Matt Yglesias thinks that conservatives are able to dominate political communication because we are more partisan than liberals. Liberals are fair, conservatives not so much.
To be fair to Matt Yglesias, fame and self-awareness rarely mix. They are like oil and water, and it is rare indeed that the emulsifier of humility forces them to stay mixed. As a relatively famous political commentator, Yglesias should be expected to be idiotically unselfconscious.
Even still, reality usually imposes a limit on how out of touch one can be without consequences, and Yglesias is clearly closing in on that border.
An underrated asymmetry in American politics is that liberals sincerely lack a taste for highly partisan media and prefer the kind of mishmash of embedded progressive cultural assumptions + studious evenhandedness about actual politics that you get from NPR/NYT. https://t.co/2vZPi5HXCv
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) October 30, 2022
Not that Yglesias is alone in this delusion. Liberals in general truly believe that conservatives are able to easily live in a bubble of misinformation, while liberals live in a world where they information they consume was assembled in an environment of studios evenhandedness. Most members of the cultural elite actually believe this. They think that the MSM is way too evenhanded as it is.
How can they actually believe this? Because it is they who live in a bubble of misinformation and have never actually met with or talked to a large number of conservatives. They are spoon fed Leftist pablum (the Steele Dossier is real, the Hunter Biden laptop is Russian misinformation, racist hate crimes are everywhere, COVID is the black plague) and anything that doesn’t fit is memory holed.
Liberals believe that Kathleen Parker, Jennifer Rubin, The Lincoln Project Crowd, and Bill Kristol are what conservative should be like.
It is genuinely impossible for a conservative to live in a hermetically sealed information bubble unexposed to constant liberal proselytizing: conservatives own no cultural, political, educational, MSM institution with which to create such a bubble. Watch TV, go to a movie, read a newspaper, watch a Sunday morning news program, talk to a neighbor…no matter where we turn we are inundated with the liberal viewpoint.
We get it. We understand it. We can regurgitate it. Hell, we can predict it before it happens. We know what and how liberals think.
Liberals, on the other hand, don’t have a clue about how conservatives actually really think and what we believe. Their information is always filtered through relentlessly Left-wing institutions. Most liberals either don’t know any conservatives, or don’t know that they do because conservatives tend to self-censor in order to avoid the inevitable social discord, economic consequences, or ostracization that accompanies wrong-think.
During the Trump years I decided to take time off from working in politics–it was exhausting, mentally and physically—and did a stint selling cameras (photography is my avocation). I wrongly believed that I could escape the constant backbiting that politics entailed.
I was wrong. Even there I had customers, colleagues, and even some management folks constantly asking me for what amounted to loyalty oath-type questions. I was inundated with jibes about Trump, about how awful Republicans were, with ridiculous falsehoods about what Republicans thought. I had a customer ask my politics before she would discuss her purchase. This, despite the fact that I never once discussed my own political views. It was just assumed that constant talking about how evil Republicans were was standard.
Perhaps my experience was unique. But I doubt it. Most conservatives I know are pretty quiet about it. We all want to live our lives, not be in a constant state of warfare. In general Republicans will rouse themselves to beat back the worst excesses of Left-wing ideology, but in the main we believe that government should exist to only do things that are necessary to make society run–things like infrastructure, police, defense, etc. How we and others live our lives? Go away.
Leftists are totalitarians in the true sense of the word. Everything is political. Literally everything. “Silence is violence.” “The personal is the political.” There is literally no aspect of life that is not liable to being invaded by politics, and hence is not the business of Leftists to lecture or coerce us about.
Ironically, while liberals live in an information bubble, it is conservatives who actually want to live in a “private space” bubble. We believe that certain things are of interest to the community and the government, and most things aren’t. We don’t parade our sexuality, our “kinks,” our every private thought and impulse, and project our own desires onto everyone else. We even use standard English pronouns!
Yes, we believe there should be limits to the private sphere, and hence some moral laws. Such as don’t parade pornography in front of children. And when we express such thoughts, the “studiously evenhanded” media calls us a threat to democracy™ and wants the FBI to go after us as domestic terrorists. And when Leftists are in charge of the government, the FBI complies.
Conservatives don’t live in a bubble, not because we wouldn’t want to, but because in contemporary America the only way to do so is to become a hermit. The people who own the commanding heights of our society are, almost to a person, Leftists. They own the culture so completely that even the few places that allow conservatives to express themselves are seen as assaults on reality. Bubbles of insanity within the calm seas of Leftist reality.
Hence, Matt Yglesias actually can believe his own BS.