The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations for Right-Wing Pundits
“The problem with our media ecology is—just as the question from my editor friend suggests—that conservatives are protected from any consequence for their intellectual failings. ...
”Which returns us to the problem I have with my friend’s question to me in the first place: why is it that liberals and moderates and editorial non- and anti-ideologues of (too) good faith insist on making like the Greek philosopher Diogenes, scouring the horizon for the last honest conservative, instead of accepting the fact that there are virtually none to be found? ...
“Some smart speechwriter for George W. Bush once came up with a rather brilliant phrase to describe what conservatives see as the moral failing of affirmative action: that it imposes a 'soft bigotry of low expectations.' By patting under-qualified minority candidates patronizingly on the head and giving them jobs and educations for which they are not prepared, the argument goes, liberals supposedly do the objects of their tender concern more harm than good—and the greater public good a grievous harm as well. Time to stop the soft bigotry of low expectations toward the right. No more affirmative action for conservatives. It does no good for a right-wing literati that would be better served by a swift kick in the ass.”
-- Rick Perlstein, “There Are No More Honest Conservatives, So Stop Looking For One,” in The Nation.
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