Not As Smart As I Think I Am?

Gerard Alexander, a professor of political science at University of Virginia, published an article in today's NYT entitled: Liberals, You’re Not as Smart as You Think You Are.  I can easily believe that, especially when I get caught in the self-referential loop of thinking that I'm not as smart as I think I am.  I am a liberal, at least compared to today's conservatives, of course, but rather than wrestle with the implied endless loop, let me just consider other liberals.  I know a lot of them, and many are not as smart as they think they are.  Actually, quite a few aren't very smart at all.

It's not exactly a logical corollary, but should I conclude that conservatives are not as stupid as I they they are?  Or that some of them are smart?  Well, that hasn't been my experience, but the laws of probability would seem to disagree.  I'm talking about the die-hard Trumpophiles here, not the so-called conservatives in the never Trump camp.

Prof. Alexander, who might be that elusive smart conservative, argues that liberals are doing a lot of self-defeating things that will cause Trump to be re-elected.  Heaven forfend, but he has some good points.  He argues that liberals dominate the entertainment industry, significant portions of the media, and academia, and that makes them think they are more powerful than they are.
Liberals often don’t realize how provocative or inflammatory they can be. In exercising their power, they regularly not only persuade and attract but also annoy and repel.
In fact, liberals may be more effective at causing resentment than in getting people to come their way.
That's easy to believe, but have you listened to Donald Trump or Sean Hannity?  They can be pretty effective and causing offense too.

Liberals are trapped in a self-reinforcing cycle. When they use their positions in American culture to lecture, judge and disdain, they push more people into an opposing coalition that liberals are increasingly prone to think of as deplorable. That only validates their own worst prejudices about the other America.
I recommend his article, even though I don't agree with everything he says.

In any case, my beef with today's conservatives is that they are owned, body and soul, by powerful financial interests, mostly thanks to Citizens United, one of the greatest blows to the Republic in many decades.


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