Thursday, 9 September 2004

Ivory towers

Hei Lun of Begging to Differ has an interesting rebuttal to claims from the left that most people should vote for the Democratic Party out of economic self-interest. His specific rebuttal is to Chris Bertram, but it applies equally to this, rather more blunt, Mark Kleiman postAlex Knapp). Of course, if you’re someone who rejects the idea that social issues are legitimate fodder for political debate (as opposed to simply being expressions of bigotry and hatred), I can see where you might assume that the economic issues are the only ones that matter.

Plus, this passage at the end of Hei Lun’s argument reminded me of this discussion of a Dahlia Lithwick column in the New York Times:

Lastly, the obvious point, which I guess isn’t obvious to Chris Bertram et al., is that calling people who don’t vote the way you want them to vote “stupid” isn’t the best way to persuade them to vote your way in future elections.

Luckily for the Times, and for the Crooked Timberites, I am reasonably confident that their academic discussion of the general stupidity of their less sophisticated brethren (in whose name, after all, they crusade for social justice and the like) will not filter down to the masses. You can only be insulted, after all, if you know you’re being insulted.