Punditry of Low Character

The 22nd post on the Journal of American Greatness originally published in March, 2016.


Since we’re piling on NR, it would be remiss not to single out the worst of the worst: the sneering, arrogant, obnoxious know-it-all-who-actually-knows-nothing Kevin Williamson.  Williamson is a one-man case study in everything wrong with “conservative journalism.”  Doctrinaire.  Hubristically overconfident yet embarrassingly error-prone.  Snide in his every syllable.  To paraphrase Mary McCarthy, Williamson manages to imbue a toxic level of bile even into “and” and “the.”  Hair-trigger.  And always, always, always on the attack, but like a Gatling gun with no one aiming it—just spraying bullets everywhere.

Like the natural aristoi Williamson is so certain he is, he despises any among the hoi polloi who don’t toe the line he draws.  “Donald Trump is a man of low character,” he writes.  Fair enough; there’s material on which to base that claim.  But Williamson can’t stop there:

Trump is running a con on Republican primary voters. Some of them are so full of spite that they are willing to be conned by a lowlife if that means annoying people they resent. That is a mark of low character, too.

There you have it.  Trump’s voters are people “of low character.”  Says the perpetually red-faced and purple-prosed Kevin Williamson.

As we noted recently, this is emerging as the standard establishment explanation for Trump: the American people—or at least Trump voters—are ipso facto corrupt.  Have any of these despondent elitists thought through where this conclusion inevitably leads?

In any case, we would hesitate to say the same of those who vote for Hillary—someone we are reasonably confident actually is corrupt, both in the civilizational sense implied by Williamson and in the more prosaic sense people usually think of when they hear the word.

This is the kind of thing the left never misses an opportunity to say about the right.  And in fact routinely say every time they lose an election.  Bad people!  Bad!  You sleep outside tonight!  A lot of “Republicans” and “conservatives” have been switching sides lately.  By temperament at least, Williamson would probably be more at home not just on the left but with the New Left.  Maybe he can stow away in Max Boot’s suitcase?

—Decius

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