Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Right-Wing Intellectual Tradition

In today's worthless right-wing rag, on the editorial page, we have a column by George Eff Will, who isexploding in rage at the Pope's unconscionable failure to regurgitate the talking points of American capitalism. It really is some funny stuff: wingnuts are so used to using religious authorities as a tool to cudgel Teh Librulz that they've gotten the idea that they have the right to do this; that said authorities should be required to let them—so when, ignoring years of precedent, the biggest one in the world doesn't, they act like spoiled children who've just been told “no” for the first time. They truly do not realize how self-centered and repulsive they look.

But that's only the second-most thoughtful thing on the page. The first is this letter:

Thank God Hitler is not alive or the Democrats would probably make a deal with the Nazis.
Charles Ardell
South Williamsport

Charles Ardell of South Williamsport has apparently confused the letters page with his twitter feed. Lionel Trilling's description of conservative “thought” as a series of “irritable mental gestures which seek to resemble ideas” has never seemed more apropos. This is why I don't write much about politics these days: it just seems so futile when the dominant strain of right-wing thought in the country is represented—and it is--by doltish grotesques like Charles Ardell of South Williamsport. What's the use?


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