but nothing to see here, move on. And then there is Ukraine.

          1. Just as we are witnessing now.

      2. Europe defines left and right differently than the US does. What Europe considers the right wing, we consider left wing (Quite literally, the Democrat part is moderate right wing party in Europe). This is mostly because Europe doesn’t have a significant group that believes the government should stay out of people’s economics and lives. So our political system has an entire facet of debate that simply don’t exist over there.

        1. Okay. But the fascist parties in Europe alway lean super heavily into tropes that Americans would consider right-wing. Traditionalism, nationalism, the return to a mythic past that never actually existed, etc.

          1. And? So did the people that took the Nazis down. America was at its most traditional, nationalistic, and claiming a mythic past when they fought world war II. In fact in America, the eugenics and pro-fascist movement was strongest in the left who were quite a bit less nationalistic. Quite clearly those things have nothing to do with fascism, anymore than liking black and skull motifs do. Unless your going to argue that goths are some sort of Fascist fifth column.

            1. You guys are gonna have to decide if your left wing boogeyman is a commie or a fascist. You can’t have it both ways.

              1. You do realize that fascists and communists fight for recruits from the same ideological groups right?. Much like democrats hate republicans more than they hate the muslim men pushing gay children off buildings. Communists and fascists despise each other the most because they are so much closer together ideologically that they are stepping on each others toes.

                1. They are both extremists, as are the president’s supporters who stormed the capitol. What of it? They are still different. An entity cannot simultaneously be fascist and communist. They are diametrically opposed on any number of philosophical and policy points.

                  1. State dominance in the name of a favored group.

                    That describes, at the most stripped down terms, both socialists and fascists. They are identical in the things that make them illiberal. They differ only in the method of state control (ownership versus unlimited capacity to regulate) and the favored group (working class or ethnic or national group).

                    Imagine liberalism is a baseball team. Arguing that the Patriots are different than the Buccaneers doesn’t matter… to the baseball team then in every way that matters they are both equally football teams and that is all that matters.

            2. Uh they have a lot to do with fascism. Why else do fascist leaders engage in it all the time?

              1. Nationalism is about what you take pride in. Fascism is a type of government. They just aren’t related in the way your trying to connect them. A government won’t suddenly become less fascists if they embrace other international fascists anymore than a government would become less communist if it embraced nationalism. Nationalism isn’t a key element to government type.

                1. That’s just historically incorrect. Hyper nationalism is a key element of the fascist ideology.

                  1. Fascism isn’t an ideology. It’s a type of government.

                    1. Dude. What? That’s completely wrong.

                    2. No, it quite literally the truth. Fascism is a type of government where the state exerts control over the private sector through mass regulation that mimics ownership (you must pay your laborers this much, you may only charge this much, etc. etc.). Socialism is where the government actively owns the businesses in the private sector, and communism is where the government owns everything.

                      For example, China has downgraded from a true communist country to a socialist country and is currently hovering on becoming a fascist one.

                      This is why people claiming the right is fascist is always greeted as ridiculous. Fascism is more likely to be a stepping stone towards socialism or communism.

                    3. Dude. Take a class on European history, or the Holocaust, or the history of social and political thought. A fascist government puts fascist ideology into practice.

                      “This is why people claiming the right is fascist is always greeted as ridiculous.”

                      It is only greeted as ridiculous by people are seriously historically uninformed.

                    4. Saying there is a fascist ideology is about as meaningful as saying there is a democratic ideology. In that its not at all. The word you are looking for is the Nazi ideology. The ideology supported by the Nazi party, which included things like Racial superiority, authoritarianism, vegetarianism, and nationality. Fascism was the type of government the Nazi party pushed, but the holocaust wouldn’t have been any better if they’d chosen the communist route like Russia did (as we know from the horrors Russia committed before the iron curtain fell).

                  2. You mean like the eternal myth of Mother Russia

                  3. Stalin, mao, pol pot, Kim ir sen were communists and nationalists.
                    In general, once socialism wins, the government soon becomes very nationalistic.

              2. If we got rid of nationalists in our military, there would be no military. The DoD just announced they were in the process of identifying and purging the armed forces of right wing extremists. I wonder what their criteria are for that.

          2. ” But the fascist parties in Europe alway lean super heavily into tropes that Americans would consider right-wing…”

            They are, and always have been expressly anti-capitalist/anti free market.

            Their ‘traditionalism’ also strongly rejects religion.

            And they are nationalists in the sense that they oppose the international form of socialism, but not the socialism.

            Otherwise you sure nailed it.

            1. “They are, and always have been expressly anti-capitalist/anti free market.”

              Doesn’t mean they are not right wing. Our current Republican Party is abandoning its devotion to free-market principles when it comes to Big Tech. And notably, fascist parties aren’t big on organized labor either.

              Their ‘traditionalism’ also strongly rejects religion.

              That is completely false. Arrow Party, Ustashe, Tiso, etc. were all Catholic traditionalist parties. So were Francoist Spain and Vichy France which were aligned with fascist regimes. It is also notable, that there was significant Protestant support for the Nazi regime.

              “And they are nationalists in the sense that they oppose the international form of socialism, but not the socialism.”

              Well, they did not believe in national ownership of the means of production. Which is pretty key. Also economic policy was obviously racially exclusionary….so its not really socialist if classes are excluded from the welfare state.

              So I certainly nailed it more than you did.

        2. “Europe doesn’t have a significant group that believes the government should stay out of people’s economics and lives”

          Which American group believes government should stay out?
          Conservatives? Libertarians For Statist Womb Management? Libertarians For Government Gay-Bashing?

          1. Fun fact: one can still be a libertarian and still believe that the government can intervene in some things.

            I know how difficult this can be for Leftists like you to believe, when the only freedoms you recognize are the right to screw whomever you want (even if the other person disagrees), the right to use whatever drugs you want, and the right to kill the unborn — and that everything else needs to be regulated up the wazoo.

            1. “the right to screw whomever you want (even if the other person disagrees)”

              Leftists are pro rape?

        3. Europe doesn’t have a significant group that believes the government should stay out of people’s economics and lives.

          That depends on how you define “significant”. The German FDP certainly fits in that category, and so do (parts of) other European centre-right parties. %-wise, that will typically run you to about 5%-10% of the electorate, just like in the US. The problem is that people who think the government is the problem rather than the solution typically don’t go into politics.

      3. There is no good reason National Socialism is considered right wing and International Socialism is considered left wing.

        FDR certainly did not see anything wrong with Mussolini:
        “… I am much interested and deeply impressed by what he has accomplished and by his evidenced honest purpose of restoring Italy and seeking to prevent general European trouble.”
        “I don’t mind telling you in confidence that I am keeping in fairly close touch with the admirable Italian gentleman.”

        1. There actually is a good historical reason: fascist parties in Europe came to power with significant support from conservative and right leaning parties and were explicitly opposed to international socialism.

          1. The cribs are explicitly opposed to the bloods.
            Doesn’t make them different.

        2. Well there is the real reason. It would be very hard to convince people to join the democrat party if they took credit as being part of the ideology that gave birth to both the horrors of communism, Fascism, and the strong man banana republic style authoritarians. Join my party we promise to stop just short of committing atrocities, isn’t very compelling.

          1. Actually it would be hard to convince people to join the democrat party because such a party does not exist.

            1. Biden and Hariss are going to be extremely shocked to hear their party doesn’t exist.

              1. Their party is the Democratic Party. There is no such thing as the Democrat Party.

            2. Is that the extent of your observation and critique?

        3. Mussolini was very popular with a significant number of New Dealers in the early 30s.

          1. And Hitler was very popular with a number of conservatives in the early 30’s, and neo-Nazis still infest right-wing politics to this day.

            1. Reminds me of Louis Farakhan, a powerful DNC politician and a fan of Hitler.

              1. a powerful DNC politician

                LOL

      4. How do you decide if the party is left-wing or right-wing?

      5. Fascists were on the left.

        The Nazis and Italian Fascists were revolutionary parties, not of the right.

        1. Well that is not supported historically but okay. I mean ask any historian of the Holocaust or Nazi Germany and they will tell you you are incorrect. Unless you have some basis for believing you somehow obtained more knowledge of Nazi Germany than Saul Friedlander, Yehuda Baurer or Christopher Browning.

          1. FWIW, check out points 11 through 21 of the Nazi 25 Point Program.

            That said, I tend to agree with classifying them as right wing, because they never really did any of those things.

            Mostly, though, I find the endless partisan attempts to imply that Stalin/Mao/Pol Pot being bad means that the Democrats are bad, or that Hitler/Mussolini/Pinochet were bad means the Republicans are bad. Or that the Inquisition/Crusades mean religion is bad (and I’m an atheist). Genocidal totalitarians are bad, even if they are centrist Unitarians who like dogs.

  2. If the right builds parallel institutions as they are currently, such as gab or parler, it would just be enough to not have existing ones dominated by leftists try to shut them down.

    1. What responsible company would enable hate speech with their assets? These companies have a duty to limit speech to socially acceptable boundaries, as determined by Ivy League intellectuals and mainstream journalists.

      1. Stop it.

        It’s called making money. And being an offensive asshole has rarely been good for making money at any point in history. If people don’t like you, then they usually will not want to do business with you. Acting like this is some uniquely modern form of authoritarian government censorship is lame.

        1. There are a few exceptions.
          Pornhub might have banned unverified users from posting but they still have plenty of categories of porn that abuse and degrade women. Who says smut doesn’t sell?

        2. Well, in all honesty though, democrats control the house, the senate and the presidency…. they can destroy any large business if they choose to, and their principles do allow them to do so. So it’s no surprise that these large corporations will define conservatives as “offensive assholes”, and will kick them out – it’s good for the business to be seen as “allies” by the left-wing politicians.

          You know that in authoritarian country it’s normal that corporations appease the government, and dissent is seen as something “offensive”, “seditious”, and maybe even “treasonous”.

  3. Prof. Bernstein is running headlong into charges of hypocrisy about quotas. If we can force NPR to have a conservatives, why can’t we force everyone to have 10% black and 50% women in their (pick your institution)?

    Also, people on the left presume their cultural dominance in certain institutions is a result of competency in a meritocracy. This will show in the comment section in about 10 minutes, and they will say leave it as is you sore loser conservatives. It’s not competence per se, it’s a combination of self-selection into these institutions by liberals and self-selection out of these institutions by conservatives, and association bias leading the few conservatives who actually WANT to be say, an NPR reporter, not getting the job.

    1. Looks like someone had his Ivy League application denied! Sad

      1. Fair to middling attempt at trolling. 1/2 point to Hufflepuff for you I suppose, though the score means what it does in Who’s Line Is It Anyway.

        Meritocracies and hierarchies of competency only really exist in endeavors with objective qualifications, like sports and chess and, to an extent, science and engineering.

        1. Science has already been brought to heel by modern gender ideology. Do you think any egg head scientist has the gonads to go against the collective will of the mob?

          1. Yes and no. What part of science? Hard science or social science?
            Social science has been co-opted…leftists are wearing its skin walking around demanding respect.

            The autists who are doing sh*t like using x-ray telescopes to measure star gravity are 1) not in the public eye and 2) doing work where objectivity matters and thus there won’t be a “critical” theory of thermal dynamics.

            In short, Winston was right, in that double think isn’t possible everywhere.

            1. Trans-men are being given prostate exams and gender-confused children are being given sex hormones as part of their “gender confirmation”. You might call it “soft science” but it is having a real impact in the healthcare field.

              1. Health care is not medical science. For instance, FDA approval still requires some double blind peer review level of efficacy.

              2. And yet the social scientists calls “privileged” those people who profess the same gender “that they were assigned at birth.”
                A handy sophistry confusing gender with sex.

                1. Don…he’s trolling.

              3. I have given up caring. If I speak out and try to keep people from harm I get shouted down for being a transphobe. I am just going to stay quiet and watch people maim themselves….I will cry in private.
                There are millions of people in pain. There are millions of confused people. The current woke view on trans rights is going to make many of these people suffer needlessly. And the legacy media and the medical profession and academia will ignore all this pain.

    2. (1) Whether it’s a meritocracy or not is besides the point.
      (2) Legitimacy of major institutions is the best justification for any sort of affirmative action, if there is a sufficient gap between the institution and society at large. Caveats: (a) I’m not advocating proportional representation, which is how AA plays out, more or less at universities, I’m saying “some” representation; (b) It doesn’t have to be all institutions, just the most important ones. Harvard Law School is different than Thomas Jefferson; (c) The more assimilated a group is into the group that was previously dominant, the less you need formal representation, though our trend seems to be the opposite; (d) the goal of representation in elite institutions with regard to ethnic minorities in a country where they have been excluded should be as a stopgap until those groups get assimilated, and assimilation should be the goal. The current goal appears to be indefinite balkinization (and thus segregated orientations, dorms, graduations, and even alumni memorial services); (e) You need to be precise on who needs representation for legitimacy purposes, and it’s not people who have immigrated since 1965 and their descendants.

      1. Anything other than proportional representation is a sign of structural racism, David. How can you be so bigoted? Oh wait! You are a privileged white man who benefits from structural racism.

      2. Hasn’t your work on who is what race by what standards as measured by whom, shown that line drawing for quotas for benefits kinda dumb in the first place?

        It seems silly to me to do the same thing to try to bring in conservatives via quotas for seats in academic departments. In what you’re advocating, now it’s not just the color of their skin or ancestry, it’s what they believe, an even trickier thing to nail down. You’d have the quotas filled up with David French types, and folks like Joseph Schumpeter reincarnated would never get a call back for a submitted resume.

        1. For diversity record keeping, is Kamala Harris more Black or more Asian (i.e. Indian)?

          1. Depends on what your notch count tally is missing when you’re banging her to give the quid pro quo to advance her political career as she sleep her way to the top, like she did with Willy Brown. If you’d never had an Asian before, then she’s Asian, if you’d never had a black before, then she’s black, etc. etc.

            https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2020/08/willie_brown_admits_it_kamala_harris_slept_her_way_to_the_top.html

        2. The question is what you are trying to achieve. If you are trying to persuade people that a certain institution isn’t entirely oblivious to your groups’ interests and point of view, then specifically trying to have people from your group represented in that institution can achieve that. If your goal is creating “justice” by figuring out how many people of a given group “should” be represented in some hypothetical world, that’s not going to work for a variety of reasons.

          1. Okay, that’s a fair reply. But that’s not where we are at.
            Here’s a reformulation of a classic trope: When the left did not dominate academia, it was in their interest to advocate for diversity of ideology. In the interest of fairness, stodgy academia opened the door. Now that leftists control academia, it’s not in the interest of leftists to advocate for diversity of ideology. Therefore, leftists will not advocate for diversity of ideology.

            I think it’s better to build separate institutions, or skirt the gatekeepers, or to tear down the institutions taken over by leftists when and where possible.

    3. “It’s not competence per se, it’s a combination of self-selection into these institutions by liberals and self-selection out of these institutions by conservatives, and association bias leading the few conservatives who actually WANT to be say, an NPR reporter, not getting the job.”

      The problem–really accelerated in the last four years–is that the Republican strategy of doubling down on social issues and white grievance politics has created a tremendous re-sorting of political affiliation. A decade or two ago, it would have been astonishing to have the finance tycoons and the women’s studies professors and the tech nerds and both the ACLU and the white shoe legal firms all roughly lined up politically. It’s not that liberals won out and took control of the institutions that they didn’t run previously, it’s that Republicans have decided that the route to political power is to consistently alienate the people who work in those institutions.

      I’ll just give one example of this: the limitation on SALT deduction as part of TCJA was clearly meant as an F-U towards the blue states, but the effect of this was mostly strongly felt by the managerial class in big coastal cities (places like Orange County or the Jersey suburbs), people who often voted Republican in the past on pocketbook issues but who weren’t so aligned with the evangelical social agenda. These people were part of the huge shift of suburban bastions of Republicanism to the Democrats beginning in 2018.

      So like I said: it’s not that Democrats are smarter or capable, just that Republicans have been doing all they can to alienate people in these institutions and are now complaining about the consequences.

      1. I can’t really disagree with much of what you’ve noted, except I’m afraid to tell you that the partisan sorting you’ve noticed only the past few years, has been going on for decades and is accelerating.
        There used to be southern democrats who were conservatives, and northern republicans who were liberals. Now we have northern democrat liberals and southern democrat republicans.

        To further add to this, despite the fact that blue staters colonizing other states for lower taxes, people are also self selecting where they live (foot voting Ilya would say) to be near those of the same ideology.

        See The Partisan Sort by Mayhew: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0226473651/reasonmagazinea-20/

        1. Oh, I agree this has been going on for a while, but as you say has been accelerating and Trump really super-charged it particularly with regards to some of the institutions we’re talking about here.

      2. I agree that Republican political strategy has sorted the parties in a way that makes exclusion of Republicans from the mainstream elite more likely. But note that surveys of Republicans vs. Democrats still show that Republicans are much more likely to be in favor, at least in the surveys, of less spending and smaller government than are Democrats. So social issues aren’t the only issue dividing Rs from Ds.

        1. We should move towards a European style parliament with different parties representing the various racial groups in the United States. We can follow in the footsteps of Yugoslavia and make a multicultural paradise that benefits everyone!

          1. That’s ironically a good idea.

        2. Excuse me, but bullshit. Republicans spend just as much if not more than Democrats; the only question is what they spend it on. Republicans do favor lower taxes, but they just throw stuff on a credit card. And eventually those cards will max out, and taxes will have to go up. Democrats at least recognize that somebody has to pay for all that spending. And that we have all that spending because the public wants all that spending.

          1. For decades the Dems spent money to buy votes and expected Republicans to raise taxes to keep things solvent.

            The Republicans finally figured out that strategy was great for the Dems but bad for them.

            If you restrain the Dems, the GOP will restrain itself.

        3. But note that surveys of Republicans vs. Democrats still show that Republicans are much more likely to be in favor, at least in the surveys, of less spending and smaller government than are Democrats.

          A more accurate statement would be “surveys of Republicans vs. Democrats still show that Republicans are much more likely to lie about being being in favor of […]”.

          Anyone who believes otherwise hasn’t been paying attention to what Republicans do when in power. If you only care about deficits when you’re not in charge, you don’t care about deficits, you care about partisanship.

      3. NYT fired a few folks because they dared to publish an article written by an American senator. A bunch of supposed adults cried and seeped and claimed they were endangered because this article was published.

        Did we see anything like that a decade ago?

  4. Given that the right, not the left, has attempted to subvert a democratic election and install an aulthoritarian dictator who makes decisions baded on wishful thinking rather than facts, I’m not sure if this is the time to say that academia’s distrust of the right is unfair.

    However deeply I may disagree with the Democrats on some of the issues, right now they are the only party that is sane, and who can be trusted not to subvert the constitution in a really major way. Yes they do it in lesser ways, but they don’t try to overthrow elections by false fraud claims, threats, mobs, and trying to muscle the peole counting the votes.

    I think that makes a big difference. A person loyal to the constitution has to go with the people who accept and do not try to subvert or overthrow the results of elections, however strong the policy disagreements may be.

    1. For 4 years conservative thought leaders told their voters how great the undemocratic aspects of the Constitution were and that the Senate and Electoral College are sacrosanct and can’t be amended (even though both have already been amended). So it makes sense that their voters would have no respect for a democratic outcome when they have no respect for democracy.

      1. Don’t forget that American democracy was already subverted when Russia hackers provided material aid to the Trump campaign by hacking the DNC servers! Trump needs to be erased from history for taking aid from those devious, scheming, money-grubbing Russian punks.

      2. Shorter Sebastian: The GOP’s respect for the Constitution and well-functioning institutions at the expense of votes for my side means that the GOP is undemocratic.

    2. That’s the most conventional wisdom take of conventional wisdom takes that was ever conventionally taken.

      1. I’m sure CNN has some stock footage of a Klan rally they can play in the background while talking about the Republican threat to democracy.

    3. The only party that’s sane?

      The folks that spent the summer trying to burn the cities down. Mobs going into neighborhoods in the middle of the night to stir up trouble?

      The people that convinced themselves that the post office was part of a nefarious plan to steal the election? That think Stacy Abrams is the governor of Georgia?

      Nah. They’re not sane either.

      1. Republicans deny climate change.
        Republicans deny systemic racism.
        Republicans deny transgenderism.
        Republicans deny the election outcome.
        Who do you think is on the right side of history?

        1. Republicans. Because they tell the truth about all those things.

        2. Climate change is overwrought (and be careful arguing this, I’m a degreed earth scientist). Dems have their own issues with science.

          How the fuck do you deny transgenderism? It obviously exists. I think you made that one up.

          You are correct on the election, but I just pointed out an example of Dems denying election outcomes.

          I haven’t seen many people denying systemic racism.

          I’ll say it again – if y’all on the left want to credibly criticize the right maybe you should clean up your own shit first.

            1. Seems to me that we’ve all heard that worn-out song before

      2. The people that convinced themselves that the post office was part of a nefarious plan to steal the election? That think Stacy Abrams is the governor of Georgia?

        Nobody thinks Stacey Abrams is the governor of Georgia.

        As for he USPS, here’s what happened:

        1. It becomes apparent that there will be a huge surge in mail-in voting in the November elections, and mail-ins are expected to heavily favor Democrats.

        2. Trump megadonor Louis DeJoy is appointed Postmaster General.

        3. DeJoy immediately institutes massive changes which will indisputably have the effect of slowing down mail deliveries, thereby making some mail-in ballots late. Indeed, he tries to stop treating ballots as express mail.

        Nothing to see here, folks. Just move along.

        1. *ahem*

          If you applied those same standards of levels of evidence to allegations of election fraud, say the kind caught on video (!) in Georgia…then there is something there to see. I agree.

          1. Nothing was caught on video in Georgia, you credulous fool.

            1. *snort*

              Press and GOP observers are kicked out, hidden cameras catch people pulling boxes of hidden ballots out, and running them through scanners for hours, before folks are let back in hours later. Votes for Biden spike during real time expositions of that exact time period.

              Even if you are wary of the whole Dominion software thing, and who isn’t, that’s just classic ballot box stuffing, the kind that went on in Chicago and still goes on under big city machines since the history of democracy.

              Why is it so hard for you fathom that it happened?

              1. Because it didn’t happen?

                Why is it so hard for you to fathom that Trump and his gang – Giuliani, Powell, Wood, have nothing to go on.

                Among other things, Raffensperger and his staff would have been huge heroes to the national GOP if they had uncovered anything like that. Their careers would have been made. They had every incentive to find fraud if it was there.

                Like Sarcastro said, you’re a credulous fool, another mark for Trump. Made a fortune yet in real estate, using what you learned at Trump University?

                Ballots in ballot containers!! Scandal!!

                1. It’s pretty astounding. Six months before the election, Trump clearly states he’d claim fraud if Biden wins. Three months before the election, Trump tells everyone he’ll claim fraud if he loses. One month before the Election, Trump openly says he’ll cry fraud if the results go against him.

                  So the votes are counted and Trump says …. “fraud”. Immediately all of the cult is triggered. They’re shocked! horrified! amazed! infuriated! anguished! distraught! shell-shocked! inconsolable!

                  How can people possibly be so goddamn gullible and dumb ?!?

        2. Abrams has openly been claiming to be the rightful governor of Georgia for four years and nobody calls her on it. Trump claims to be the rightful president elect for a month (pre riot) and the media and democrats have a mutual bovine birth event.

          And on the post office thing, I’m sorry, but people were taking pics of mailboxes locked down for security reasons and saying “see?!?!?” It was proof of the scheme. In August. Before any votes were cast. Democratic congressfools were calling hearings and shit.

          The Republicans are not sane right now. Neither is the other major party.

          1. Show me where, as you claim, Democrats “think Stacy Abrams is the governor of Georgia.” Show me where she thinks that.

            And your answer on the USPS is completely unresponsive to my comment. Did the things I describe not happen? Here’s a clue – DeJoy himself admitted that his changes would slow down the mail.

            I guess it never occurred to him that might have electoral implications.

            1. Bernard,
              Tsk Tsk.
              He said that “Abrams has openly been claiming to be the rightful governor of Georgia for four years .”
              When you argue at least quote the guy correctly.

              1. Scroll back a bit, and you will see that bevis the lumberjack did indeed claim that Democrats, “think Stacy Abrams is the governor of Georgia.”

              2. Don,

                BtL wrote, of the Democrats,

                “The people that convinced themselves that the post office was part of a nefarious plan to steal the election? That think Stacy Abrams is the governor of Georgia?”

            2. I’m not aware of she claiming to be governor but many of her supporters loudly and vociferously claim the election was stolen.

    4. “Mak[ing] decisions based on wishful thinking rather than facts” sounds like a description of every politician since, well, ever. That most specifically includes every one of our recent presidents from both parties.

    5. And just which party spent the last 4 years attempting to undermine a legitimately elected president by claiming his election was fraudulent and stolen because of foreign interference.

  5. Conservatives need to come up with a better ideology because they are very quick to discard conservative policies and become liberals when they take over the White House. So W Bush won re-election thanks to Medicare Drug plan and expanding welfare and deficit spending tax cuts. Trump actually strengthened Obamacare (to help out the Kushner family) and had trillion dollar deficits prior to 2020!?! So tax cuts that lead to deficits aren’t “conservative”. The voters in Trump’s best states have voted for Democrats to fully implement Obamacare or to protect Obamacare. Conservatism is definitely preferable at the state level because states can’t engage in deficit spending, but that just means the federal government will end up engaging in even more deficit spending once Republicans win back the White House.

    1. You need to differentiate “conservatism” from “conservatives in office”. There are very few of the latter, of which Trump really wasn’t one. He was at best a nationalist, and if he was conservative in policy, it was only to appease his base.

      1. I agree, Trump won the primary in 2016 by getting moderates to vote in the Republican primary. I see Trump as a Jim Webb Democrat and I like that he gave voice to people that I believe have been ignored the last 20 years. Where Trump went wrong, and I saw this early on, was Trump not realizing who his allies were (moderate Democrats and Republicans) and who his enemies were (McConnell, W Bush loyalists, Pelosi, and Schumer). So in Louisiana Democrat governor John Bel Edwards never said one negative thing about Trump but Trump inexplicably campaigned for a conservative Republican to beat him…then John Bel Edwards is right back by Trump’s side after winning. So Trump was waaaaay too partisan as president and he can’t blame that on Pelosi and Schumer because Trump was the president with the bully pulpit.

        1. Where Trump went wrong, is that he presumed that he was the president if he said “I want X policy done” that it would be done. In reality, the bureaucracy and others either ignored it or did “Y policy.”

          The Trump administration was the single biggest example of what the political scientist Neustadt said that the president’s power is the power to persuade.

          1. Does it occur to you that maybe the bureaucracy is the grownups in the room?

            1. Perhaps, but when one considers that the bureaucrats in question may very well be George W. Bush appointees, one begins to wonder: if the bureaucrats are the ones running the show, then what’s the point of holding elections?

              This isn’t just limited to the President: we have bureaucrats creating legislation independent of Congress, and even congressional staffers for a particular office can stick around for successive Representatives and Senators, thus nullifying, to some degree, election results.

              This is a bug, and not the feature you make it out to be.

      2. Right. The main appeal of Trump to actual conservatives wasn’t that he was one of them, but rather that he would adopt conservative positions to please his voting base, because he lacked any ideological convictions that would dictate otherwise. He’d “dance with the one what brung him”.

        Our great fear was that the Democrats would understand that he was just a pragmatist, offer to cooperate with him, and that he’d pivot to the left and govern from the center. But the Democrats burned that bridge long before election day.

        1. Once again, I agree Pelosi and Schumer did that but Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan also did that. So Trump’s reaction was to become a hyper partisan Republican when his appeal in 2016 was that he was a pragmatist calling out the stupidity of the Washington ruling elite. Paul Ryan got what he wanted with the tax cuts and McConnell got what he wanted with judicial appointments and then Trump lost re-election so he didn’t get what he wanted.

  6. Unfortunately, American institutions need some creative destruction and they need to be creatively destroyed completely.

    Nothing will get better as long as we increasingly look to a single centralized government to rule a country that, at its founding, was considered far too large and diverse to be ruled by a single government without inevitable tyranny, but that now is 132x larger in terms of population and probably 10-15x larger in terms of land area.

    1. Thanks to ML for showing why some ideologies are too far out to be helpful additions to academic diversity.

      1. Yep, basic principles of federalism and self-government are “too far out” in the minds of leftists. Thanks for proving my point.

        1. Ah yes, the “basic principle” of “blow it all up, throw away 230 years of history, and start all over” which sounds so reasonable to the average American.

          Your argument about a “single centralized government” dates back to before the Constitution was even ratified. You’re make anti-federalist arguments 234 years later. Maybe try living in the present and acknowledge that the world is different than it was 234 years ago?

          1. You cannot deny that the anti-federalists have been proved correct over time, at least in some respects descriptively speaking. Yet Madison and Hamilton were in substantial agreement with the anti-federalists as a relative matter compared to where we are today, and even they would be shocked and appalled at the usurpations of the General Government.

            Maybe you should try living in the present and acknowledge that the world is different than several millennia ago? Because while I am advocating the newest and freshest ideas and form of government on the face of the Earth, your alternative is nothing other than a return to the forms as old as history.

            1. 1) I absolutely can deny that anti-federalists have been proven correct. They were not correct. I think almost all major advancements in this country have been facilitated by a strong central government.

              2) I’m not sure what you you think I’m advocating that is “old as history”? See I’m pretty happy with the progress we’ve made in this country, and I want to continue to make more progress rather than revert to some fabled by-gone era.

              1. 1) You missed that I said, at least in some descriptive respects. The anti-federalists predicted that the General Government would override the States and assume powers beyond those previously granted, and the federalists did not agree. Time has shown the former were right, and you admit this yourself, only you consider it to be a good thing.

                2) Strong central government, expanding powers and imperialism are the norm throughout history. This is a reversion to ancient form, broadly characterized, while the American idea of decentralized self-government and liberty is the newer form.

                I don’t want to revert to any fabled bygone era, either, not by a long shot. You contradict yourself by imputing this desire to me while also claiming that I want to “blow it all up, throw away 230 years of history, and start all over” which I also didn’t say. I want to preserve the central founding ideas of liberty and decentralized self-government. These ideas actually have a lot more to do with any moral progress we have achieved than you think, notwithstanding the concurrent and coincidental increase of government power and centralization. At the end of the day, history and human nature indicates that stronger more centralized governments that increase their powers and the reach of their empire inevitably mean greater tyranny. Just as inevitably, folks won’t acknowledge history and human nature.

        2. It’s not a principle, it’s just dumbass radicalism. No different than some sophomore anarchist.

  7. “8. At some point, many right-leaning people begin to think of these major cultural institutions at best as things they don’t have a stake in, and at worse as “the enemy.””

    This is what’s known as “paying attention”.

  8. The problem is that, while there are two political parties in the US, there are more than two ideological camps. I should think there are at least 4:

    – AOC/Bernie democratic socialists
    – Biden/Pelosi old-school democrats
    – Romney/Bush conservatives
    – Trumpists

    Any two adjacent groups on this list can work together just fine. Depending on the issue, AOC might be able to work with conservatives. But nobody except conservatives will work with Trumpists.

    The result is that you can have ideological diversity in the form suggested covering the top three groups, or the bottom two, but not all four. Most Democrats would simply reject the notion that Trumpists should be part of any conversation, because fascism is not a legitimate option in the democratic (not the party, but the system) debate.

    1. We’ll just have to keep voting Democrat into office until the GOP sorts itself out and nominates a meek candidate with milquetoast policies.

      1. That misunderstands the point. My four groups aren’t on a single one-dimensional scale. Conservatives aren’t “milquetoast” Trumpists, they are completely different from one another. Conservatives have more in common with moderate Democrats than with Trumpists, it’s just a matter of coincidence that Trumpists ended up in the Republican party. You can just as easily imagine a scenario where a Trump-like person with Trump-like policies comes out of the left-wing of the Democratic party. That doesn’t make Trump left-wing. It just means that the whole left-wing vs. right-wing dichotomy isn’t very helpful when talking about someone like Trump.

        1. 3D chess or schizophrenia might be a better analogy for describing Trump’s politics.

        2. Just right, Martin. Afterall Trump was a D most of his life. Be became an R out of opportunism.

      2. RabbiHarveyWeinstein : “We’ll just have to keep voting Democrat into office until the GOP sorts itself out and nominates a meek candidate with milquetoast policies”

        Time to ask again : What Trump policies were that different than any other standard GOPer? You can find some to be sure; in protectionism and anti-immigration he went well beyond Republican norms. But take a good look and (surprise!) you find Trump on those issues was mostly noise, not substance. Sure, he was forever announcing new tariffs, but never with the slightest strategy or objective behind them.

        And he signed a lot of mean-spirited executive orders, but that doesn’t translate into an immigration policy. His Wall was ignored for two years until gawdforsaken Ann Coulter flamed him, then he shut the government down & looted congressional appropriations in panicked response.

        RHW’s sneer about “milquetoast policies” is misdirected. He really refers to Trump’s entertainment value, which remains the beating heart of the MAGA crowd. Take away DJT’s huckster show and what’s left is an empty shell. Hell, you might as well have a normal human being politician by that point – though that’s so very milquetoast. Where’s the entertainment then!

    2. There are several problems with your formulation.

      I think the biggest is that you’re truncating the political spectrum. “Trumpists” are not the ‘right-most’ part of the political spectrum, they are the mainstream within the Republican party. (The Romney/Bush faction are actually the left-wing of the GOP.) There’s a further ‘right’ group that mirrors the left most fringe of the Democratic party.

      But they’re not really within the Republican party to any real extent, the way people like Bernie effectively are, because of historical reasons. WWII and the fight against Hitler resulted in the extreme right being purged from respectable society. Allying with Stalin shielded the extreme left, they were not purged.

      So you have people working within the Democratic party on the left who are as dangerous as the fascists who are exiled from the GOP, but they’re regarded as merely a bit eccentric, not dangerous lunatics.

      What we really have to worry about is that, with the violent left-fringe being viewed as legitimate by the Democrats is gradually rehabilitating the violent right-fringe, on account of them actually being willing to fight back when the goon squads show up to disrupt right wing events.

      1. That’s why I said “at least” four.

        But if you think the AOC/Bernie wing of the Democratic party “are as dangerous as the fascists who are exiled from the GOP”, or even the fascists who are currently running the GOP in large parts of the country, I really don’t know what to tell you. As many others have said upthread, it’s one thing to disagree with someone about which democratic decisions should be taken. It’s a different thing entirely to disagree with someone about whether democracy is even a good thing.

        1. Yes, I think they’re dangerous. When the Antifa or Black Bloc riot, who tells the police to let them be? When somebody sets up an ‘autonomous zone’ in your city, who orders the police not to respond to 911 calls from within it?

          Democratic politicians.

          Do you see anything similar going on in areas Republicans control?

          1. So you’re still providing unsupported paranoid speculation about police stand down orders, even these many months later.

            But more importantly, this is not responsive to Martinned’s point about Trumpists being the ones that reject democracy. Even in your fevered formulation, you’d need to scale up a lot to be anything like half the *national* GOP rejecting Trumps’ election.

      2. “(The Romney/Bush faction are actually the left-wing of the GOP.) There’s a further ‘right’ group that mirrors the left most fringe of the Democratic party.”
        Brett they are the left-wing of the GOP, because the left of the GOP disappeared at lead 25 years ago.
        Similarly one cannot really imagine Daniel Patrick Moynihan being at home in the present Democratic party.

    3. That’s a great observation Martinned. I mean that sincerely.

      A major problem though is that a substantial majority of the first two groups seems to believe (incorrectly) that everyone in group 3 is in group 4. That’s not helpful.

      1. Too many people in group 3 are just sort of in favor of their own prosperity, without otherwise having any kind of guiding ideology. They stand for almost nothing, except, “Don’t upset the apple cart.” A lot of folks in group 2 are that way too.

        Bernstein’s notion is little better than a muddle. It reifies political terms that are little more than rhetorical survivals, leftovers from an earlier time in American politics—or world politics for that matter.

        I say that as someone as frustrated with NPR as anyone Bernstein can think of. But I see zero benefit in adding to that already-hopeless, opportunistic muddle, an extra dollop of pure-poison conflict marching under chaotic rubrics from movement conservatism. There wouldn’t be anything to talk about.

        You want to add institutional legitimacy by broadening ideological bases? Find some folks who have ideological bases to begin with.

  9. First off, we’re already seeing the either/or debate involving racial affirmative action vs. ideological affirmative action.

    If I recall correctly, official doctrine – per the Grutter decision – is that institutions have a powerful interest in promoting diversity, including diversity of viewpoints. They believed the amicus briefs of certain businesses “that the skills needed in today’s increasingly global marketplace can only be developed through exposure to widely diverse people, cultures, ideas, and viewpoints” and that racial preferences (at least in a hippie holistic sense) are good for promoting viewpoint diversity.

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/pdf/02-241P.ZO

    So before we get the rejoinders that “omg hypocrisy blah blah viewpoint diversity blah blah racial diversity,” these two things are, according to official doctine, two peas in a pod.

    Personally, I’m not interested in legitimacy, since that would invite the response that the dumb conservatives are too dumb to recognize the legitimacy of their betters. Anyway, telling NPR to hire 10% conservatives would probably just mean they’ll hire a bunch of never-Trump neocons, and monitor them closely for wokeness.

    The reason a lack of conservative perspectives is a problem is that it makes journalism, academia, etc. less *accurate.* If there was more *actual* ideological diversity in newsrooms, the media wouldn’t have fallen for the Covington kids smear. But as I said above, hiring a bunch of neocons wouldn’t have prevented that particular embarrassment.

    1. If I may, like a Congressperson, “revise and extend my remarks” – I *am* interested in legitimacy, but not in the sense of using it to justify a Quixotic effort by “mainstream” institutions to hire a few David French conservatives and then, when it fails to impress the rubes, wash their hands of the matter and say in frustration, “we *tried* to appease these people!”

  10. This strikes me as a tremendously long-winded way of saying that it’s liberals’ fault that conservatives have turned conspiratorial and violent.

    Conservatives didn’t flee to Fox News and its ilk because mainstream media was overwhelmed with liberals. Conservatives preferred the permanent conservative fantasy world peddled by Fox News and its ilk to the occasionally upsetting reality that mainstream media attempted to inform them of. The institutions didn’t leave you, you left the institutions.

    What voice can a mainstream institution incorporate that would satisfy these people better than Fox News or OANN?

    1. “conservatives have turned conspiratorial and violent”

      Some of them have.

      Are you operating under the assumption that the left wing is largely free of conspiratorial thinking and violent behavior? There’s too much recent footage of burning cities to make this a viable position.

      1. The rioters who burned those stores during the George Floyd protests were undercover white supremacists trying to make the Left look bad. They failed and now we are in charge!

        1. I have actually heard what appear to be serious people seriously discussing that as though it were established fact. So you’d better parody a bit harder.

          1. Two points to Gryffindor!

          2. Brett Bellmore : “I have actually heard what appear to be serious people seriously discussing that….”

            I don’t doubt that a bit. You can find “serious people” claiming anything – even Birtherism, as you well know. It doesn’t require parody for that.

            But turn on Fox News today and you find Maria Bartiromo claiming Democrats ‘infiltrated’ Capitol wearing MAGA clothing. That’s exactly the sort of thing which just earned her a prime time slot. Sorry, there’s no whataboutism here. Truth-wise? We’re dealing with two entirely different worlds.

      2. A couple thoughts:

        1: What example of conspiratorial thinking can you cite that plagues the left the way “stop the steal,” QAnon, pizzagate, birtherism, etc. plague the right? The fact is that movement conservatism has a real problem with its members sincerely believing insane things. At the moment at least, this is not the case on the left.

        2: Regarding violence, a riot is categorically different from a putsch like the one conservatives attempted January 6, or even from random acts of political violence like the Oklahoma city bombing. The closest the left came to political violence last summer were the nuts in Seattle who set up their own no-go zone. The difference, again, is that the violence from the left remains at the margin, while the violence from right is killing people in the halls of the Capitol.

        Put another way, the Ted Kaczynskis of the world are still treated like the nuts they are; the Timothy McVeighs are taking over Republican politics.

        1. “What example of conspiratorial thinking can you cite that plagues the left the way ‘stop the steal.'”

          “Bush lied [about WMDs] people died.”
          2/3 of Democrats in 2018 told pollsters that they believed that Russia manipulated ballot tallies to help Trump win; grossly exaggerated views of Russian influence on Trump and the 2016 election more generally.
          The violence last summer was mostly or totally right-wing provocateurs.
          If Asian immigrants are doing better than Hispanics, it’s because the white establishment “lets them.”
          JFK was killed by mysterious right-wing forces, not a Communist loser.
          Belief that active white supremacists and neo-Nazis are many times more numerous than they actually are.
          Belief that Stacey Abrams would have won in 2018 but for vote suppression.
          Despite an Obama Justice Department report concluding the opposite, belief that the “hands up don’t shoot” thing with Michael Brown actually happened.
          Judging from NPR call in shows, widespread belief that big Oil controls US foreign and domestic policy.

          Just for example.

          1. Weird list.

            1. If you’re triggered by people saying Bush lied, might we agree he grossly exaggerated the evidence of WMDs? For what it’s worth, I always believed Bush thought it was a safe lie (stay calm!) and the emerging evidence would support him in the end. By this theory he was sincerely amazed to learn no WMD programs existed.

            2. It would be fascinating to see how far down the rabbit-hole you’d have to go to find anyone believing “the violence last summer was mostly or totally right-wing provocateurs”. Ditto the Asian immigrants. It’s not good for you your list is so bad.

            3. JFK ?!? Ascribing Kennedy nonsense to the left is akin to doing likewise with the anti-vaccine crowd (no Robert Kennedy Jr pun intended) This is equal opportunity lunacy.

            4. I withhold judgement on Nazis & Stacy until you quantify your math. For instance, how much of Ms Abram’s loss do you attributable to voter suppression? You might need do a little research before saying zero.

            Meanwhile, today on Fox News, Maria Bartiromo claimed Democrats ‘infiltrated’ Capitol wearing MAGA clothing. She earned herself a prime time slot with talk like that. Does watching Fox qualify as going down the rabbit hole?

          2. 1) The Bush administration lying about the presence of WMDs in Iraq is a historical fact, not a conspiracy theory. The fact that we still have this argument in 2021 is a case in point; modern American conservatives prefer media that tells them the facts as they wish them to be, not as they are.

            2) Russia’s interference on behalf of the Trump campaign in 2016 is a historical fact. It is true some liberals believe exaggerated claims regarding the specifics of the interference, but the beliefs at least have at their core a kernel of fact. Not so for QAnon, Pizzagate, Stop the Steal, etc.

            The rest of your list is picayune nonsense that lacks any kind of support on the left comparable to the support on the right for QAnon and Trump’s madness. JFK? Talk Radio callers? Come on man!

          3. This is a seriously unimpressive list.

            There were certainly lies about Iraq’s WMD. What is your opinion of Powell’s UN speech?

            DOJ and the FBI seem to think that violent RW extremism is a serious threat .

            There is a certainly an argument that Abrams would have won in 2018 except for voter suppression.

            Big oil may not control US policy, but it’s absurd to deny that it has, and has always had, significant influence.

            1. Bernstein has FOX News brain. No one is immune.

              1. Weren’t you once, many years ago, known for clever but sarcastic posts?

            2. Without responding to each of these, a that I mentioned are indeed false, you all not recognizing them as such exemplifies the problem. To the extent the defense is that conspiracy theories widely believed in the left are “truthier” than right-wing ones, this isn’t impressive, especially given that I only referenced ones common in the mainstream. You can go a bit deeper to the further left for the federal government intentionally infecting black people with AIDS or sending drugs to black communities for genocidal purposes, Jewish neoconservatives tricked Bush et al into war on behalf of Israel and more general conspiracist theories about the Israel lobby (shared, admittedly, with the less numerous far right), virtually anything written by Noam Chomsky and believed by his fans, much of the content on Pacifica shows…. critical race theory in many of its permutations adjusted empirical and is as a result rife with sophisticated conspiracy theories. Etc.

              1. That said, to go back to the post, if you want to combat a factual conspiratorial nonsense on the right, excluding them from mainstream institutions where such theories are debunked isn’t the way to do it. And if your rationale for excluding them is that they are much more prone to conspiracy nonsense than the left, see above.

                1. Except no one in the mainstream is actually excluding conservative voices. The New York Times, which you apparently hold as the prime example of liberal bias in mainstream media, is actually a practitioner of the kind of ideological affirmative action you are calling for. David Brooks for the center right, Ross Douthat for the mainstream right, Bret Stephens for the reality-denial caucus.

                  The real problem is that rank-and-file conservatives increasingly crave a stronger hit than mainstream media can provide them. What voice of reason is there on the right that mainstream media can assimilate that would not be largely ignored by the right (as are Brooks and Douthat)?

                    1. It’s an interesting data point, but one that comes from a sloppy fabulist who plainly is creating a niche for herself as the enemy of “new McCarthyism” we call cancel culture.

                      I don’t doubt that the personal politics of the newsroom staff at the NYT leans liberal. But I also know the NYT has no problem telling liberals like me things we don’t want to hear. See, e.g., endless above-the-fold stories about Hillary’s emails without comparable coverage of Trump University, Trump’s sexual assaults. See also, the residency of Bret Stephens, opinion columnist.

                      I am therefore unpersuaded by the letter as evidence of Bernstein’s thesis.

                  1. What % of reporters on American politics for the Times do you wager voted for Mitt Romney in 2012?

                2. if you want to combat a factual conspiratorial nonsense on the right, excluding them from mainstream institutions where such theories are debunked isn’t the way to do it.

                  So biology departments should hire creationist professors, so their theories can be debunked?

              2. Kinda missing the point. Some of the items you list are not conspiracies – in fact they’re not even untrue (I understand your comment immediately above to claim otherwise). For instance, W. Bush’s case against Iraq was repeatedly dishonest. Or, there is a litigation trail in Georgia on voter suppression before the gubernatorial election & Ms Abram’s loss was by a narrow margin. The claim that loss came thru suppression may be debatable, but it’s not even an unreasonable position to take. It takes a FOX News brain to baldly & unthinkingly list it as a “conspiracy”

                But what am I saying? You – Professor Bernstein – can declare NPR never covered the summer riots, a position so obviously & crudely false it suggests you believe whatever you find convenient at any given moment. (Kinda like conspiracy-mongers, when you think of it)

                Other of your “points” are limited to microscopic numbers of adherents – something also found in your list update. Still other points are not restricted to the left. Even if you find corporate influence on government decisions to be “conspiratorial thought” (God knows how), it’s hardly restricted to the left alone. Other points have a flailing sweaty desperation. Chomsky?!? Pacifica?!?

                What seems to be missing across the board is the hallelujah fervor which the right greets its alternate realities.

              3. Jewish neoconservatives tricked Bush et al into war on behalf of Israel .

                Um. That was Pat Buchanan, respected (at the time) conservative and anti-semite. Hardly a leftist.

              4. You seriously believe that big oil has had no influence on US foreign policy? Remarkable.

                You seriously think there were not a load of lies told about Iraq’s WMD in the leadup to the war? That’s delusional. Was it Cheney, or Rumsfeld who declared that we knew they had them, and knew here they were? And what was Powell talking about in that UN speech about trailers and whatnot?

                You seriously believe that there was no effort by Kemp to make it hard for Blacks to vote in 2018?

                Your assertion is Bellmoresque.

    2. Every time I listen to NPR, I get a glimpse of a fantasy world, one, for example, in which there were conflicts between “protestors” and law enforcement last Summer, but not a single episode of rioting or looting….

      Anyway, you’re not really *denying* that the MSM is dominated by the left are you? Because even if you can’t tell by listening, reading, and watching, there is plenty of data out there…

      1. >listen to NPR
        Do you read Pravda too?

      2. I sincerely don’t know what you are talking about re: NPR. I listen every morning and heard plenty about riots last summer. There was no shortage of play-by-play coverage in the mainstream media. They covered the peaceful protests and they covered the riots. They covered the police-instigated riots and the left-protestor-instigated riots and the white supremacist-instigated riots. The MSM (NPR included) covered all of this. If your take is that the mainstream media’s coverage of the BLM summer was insufficiently solicitous of the conservative worldview, then that says more about you than it says about the mainstream media.

        This bends back to my original point: the heart of your original post seems to be an implicit claim that liberals drove conservatives from our mainstream cultural institutions. I think you are mistaken; conservatives left those institutions voluntarily to set up or join others more favorable to their worldview.

        I don’t say this to assign blame; I say it to point out that there is no amount of liberal-to-conservative institutional outreach that can fix our division until conservatives agree to live in the same reality as the rest of us.

      3. Goat : I listen every morning and heard plenty about riots last summer.

        As did I. The irony runs pretty thick here. Professor Bernstein’s description of NPR is more “fantasy” than anything he’s heard on the public radio. But that’s the state of the Right these days; servicing the meme is far more important than factual reality. Whether the cartoon in question is the “lamestream media” or “stolen elections”, the one important thing is a story that provides emotional satisfaction.

        1. ” You saw peaceful protests across the country over the summer after George Floyd’s murder. And what do we see in response? We saw tear gas.” https://www.npr.org/sections/insurrection-at-the-capitol/2021/01/07/954410419/how-the-u-s-capitol-mob-was-treated-differently-than-earlier-black-protesters
          “In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis is pushing legislation that would increase criminal penalties for violence committed during protests. He first proposed it in September following last summer’s demonstrations around the killing of George Floyd and other African-Americans by police.” https://www.npr.org/2021/01/13/956413365/state-capitals-tighten-security-amid-threat-of-armed-protests-ahead-of-inaugurat
          The Black Lives Matter movement became an international phenomenon in 2020. As protesters took to the streets in cities across the U.S. in the aftermath of the police killing of George Floyd https://www.npr.org/2020/12/30/950053607/in-2020-protests-spread-across-the-globe-with-a-similar-message-black-lives-matt

          1. Those are just a few recent examples of stories you could read about the protests last summer without learning that they included the worst riots and looting in decades. And that’s true even when the violence is directly relevant to the story, as in the legislation the Florida governor proposed.

            1. Now, go find all the NPR stories that describe just how horrific the rioting was. They’re there if you look. But you probably don’t want to muss-up a perfectly coiffured meme.

              1. I agree that if you have listened to every NPR story, carefully, since last summer, you may have gotten some idea of how widespread and horrific the riots were. OTOH, if you were a casual listener you could very easily have gotten the strong impression that violence was minimal. And that’s been much more true since the riots ended and NPR refers back to them as only involving “protests” than it was when the riots were ongoing and it was kind of hard to not mention it.

                1. This simply is not true. You had to have your head under a rock last summer not to learn the facts necessary to form your own opinion about what was happening. The violence was reported. The fires were reported. The shootings were reported. The stabbings were reported. The riots were reported.

                  You clearly perceive it as a provocation every time NPR references the protests without describing the riots that sometimes followed them as the worst riots in history. This is a good example of the problem: modern American conservatives increasingly reject media that doesn’t spoon feed them the narratives they prefer.

                  1. Find me one, just one, story on NPR since last summer discussing the dozen or do people murdered by rioters and looters last summer, the sort of story NPR specializes in where it talks to their friends and families about the impact of their deaths, and bemoans the senseless violence that killed 12 people, and I will acknowledge that I’ve been too harsh. Or a story about the 40 pc or do rise in murders in cities across the country that noted the riots and disorder of the summer as a major contributing factor. Surely a quick google search will turn up lots of such stories?

                    1. STACEY VANEK SMITH, BYLINE: About seven years ago, Chris Montana opened his first business, a distillery. He called it Du Nord. He opened it in his hometown of Minneapolis, Minn. Du Nord became this popular neighborhood spot. And then in May, George Floyd was killed by Police Officer Derek Chauvin, and Chauvin’s precinct was just a few blocks away from Chris’ distillery. When he realized the marches were going right past his distillery, he and his employees set up a table giving out water bottles and hand sanitizer to the protesters. But Chris soon realized that people participating in the Black Lives Matter marches were not the only people coming to his neighborhood.

                      CHRIS MONTANA: There were the protesters and then there were the partiers. And that would eventually turn into the rioters. And they were setting random cars on fire, you know, drinking and doing whatever.

                      VANEK SMITH: He put signs up saying black-owned business, and then he locked everything up, went home to his family and hoped for the best. The next day, he came to see what had happened, and when he got to Du Nord, he saw that one of the doors had been forced open.

                      MONTANA: They set multiple fires. They stole our inventory. I found cases of our booze all up and down the street. And it was the sprinkler system coming on and putting about a foot of water in the entire warehouse. That’s what did most of the damage. It feels like someone punched you in the face.

                      VANEK SMITH: And it wasn’t just his business. He started to realize that actually he got off easy.

                      MONTANA: A gentleman who owns a business just a few blocks away from us and his business has been burned to the ground, everything 100% gone. And he was saying, look, it’s just stuff.

                      VANEK SMITH: But Chris had worked really hard for that stuff, and the damage to his business was enormous, hundreds of thousands of dollars. Rioting and property destruction has happened in cities across the U.S., and business owners like Chris Montana are left trying to pick up the pieces all in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. And they are up against some formidable odds. Bradley Hardy is an economist at American University. He has studied the economic impact of property damage and rioting on neighborhoods. Bradley looked at neighborhoods that had seen damage back in 1968. Even 20, 30 years later, Bradley says those neighborhoods never fully recovered.

                      BRADLEY HARDY: They had lower educational attainment, lower incomes, higher use of welfare programs, higher poverty rates. Those neighborhoods essentially continued to lag behind other counterpart neighborhoods.

                      VANEK SMITH: Distillery owner Chris Montana says he and other local businesses in his neighborhood in Minneapolis are doing everything they can to beat those odds. At the same time, Chris says he’s been incredibly inspired and moved by the Black Lives Matter movement.

                      MONTANA: But you have to think about a world where you’re told at a young age, hey, by the way, because of the color of your skin, that story of American greatness doesn’t actually reach all the way to you. If all we had to do was burn a few businesses, that’s absolutely worth it. That’s just stuff.

                      https://www.npr.org/2020/08/12/901859883/riots-that-followed-anti-racism-protests-come-at-great-cost-to-black-owned-busin

                    2. I’m missing the part where the story talks about the 12 or so riot and looting related murders…

                    3. Sarcastro has your human interest piece.

                      NPR ran stories about the murder rate increase. They did not attribute the change to the riots because the riots weren’t the cause; COVID-related unemployment, financial devastation, and isolation were the cause.

                      https://www.npr.org/2021/01/06/953254623/massive-1-year-rise-in-homicide-rates-collided-with-the-pandemic-in-2020

                      Again, you are demanding media that gives you reporting that reinforces your worldview, not the facts as they are.

                    4. Mr. Bernstein specifically asked for stories “discussing the dozen or do people murdered by rioters and looters last summer”. Generalized human interest stories, or stories about covid related increases aren’t responsive to that request.

                      Those murders happened. One could argue that NPR did indeed cover them, or that they aren’t newsworthy – either would be responsive. But random riot/covid related stories aren’t responsive to the specific point he is making.

                    5. Gotta love how “didn’t attribute the rise in crime to the riots” means “didn’t mention the riots and associated disorder and chaos at all as one obvious possible source for the increase in crime.” And that’s supposed to be exonerative.

                    6. It didn’t mention the riots because the 20 or so killings that were at one time or another connected with the protests and/or riots isn’t even a drop in the ocean of the ~20,000 homicides in the U.S. last year (we don’t have final nationwide stats yet).

                      There is no evidence to suggest the riots contributed meaningfully to the uptick. Your demand that stories regarding the uptick reference the riots is unreasonable, and an example of the problem: conservatives eschew media that doesn’t reinforce their worldview. This is not a problem mainstream institutions can fix by incorporating more conservative voices.

  11. I read Prof. Bernstein and so many others decrying the liberal dominance of cultural institutions, but I never see anyone complaining that, for example, law enforcement is strongly right-leaning, or demanding that the population of small-business owners such as landscapers and contractors should open up to include left-wing voters. I don’t see Prof. Bernstein expressing dismay that organized religion is dominated by conservative voices.

    If the country is split essentially 50/50, and all the “cultural” institutions are left-leaning, at least according to Prof. Bernstein, then the conservatives have to be somewhere. Why is it a problem when liberals dominate a particular field, but not when conservatives do the same?

    1. “I don’t see Prof. Bernstein expressing dismay that organized religion is dominated by conservative voices.”

      To be fair, organized religion *isn’t* dominated by conservative voices, unless you want to call Pope Francis, the German and American Catholic bishops, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Reform and Reconstructionist (and even “Conservative”) Jewish denominations, many Quakers, many Methodist leaders, etc., etc., conservative.

      Maybe a fish just can’t tell if it’s swimming in water?

      1. Okay, let me amend my statement. Organized religion that has been growing in political influence over the past 40 years has been dominated by conservative voices, in a mirror-image to how organized religion in the mid-1800s was a mostly liberal influence.

        1. I’m afraid that, even as to the 19th century, your summary needs some work.

          As to conservative religion becoming more powerful in the last 40 years – well, I guess that all depends. How would you define Prohibition with its Methodist and other evangelical support (Bryan – a prohibitionist – was a lefty, albeit a rural populist kind of lefty). Or the influence of Catholics with their social doctrine – did they put on their left-wing hat when pressing for economic reforms and then putting on their right-wing hat when pressing for decency in film? This was before the right-wing religious movements of the last 40 years.

    2. This is just wrong on so many levels.

      Many local governments have imposed very left wing policies on their LEOs. At the federal level one only needs to look at the emails detailing the ‘insurance policy’ against Trump to get some idea about where the FBI stands.

      I have no idea what ” or demanding that the population of small-business owners such as landscapers and contractors should open up to include left-wing voters” means but both groups seem to have a majority of minorities, and often those minorities are illegal aliens.

      There seems to be little disagreement that the MSM and higher education is dominated by dems; the problem is they lose legitimacy when it becomes as blatant as it is now.
      While there are some conservative religious groups the largest, the Catholic Church is clearly liberal, same for black churches, and lots of other churches.

      1. People who own small businesses are majority minority? Really?
        LEOs aren’t overwhelmingly conservative? Really?

        Anyone who makes reference to an “insurance policy” against Trump is obviously not making good-faith arguments.

        1. I don’t think it’s much of a societal concern whether landscaping companies have “legitimacy” or not, because landscaping companies are not the sort of intermediary institutions the post addresses. It’s also not a concern, assuming it’s true, that most suburban women’s book clubs are dominated by liberals.

          1. And, fwiw, I’d be willing to bet that the the political views of landscaping company owners in any given city are much more diverse than the views of the of history and English and History faculties at Flagship state U.

      2. Many local governments have imposed very left wing policies on their LEOs. At the federal level one only needs to look at the emails detailing the ‘insurance policy’ against Trump to get some idea about where the FBI stands.

        There were, of course, no such emails. You’ve been misled by talk radio or social media. There was a single text message (not email, let alone “emails”), which mentioned insurance, did not “detail” anything, and did not talk about an insurance policy “against Trump.”

    3. “If the country is split essentially 50/50”

      It is not.

      1. Technically, there are far more self-identified conservatives than liberals, https://news.gallup.com/poll/275792/remained-center-right-ideologically-2019.aspx, but I’ll give the left a break here because they do better than that in elections.

  12. Hilariously one-sided article. So the left institutions need to provide more space for conservatives, but conservatives are establishing their own institutions so they can exclude left-leaning viewpoints (and that’s perfectly fine?). I see conservatives on panels all the time on CNN, NBC, hear them interviewed on NPR, hear them give talks and speeches at universities, etc. Where are the liberal commentators on OAN and Newsmax?

    Also, I don’t remember this division in ideology being so prevalent before the rise of Fox News. Fox News is the one that turned “Happy Holidays” into “A WAR ON CHRISTMAS!” Fox News is the one that touted Obama birtherism conspiracy theories. Fox News peddled Pizzagate conspiracies, said Sandy Hook was a false flag operation, pushed anti-Islamic ideas while crying about freedom of religion (for Christians). Fox News groomed Trump, led to the administration that unironically coined the term “alternative facts,” and then cried when academic institutions didn’t treat their arguments seriously.

    The right is the one that ran off on its own, and is now complaining about the division it caused.

    1. You are trying to apportion blame. I am telling you that dominance of almost all major cultural institutions by the left is a problem for American society regardless of who is to blame.

      1. Judging by the number of comic books being rebooted as movies, I’d say that American culture is thoroughly ossified. I’ve read that the Soviet’s poor response to the Chernobyl disaster had more to do with its final dissolution than anything Reagan did. I wonder what disaster will befall America for us to have the same realization that everything has been a facade. My personal guess is that the transgender movement will overreach and encourage confused and possibly homosexual children to “transition”. When these children grow up and realize they’ve mutilated themselves and no one in authority told them stop, we’re gonna see America’s cultural institutions pay hell, in my opinion.

        1. Harvey,
          I have never heard from people closely allied with Gorbachev that Chernobyl was the cause. Being unable to sustain a costly technological competition plus making internet communication more available to the Russian population was.

      2. Even if I agreed with that sentiment, which I don’t, the blame aspect shouldn’t be ignored, and your conclusion is unfounded if blame is taken into account. In fact, your conclusion ONLY makes sense if you completely ignore who caused the divide in the first place.

        Your conclusion, “our major cultural institutions should try to assimilate right-leaning people into their staffs and leadership,” is assuming that the blame for the division is irrelevant. But it’s not irrelevant. Bad actors are a poison to an effective institution, and conservatives are consistent bad actors. Conservatives don’t get to pilfer the coffers of American civil discourse, then say it’s irrelevant who left us bankrupt.

        Yet this response is so stereotypically conservative it’s almost satirical. They do whatever they want, break everything, then say “let’s not pass blame on who broke it, it’s just time to heal.” They do it with the budget every time they are in power: they scream fiscal conservatism but then balloon the deficit far more than liberals when they get in power. They tell people government doesn’t work and that’s why they should be elected, then take office, shirk their duties, then use their own incompetence as proof that government is incompetent.

        Conservatives are the perpetual prodigal son, constantly demanding their share, squandering it, and hoping America will take them back. Except every time America takes them back, they repeat the same mistakes over and over again. At some point the father needs to stop indulging the prodigal son before the son bankrupts the entire family.

        1. The inability of many people on the left to be at all introspective about the role the left has played and continuous to play in the current divisive political environment is well-reflected here. And the notion that having, say, 10% conservative humanities professors at Harvard or 10% conservative reporters at NPR would somehow wreck the place is preposterous.

          1. You don’t wanna apportion “blame” (comment above), but demand introspective from the left. Is it possible I missed you demanding introspective from the right (something even harder to find among these comments)? I don’t think so.

            This seems to be a one-way street…..

            1. If one is going to apportion blame, one needs to do so with some willingness to not simply blame the other side. But my post and its focus on legitimacy does not depend on who is to blame and how much.

      3. David, that kind of puts you in the posture of the guy in Blazing Saddles who takes himself hostage to escape the mob.

        1. This white, male blog has gone

          0

          days without referring to a cinematic scene involving a vile racial slur.

  13. “As these institutions have become more and more dominated by progressives, conservatives have been fleeing them, for example, watching Fox News or OAN rather than listening to NPR.”

    Right there is where the problem with the post is. OAN (also called OANN) is viewed by Conservatives and Trumpists as an equal source of news as NPR, or the NY Times.

    The fundamental issue when it comes to a great number of conservatives is not just that they are being lied to, but they have become so used to being lied to that when they are told the truth, they rebel. Fox News, which is practically a wholly-owned subsidiary of the GOP, has had to worry about losing viewers to OANN, NewsMax, and other similar outlets for the crime of occasionally and accidentally saying accurate things in their news portions. Which is pretty surreal. I’d go so far as to say that part of the issue with the “urbane libertarians” and NPR that you describe may have to do more with how you’ve changed, and less with NPR.

    It’s a fundamental issue that an increasing number of people get their information from sources that have a pecuniary interest in lying to them, and completing the feedback loop.

    …but, this begins to work both ways. Now that we are retreating from the idea of a shared universe of facts from which people can draw different opinions, it becomes more attractive for so-called “mainstream” sources to cater not to the mainstream, but to the remaining audience after conservatives are removed. In all honesty, I try to get most of my news from foreign sources (BBC etc.) or primary sources. When I view a website like CNN now, it just seems to over-the-top it’s like a screed as well …. “Top 20 Things Trump Did Wrong Today.”

    Ugh.

    1. “but, this begins to work both ways”

      Perhaps conservatives shouldn’t have worn such short skirts, if they didn’t want the legacy media to be biased.

      1. I think you miss my point completely.

        It was previously possible to read, say, the New York Times, or the Wall Street Journal, or a number of different “main stream” sources and get a fair approximation of the basic facts. Obviously, the opinion pages were a different matter. …. And I think that it always made sense to read things critically (what are the headlines, and why? what sources is the journalist using, and are the benefitting from the story?).

        There is a difference between the following ideas:
        A. We aspire to be non-biased, and even if we fail at times because people are human, it is still the goal.
        B. Since you can never be non-biased, screw it.

        I would say that I prefer journalism that goes for (A), despite its flaws, in much the same way that I prefer judges who go for (A).

        The point I was making is that as large numbers of conservatives have peeled off to “alternative conservative news,” there is a new market dynamic at work. So-called “main stream” news, who have market pressures just like anything else (it’s all about the eyeballs!) often find it necessary to compete … and moderation doesn’t sell. Since the “conservative” angle is already taken, they are pulled to the left.

        Which is a long way of saying that IMO, the perceived tilt leftwards of some places (such as CNN) has become a much more pronounced actual tilt in response to this.

        1. I really do apologize for the snark. Uncalled for on my part.

          1. Don’t worry about that, Cal. I read it straight. Thought it made sense.

        2. The peel off, though, happened because the outlets had already given up on objectivity.

          I grew up just outside Detroit; After the riots stopped a couple blocks from our house, we moved out to the country, but well into the 90’s I would routinely read both the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. I was a bit more sympathetic to the News, but they both told me about things the other would prefer I be ignorant of, and the competition kept both their biases in check, because they could only go so far without exposure.

          Then came the JOA, premised on the Free Press being a failing newspaper. (Its circulation was smaller, but it was far from failing.)

          Somehow, (I’ve heard rumors the chain the News belonged to was much more left-wing than the News itself), the Pulitzer winning editor of the News was dispensed with, the Free Press was put in charge of generating the news content, and the News was reduced to an editorial page that was like as not in agreement with the Free Press, and a comics section.

          It didn’t take long after that before the Detroit Free News Press, as I called it, was just a left-wing rag that hardly even pretended objectivity.

          1. but they both told me about things the other would prefer I be ignorant of,

            The things you’re ignorant of would fill wikipedia; you didn’t need any help. But there was, of course, no such conspiracy.

        3. I used to be amazed at how openly and brazenly biased the BBC was, compared to the much more subtle bias at NPR. Now, if I listen to NPR then BBC covering the same events, at least events in the US, I am amazed at how much more balanced the BBC is than NPR. And I don’t think the BBC has changed much.

    2. Loki,

      I have noted similar behaviors in the media. In watch/listen to Japan news 95% of the time and occasionally BBC and Deutsche Welle.
      What NPR calls “an insurrection” (not an alleged insurrection) the foreign press only terms a riot. Wh. en that happens implicit bias becomes explicit. Thus we get to your ““mainstream” sources to cater not to the mainstream, but to the remaining audience after conservatives are removed”

      When are not going to move toward a new age of national unity with that backdrop.

      1. Don Nico : What NPR calls “an insurrection” (not an alleged insurrection) the foreign press only terms a riot.

        Given it was a riot with a purpose – stop the certification of a presidential election – I think you’re leaning on your distinctions a little too much.

        1. I don’t mind NPR calling it an insurrection. I do mind when they contrast the law enforcement response with police faceoffs last Summer with what they term “protesters,” without noting that the relevant “protests” included spin-off rioting and looting (and without noting, otoh, that most of the folks in DC on the 6th didn’t insurrect or riot).

          1. See. Like I told Brett. It’s Denominatory.

            Rhetoric: to inflate arbitrarily the size of a fraction’s denominator, for the purpose of minimizing the apparent size of an embarrassing numerator.

  14. Not the first time I have posted the discrete/continuous problem.

    Some issues are discrete like “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me” verses “hate speech should be banned”. Others are continuous like how much deficit spending should be allowed. It is much easier to reach agreement on continuous issues and almost impossible to reach agreement on discrete ones.

    The problem is more and more discrete issues are coming to the forefront. I am stunned at the number of dems who say the solution to the current disagreements is for all the pubs to simply agree with them. On the other hand many pubs are asking to simply be left alone and go about their business as they choose.

    I can’t see any way to resolve issues like immigration, 2A stuff, free speech, government regs, abortion, and a host of other issues that were basically non issues when I was in high school.

    1. I don’t know when you were in high school, (For me it was the early 70’s.) but back then it wasn’t so much they were non-issues, as that the low bandwidth of the media made it fairly easy to disappear dissenting opinion. People who held non-‘mainstream’ views could be induced to think their views were much rarer than they actually were. If Walter Cronkite didn’t think people should hear what you thought, you vanished.

      The internet broke that system, temporarily freed up things so that viewpoints could not be made to disappear, and a lot of people who where hiding their views because they thought nobody agreed with them found out that their views were actually quite common and mainstream.

      A bit later maybe we had the opposite problem, people with genuinely rare views formed online communities and lost any sense of how out of the mainstream they really were, because everybody they were talking to agreed with them.

      Now the left has gotten a high degree of media dominance, and they’re attempting to restore the former system, only with themselves as the gatekeepers. They think if they can shut the opposition up enough, the opposition will fade away. But that isn’t going to happen fast, or peacefully, people are already starting to route around their gates.

      1. Well, that’s all very fancy, Brett, sometimes admirably so. but I can do it simpler and more accurately:

        Trump is a pathological liar. After losing the election, he spent the next two months telling systematic and incendiary lies. Their corrosive effect convinced millions of Americans to reject an election on no factual basis, a sizable (and cowardly) percentage of the congressional GOP caucus to reject election certification on no factual basis, divisive rage, violent rioting & death.

        Under their terms of agreement, social internet platforms had the power to act. After the rioting they had no choice. This wasn’t a fight they sought. They all had accepted Trump’s chronic inflammatory lying over the previous four years. But given his aim to sabotage a presidential election, things had gone too far.

        You can write this up with “media dominance” and “gatekeepers”, but who are you fooling?

        We’re still dealing with a craven soulless pathological liar and the dupes, cowards, and whores who enable him. In this case they are helping to undermine the very foundation of U.S. democracy itself.

    2. “The problem is more and more discrete issues are coming to the forefront. I am stunned at the number of dems who say the solution to the current disagreements is for all the pubs to simply agree with them. On the other hand many pubs are asking to simply be left alone and go about their business as they choose.”

      It’s hard to take the rest of your post seriously with this as the framing of the major political issues of the day. The problem with abortion (to choose one of the issues you mention in your next paragraph) is that Republicans just want to be left to their own business as they choose?

    3. On the other hand many pubs are asking to simply be left alone and go about their business as they choose.

      For instance, their business of sacking the Capitol.

      See, that gets attention. Then when you follow it up, like Bernstein, with demands to let more conservatives in, for the sake of legitimacy, folks get confused.

  15. “For example, only 50% of Republicans and 41% of Democrats were sure it would not upset them if their child married someone of the other political party. ”

    One can see that the limtmus test of political ideology has replace the religion litmus test of the 1950’s when 50% of people would be upset if their kids married someone of a different religion.

    1. I still would prefer securing the existence of our people and a future for Ashkenazim children with Abigail Shapiro.

      1. I wish you well with that

  16. When choosing players, one side drafted backwardness; intolerance; insularity; ignorance; superstition; dogma; declining (rural and southern) communities; and fourth-tier academic institutions.

    The other side drafted inclusiveness; reason; education; science; modernity; tolerance; progress; modern, successful, educated communities; and society’s strongest research and teaching institutions.

    The results have been predictable. And deserved. They include one team’s strong advantage in reason-based and creative contexts (journalism, academia, entertainment, medical and legal professional associations, and the like).

    The argument that the strong institutions should emulate weak institutions (by hiring more members of superstition-backwardness-ignorance-bigotry team) is unpersuasive. My suggestion for the disadvantaged team is to avoid bigotry, backwardness, superstition, and ignorance and choose reason, science, education, inclusiveness, and modernity.

    1. “ The results have been predictable. And deserved. They include one team’s strong advantage in reason-based and creative contexts (journalism, academia, entertainment, medical and legal professional associations, and the like).”

      Are you explaining why blacks have failed to get into STEM?

  17. Conservatives already have entire news networks that pander to them, and have for decades.

    So I have to beg pardon, but there is no amount of pandering that “intermediate institutions” can do that are going to bring conservatives back to reality.

    And let me be clear… conservatives are so off the deep end, so demanding of being pandered to, that Fox News lost viewers by accurately reporting on the 2020 presidential election. In order to bring in conservative viewers these days, you have to actively lie to and deceive them.

    All of which is to say… no. Conservatives have spent the last three months excluding anyone from the “conservative movement” that didn’t lie about “election fraud”. Respectable institutions should not debase themselves and try to appeal to such reality-free loons.

    1. I think this is unfortunately on the mark.

      The problem isn’t institutions rejecting Conservatism, it’s institutions rejecting lies and faulty evidence at a time when Conservatism is being overtaken by them.

      This is the result of deliberate choices by Conservative standard bearers. When evidence challenged their beliefs on Climate Change, evolution, current events, and other topics, instead of confronting the evidence they started building cargo-cult institutions to uncritically embrace their policies instead.

      This has culminated in a substantial proportion of US Conservatives who currently believe outlandish conspiracy theories about the election being stolen.

      If you want Conservatives re-entering cultural institutions you need to stop Conservatives from expelling “RINOs” and other moderates from their ranks.

      1. I was watching a short MLK day thing last night, I forget which channel. It had scenes showing the current legacy of MLK. Prominently featured were protestors shouting “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” an incident that never happened and yet spawned one of the left’s most successful political movements. But let’s talk about only the conservatives living in an evidence-free world.

        1. If liberals used an illusory example to campaign against too-real problems such as bigotry and abusive policing, that is a problem. But nothing near the problems of relying on superstition-based arguments in reasoned debate among competent adults; or campaigning with lies against illusory problems (stolen elections, for example, or a Kenyan Muslim communist president); or promoting a platform relying far too much on bigotry and backwardness in a nation whose electorate is improving (more diverse, more tolerant, less rural, less backward, less religious).

        2. I’m not sure I see the connection.

          It’s true that incorrect witness accounts around Michael Brown’s shooting started the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” as a sort of slogan.

          But it’s continued usage hardly indicates that people are insisting that Michael Brown was saying “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” when he was shot. Rather it’s a slogan, a slogan that implies that Black people are disproportionately shot by police. A belief that is backed by evidence.

          I won’t claim that liberals are perfect when dealing with misinformation, I’ve seen egregious examples where people insist on believing specific narratives not backed by the evidence. But the difference is that the liberal misinformation has trouble penetrating institutions and is kept to the political fringe. Conservative information has been in the central ranks of the GOP since before Trump.

          1. “Conservative information has been in the central ranks of the GOP since before Trump.” -> “Conservative disinformation has been in the central ranks of the GOP since before Trump.”

          2. “ But the difference is that the liberal misinformation has trouble penetrating institutions and is kept to the political fringe.”

            The claims of “systemic racism”, “transgender ideology”, “Russian collusion”, “Trump is Hitler”, “mostly peaceful protests”, “inequality proves discrimination and exploitation”, “defund the police”, “20 years left to stop global warming”, “Bush knew Osama would blow up the WTC”, etc., etc.

            These are powerful myths.

        3. And just now I was watching a supposedly esteemed lawyer try to “both sides” a BLM slogan with the President of the United States lying for months about who won the 2020 Presidential Election.

          So talk about whatever you want, I don’t think anyone will accuse you of having your priorities in the right place.

      2. You are giving a bad name to cargo cults. They were notably more reliant on empiricism than movement conservatives. To be fair, both cults have been comparably unsuccessful, but failed reliance on empiricism makes cargo cults seem less blame-worthy.

      3. The problem isn’t institutions rejecting Conservatism, it’s institutions rejecting lies and faulty evidence at a time when Conservatism is being overtaken by them.

        This is exactly my view. And pointing out some anecdotes about people on the left acting foolish doesn’t change that.

        The fact is the right has abandoned reason, reality, evidence, etc. in a process that has been going on for decades.

        1. Speaking of reason, reality, evidence…..

          Even asking for evidence on “systemic racism” is a direct evidence of being a racist….

          As the left-wing media and the esteemed left-wing academics tell us, “you cannot be racist towards white people”.

  18. Scott Alexander has a somewhat-related blog post entitled “Neutral vs. Conservative: The Eternal Struggle” on Slate Star Codex: https://slatestarcodex.com/2017/05/01/neutral-vs-conservative-the-eternal-struggle/
    Here’s a snippet from it:

    > The overall impression is of a widespread norm, well-understood by both liberals and conservatives, that we have a category of space we call “neutral” and “depoliticized”. These sorts of spaces include institutions as diverse as colleges, newspapers, workplaces, and conferences. And within these spaces, overt liberalism is tolerated but overt conservativism is banned. In a few of these cases, conservatives grew angry enough that they started their own spaces – which began as noble attempts to avoid bias, and ended as wretched hives of offensive troglodytes who couldn’t get by anywhere else. This justifies further purges in the mainstream liberal spaces, and the cycle goes on forever.
    >
    > Stanford historian Robert Conquest once declared it a law of politics that “any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing”. I have no idea why this should be true, and yet I’ve seen it again and again. Taken to its extreme, it suggests we’ll end up with a bunch of neutral organizations that have become left-wing, plus a few explicitly right-wing organizations. Given that Conquest was writing in the 1960s, he seems to have predicted the current situation remarkably well.

  19. Isn’t this just the free market at work? Why would a principled libertarian/conservative argue against an obviously profitable agenda by media companies to skew liberal? Why is “conservative media” like OAN relegated to online feeds and fox news stuck with poison-peddling supplement advertisors? Doesn’t citizens united let companies identify with the politics they favor? And, isn’t the argument you make for ensuring conservatives get jobs one of the rationales for affirmative action (or diversity is a good thing)?

    1. What on earth makes you think that is is profitable for the media to skew liberal? In what reality is alienating and driving away half of you audience or your customers profitable?

      The answer is that it is profitable if the corporations are tightly coupled partners of the state, and if they know that in return for assisting the state in enforcing it’s party line they will get various favors and accommodations. Which has nothing to do with “free markets at work”.

      Or to quote the father of fascism himself — “I feel certain that Italian bureaucracy, which is indeed admirable, will collaborate with the Corporations in future as it has done in the past, whenever this proves necessary to achieve a fruitful settlement of the problems at issue.”

      1. It’s obviously a working business model for so called liberal media companies or they wouldn’t be doing it. Even with alienating what you view as half of the population, it’s still profitable.

        What favors and accommodations does the government give liberal leaning media corporations?
        Because historically, I can think of a hell of a lot more lucrative favors done to corporations that lobby conservatives. Oil companies, for profit prison industry, agriculture, guns, meat, utilities, etc. And over the last 4 years uncountable political favors were done for conservative media — Fox and Friends had priceless hours spent with the president calling in, various administration officials catered to right wing media in exclusive interviews. At times the administration even banned liberal reporters.

  20. I really hope 9) was a reference to Obama

  21. (Saw this in the comments on Instapundit and copied it here.)

    Our “intellectual” class are intellectually stunted and ill-read. The current American regime …. a de-facto one party police state where the authorities employ their own private paramilitary force to threaten, beat, and even murder their ideological opponents, where the press and large corporations also function in a propaganda and coercion capacity on the states behalf …. fits the literal definition of the word fascism. It has nothing to do with any “emotional connection to a leader”. Reagan had an “emotional connection” to the public and they to him. It did not make him a fascist any more than it does Trump. Corporatism + police state tactics employed against the average citizen are the hallmarks of fascism, and that is the modern US.

    It’s a conceit of our modern intellectuals that they can never be the source of our societal ills. It must be those damn working classes, the ones who supposedly supported fascism and communism! The reality is that from the French Revolution down through the present day it has invariably been the educated upper classes who get infatuated with patently stupid and destructive ideas.

    “The fading of the critical sense is a serious menace to the preservation of our civilization. It makes it easy for quacks to fool the people. It is remarkable that the educated strata are more gullible than the less educated. The most enthusiastic supporters of Marxism, Nazism, and Fascism were the intellectuals, not the boors.” Ludwig von Mises, writing in 1945.

  22. I’m sure that criticism from a pompous scold who spent the last four years getting the vapors over Trump’s mean tweets will make them change their ways.

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