A friend of mine and I have an ongoing conversation about the direction of Conservatism. We have disagreements in some areas but there is one thing that we have in common: Our disdain bordering on hatred for Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity and their ilk. The thing I dislike most about the three of them (On a side note I’m sure there are plenty of other radio/TV hosts and columnists that are like the “big three” but I haven’t had much exposure to anyone but the ones I’ve mentioned.) is that they are boorish, off-putting and don’t do anything to advance the cause of Conservatism. Rush and Ann are intelligent people and I’m sure could make very convincing arguments that might bring some fence-sitters into the fold. But their “humor” and over-the-top, shock value rhetoric instead alienates anyone who might otherwise have an open mind. Most of their shtick is off-putting to me, and I consider myself to be a “hardcore” conservative. But if Rush and Ann have the proverbial rapier wit, Sean Hannity is more like a sledgehammer or mace. All he does is come up with two or three talking points and then uses them to beat friends and enemies alike over the head. Hannity seems to me like some troglodytic automaton unleashed on an unsuspecting, trusting public – “Argghh! Hannity hungry! Must kill all Democrats!” My 4 and 5 year-old daughters can come up with better political analysis than Hannity can. Of course now I’m coming dangerously close (if not already there) to committing one of the sins that the big three are always egregiously guilty of: the ad hominem attack.
Anyway, having said all of that, I ran across an article from John Derbyshire. I have read his work for National Review although this article was written for the American Conservative. I like his writing although he is a bit too libertarian for my tastes (he mentions Ron Paul in the article. I probably loathe Ron Paul more than Rush, Ann and Hannity put together). The article makes the case for conservative intellectualism and provides an interesting analysis on how “lowbrow conservatism” has harmed the cause of Conservatives. Enjoy.