You Know It's There

01.16.13

Defining the Echo Chamber

Jonah Goldberg seems to get it. In his latest at National Review Online, Goldberg dismisses the idea of an "impure GOP" as a silly wives' tale. His buried lede? Factions of the conservative movement exist solely to profit from the choir - without any intent of even seeking to convert people to the cause.

The good is obvious. The ill is less understood. For starters, the movement has an unhealthy share of hucksters eager to make money from stirring rage, paranoia, and an ill-defined sense of betrayal with little concern for the real political success that can come only with persuading the unconverted.

A conservative journalist or activist can now make a decent living while never once bothering to persuade a liberal. Telling people only what they want to hear has become a vocation. Worse, it’s possible to be a rank-and-file conservative without once being exposed to a good liberal argument. Many liberals lived in such an ideological cocoon for decades, which is one reason conservatives won so many arguments early on. Having the right emulate that echo chamber helps no one.

Funny, that. Fortunately, I wrote the same thing a few days ago, provoking Breitbart.com, one such "huckster" outlet seeking to profit from stirring rage and paranoia, to respond with this steaming pile of Breitbart.