Ed Driscoll

Must-Read Essay: Ace on Newsweek

Ace of Spades has a lengthy blogpost that starts off quoting from the same John Podhoretz article on Newsweek we quoted in the previous post, but then morphs into being as much a spot-on profile of the average liberal’s worldview as a blog post about the collapse of a weekly legacy media magazine:

[S]oft-liberalism — a vague and guazy feel-goodery, a brainless parroting of “nice” sentiments, an adherence to political correctness — causes you few if any problems in social situations or work. It gets you a little cheaply-earned assent and praise, because so many other people are apathetic and soft-liberal and are similarly disposed to agreeing with nonsense.

And meanwhile, departing from that soft-liberal line takes not only work — you have to read up a bit on the conventional wisdom if you wish to dispute it, while it takes no reading at all to merely repeat the conventional wisdom — but exposes you to social penalties, too. No one has to really “choose” to be a soft-liberal; it’s the default setting, as it were, the industry standard for people who really don’t care all that much.

Choosing to be a communist is Decision. And, similarly, choosing to be a conservative is a Decision. Choosing to be a strident, partisan liberal ideologue is also a decision (but an easier one, too, because it’s only a few degrees removed from soft-liberal feel-goodery).

But choosing to be a soft-liberal and mouth empty platitudes? Easy as pie, and not one in 20 people is going to bother challenging you on those platitudes.

Saying anything else just might get you into an argument. Now, some people like arguments (us lot, for example) but most do not. Most people are adverse to confrontation and react emotionally, not intellectually, to disagreement.

Plus, if you don’t really know much at all about politics, such arguments will almost certainly result in that fact being exposed, and then you’ll look uninformed and stupid — and who the hell wants that? No one, that’s who.

So, all else being equal, it makes perfect sense for the 15-20% of our population that barely knows anything at all to politics to stick to the safe harbor of the default script.

This is the MFM’s greatest achievement — that for this 15-20% of the population that has no serious, structure political beliefs at all, an adherence to the general basics of liberalism is the default setting. All ties go to the liberals, in other words, and that’s big thing, isn’t it?

And that’s why we’re so outraged at the MFM. This isn’t just about their smug arrogance or corrupt pretense of being the fair-and-objective Deciders. It’s a personal thing — our personal revulsion at a set of know-nothing inexpert, unprofessional clowns arrogating to themselves the power to decide what is and is not permitted in polite, enlightened discourse — but it’s not just personal.

That’s just a sample. Yes, the whole thing is long for a blog post. But read it in entirety anyhow.

(And then check out Iowahawk’s flashback to a classic post guest-written by Newsweek itself.)