You know conservatives are landing punches when the left starts trotting out the “conservatives are anti-intellectual” argument. The ever-predictable EJ Dionne pulled this one off the shelf today.
It’s not that we’re against the systematic study of ideas. We’re all for it. But for too many intellectuals “systematic study” involves “systematically ignoring” anyone to the right of Bill Clinton. Do you think Karl Marx or Milton Friedman is more widely read on college campuses?
I think what a lot of us really dislike is the preening, self-important lefties who think disagreeing with them is a character flaw and who just know how much smarter they are than the rest of us. Personally, I like to just let them discredit themselves. It’s generally easy. Just let them talk and then use their own words against them when the real world proves them wrong.
A few examples:
- The intellectuals told us Tea Partiers are uneducated racists.
- The intellectuals told us the scientific debate on global warming was over.
- The intellectuals told us if you like your insurance, you can keep it under Obamacare.
- The intellectuals told us Obamacare would cost under $1 billion.
- The intellectuals told us Obama’s diplomatic strategy will mend relations with allies and convince rogue regimes to behave.
In each case conservatives made fact-based arguments and were derided and ridiculed for their trouble by the brilliant intellectuals. And in each case conservatives have been proven right. Sorry, who’s anti-intellectual?