Occasionally I read something that is so staggeringly contrary to reality that
I immediately ask myself if the person who wrote it is deliberately lying or
just clueless. I had such an occasion recently when I read Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin's latest
diatribe against her old party and the base that sustains it lovingly
entitled "The GOP Has Become a Pity Party for White Males." Because she just
wants to help her old party out and get it back on pre-Trump track, you see.
The article opens with a reference to a new "cottage industry of apologists for Donald Trump and his supporters" whom she identifies as working class white males. She doesn't name names, but I can't help but suspect that Publius Decius Mus of "Flight 93 Election" fame is one of the primary "apologists" she has in mind. The article is remarkably hostile to the core group of people who actually vote for her old party and will continue to vote for it in the future regardless of how this election turns out. The condescension is palpable. But, of course, Trump supporters are the ones full of "hate."
It is also a museum quality specimen of elitist globalist cluelessness and detachment. She doesn't even try to sugarcoat it or make it sound nice and pretty. She makes Ayn Rand seem all touchy-feely in comparison. She even trots out the old job retraining canard. I thought only Democrats touted that fantasy. So the 87 IQ factory worker who was making a decent living and supporting his family before his job went overseas is suddenly going to magically become a thought worker in the new "21st-Century" (she's even detached enough to actually use that terminology) "dynamic" economy if we just sprinkle a little job retraining pixie dust on him? Good luck with that Jen. Perhaps she would be willing to volunteer to teach some of those job retraining classes.
Remarkably she even spends some column space attacking people who want to be wished Merry Christmas. Good grief Jen, it's still September. Can't that wait until at least November? Ax grind much?
But the open contempt and hostility isn't even what I want to focus on. It speaks for itself. What I want to primarily challenge is her blatant mischaracterization of conservatism. Paragraph two provides us with this stunningly inaccurate characterization:
First, conservatives used to stand up for "creative destruction," the rise and fall of businesses and entire industries, which is an intrinsic part of a dynamic free market.
Just read that again, and let it sink in. Conservatives,
those people who desire to conserve things, are actually the ones who are
supposed to "stand up for creative destruction." Not just accept the reality of
economic change, mind you, but "stand up for creative destruction." In Jen's
world do vegetarians stand up for meat eating? Do prohibitionists stand up for
As the type of person whom Rubin scorns, I must confess I don't routinely read her Washington Post column, which is laughingly called "Right Turn." I was primarily aware of Jennifer Rubin as a hawkish neoconservative who loudly backed the Iraq War and continues to back aggressive US foreign intervention. (On a side note, is Jen not aware that the people she has such open contempt for, working class white men, unfortunately disproportionately backed her foolish Iraq War and manned the fighting forces that waged it? Thanks for nothing.) In Jen's many battles against the evil forces of isolation did she miss the fact that her fellow neocon, Michael Ledeen, was roundly ridiculed by anti-war authentic conservatives, libertarians and leftists alike for his praise of "creative destruction?" Perhaps if she wants to lecture wayward conservatives about what conservatives are really supposed to believe, maybe she shouldn't chose a loaded term that is bound to invite mockery.
To compound the mischaracterization, Jen wags her finger thusly:
The coal town is depopulated? Yes, that's sad, but why are they not moving -- as immigrants do -- to where the jobs are?
"That's sad?" Yeah, I sure she's sad. I can hear her crying from here. So why don't the whiners just move? Oh I don't know Jen, maybe because they love the community and state they grew up in and call home. Maybe because that's where their parents and their parent's parents are from and all their family resides. Maybe because they can't scrape together enough money for four new tires for the family vehicle, much less afford to hire a moving company. But apparently rootlessness and disdain for home are hallmarks of conservatism in Jen's Bizarro World. Again, she could have saved bandwidth if she just advised then to shake "the dust of (their) crummy little town(s) off (their) feet," and go to Silicon Valley and get a job at Apple, although she might not get the reference since she is averse to Merry Christmas.
Only a completely insulated cosmopolitan elitist like Jen could
so casually write such a thing, but I highly suspect that she wouldn't be too
happy about it if she lost her job at the Washington
Post and had to move to Wichita to work the local crime beat. In fact, Jen's
petulant rhetorical flailings about the rise of Trump and Trumpism are an
obvious reaction to the fact that he threatens her and her's seat at the table.
So the initial question remains, in light of Jen's absurd mischaracterization of conservatism above, does she know it to be false and is deliberately misleading, or is she just not that bright and doesn't get it? Despite my years of battling it out in the conservative trenches, I think I retain an unfortunate level of naivete'. It's really difficult for me to assume that level of willful deceit on someone's part. I had the same problem with David French's declarations regarding the nature of the one true conservatism. I thought surely he's not that blatant of a shill. He's probably just a bit dull. That was until his NeverTrump trial balloon, when I looked into his background and discovered he graduated from Harvard Law. There went the not too bright option.
Likewise, I admit that when I read that second paragraph, my immediate thought was "Huh? Is Jen not that bright?" You don't necessarily have to be a scholar to write a column. Maybe she knew someone. So I went to Wikipedia to look her up. Rubin graduated from Berkeley undergrad and Berkeley Law School. According to Wikipedia, she graduated at the top of her law school class. So there goes the not too bright option with her as well. Jennifer Rubin is a deliberate liar because there is no way that someone who graduated at the top of her Berkeley Law School class doesn't understand that conservatism and creative destruction are mutually exclusive. She should be treated like the deliberate deceiver that she is.