Against Stupidity, Some Conservatives Contend–Hopefully Not in Vain

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on November 14, 2012

Bobby Jindal has decided to come out against “dumbed-down conservatism” and has stated that Republicans ought to stop being “the stupid party.” His comments could not have been better timed. The anti-intellectualism that has been expressed by some in the Republican party and the conservative movement is rejected by a great many in the party and the movement, but unfortunately, at the very least, those who have embraced anti-intellectualism have had control of the microphone and have therefore had the ability to make their voices heard over and above those who argue–quite rightly–for a more cerebral approach to politics and policy. More specifically, lousy candidates like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock have made other conservatives/Republicans look bad. This has to stop, and given that Jindal will have a bigger platform from which to expound his views when he takes over as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, hopefully it will stop.

In a similar vein, Bret Stephens calls upon Republicans to “get a grip.” He offers specifics on how a grip can be gotten, and you would do well to read his whole editorial.

And Erick Erickson weighs in as well against the nutty fringe groups on the right that have decided to come out in the aftermath of the election in order to peddle their crazy theories. You would do well to read his whole post also, and I would hope that we all reinforce in our own ways the sentiments Erick expresses in his post. Nutty fringe groups are not going to help Republicans win elections anytime in the future.

Team Obama, it should be said, employed a more cerebral approach to politics and electioneering; witness its embrace and use of behavioral science research to advance the president’s electoral cause. This approach helped them beat Republicans even though economic conditions worked against the president’s re-election prospects. Are Republicans going to learn anything from Team Obama’s example, or are they willing to lose more elections down the line, slouching towards irrelevance all the while?

  • James

    Akin and Mourdock weren’t bad candidates. At worst, they misspoke regarding an issue, life, about which they are (and all conservatives should be) clearly passionate. Calling them lousy candidates doesn’t make it so. Also, if anti-intellectualism has taken such strong hold of the Republican Party, then why were Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan the presidential and vice presidential candidates, respectively? It seems intellectualism was embraced and defeated anyway.

    As a related aside, why do you have such a strong penchant for attacking your own side?

    • Pejman_Yousefzadeh

      Akin flunked Biology 101. Mourdock lost a Republican seat thanks to his own deficiencies as a candidate. Romney and Ryan are plenty smart, but unfortunately, many of the people working for them weren’t; witness the degree to which they got taken in by their own press and were shocked that they actually lost. Witness as well the disaster that was Project ORCA, which actually served to suppress GOP votes, and which was never even field tested before being deployed.

      When my side screws up, I criticize my side. That’s because I expect better from my side. If it weren’t my side, I either wouldn’t care about the screw ups, or I would actively encourage more of them. When my side starts being successful, I will be the first to congratulate and applaud my side.

  • autoarenda

    This looks precious, I think. :)

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