Four versions of liberal condescension 

Gerard Alexander's piece in yesterday's Washington Post is the definitive analysis of liberal condescension. It comes in four kinds (I added the numbers):

(1) The first...maintains that conservatives win elections and policy debates not because they triumph in the open battle of ideas but because they deploy brilliant and sinister campaign tactics.

(2) [I]f conservative leaders are crass manipulators, then the rank-and-file Americans who support them must be manipulated at best, or stupid at worst...speaking to a roomful of Democratic donors in 2008, then-presidential candidate Obama offered a similar (and infamous) analysis when he suggested that residents of Rust Belt towns "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations..." [I]t might be politically prudent for liberals to hear them out, but there is no reason to actually listen.

(3) The third version of liberal condescension points to something more sinister...It is now an article of faith among many liberals that Republicans win elections because they tap into white prejudice against blacks and immigrants.

(4) Finally, liberals condescend to the rest of us when they say conservatives are driven purely by emotion and anxiety -- including fear of change -- whereas liberals have the harder task of appealing to evidence and logic.

The entire piece is very much worth reading. The current decline of the Democrats is a popular reaction to liberal policies, but it is also a reaction to the very intellectual dishonesty described above.

About The Author

David Freddoso

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David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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