Now Sivad. You will see it is me and immediately go full out hair on fire. Try not to do that if you really want to debate these points. I agree with some things you posted but find others either and oversimplification or an attempt to explain the lack of support for more outlandish ideas on the part of what you decided not to call the mainstream.
One reason that propaganda often works better on the educated than on the uneducated is that educated people read more, so they receive more propaganda. Another is that they're the commissars. They have jobs as agents of propaganda, and they believe it. By and large, they're part of the privileged elite, and share their interests and perceptions. — Noam Chomsky
I do not agree with Chomsky here. I do not believe that propaganda works better on the educated than the uneducated. One only needs offer Trump and we can see it does not hold water. Chomsky seems to be in defense of his position and labeling all who disagree as propagandists. For example. If a doctor does not believe that a fetus is a person is he is a propagandist for the prevailing medical communities opinion or is he simply stating what he believes to be a fact? Chomsky (who I have met and admire by the way) often does this. I believe it comes from his frustration with others disagreeing with what seems so obvious to him. And if they rise in opposition to his ideas, he labels them propagandists. This is not entirely untrue when we are discussion countervailing opinions on complex subjects but it applies both ways. I like what Buckley said:
“Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”
"Very Serious People" is a mocking title given to "inside the Beltway" pundits whose views remain "respectable" among centrist politicians despite either:
a)being dishonest and self-serving,
b)presenting facile "common sense" analyses as Great Wisdom, and
c)consistently getting political predictions or policy recommendations wrong.
I fault Paul Krugman for giving this meme legs. It is, in itself, an attempt to fence traditional conservatives and write off their position as all of the above. Why? because they are traditional conservatives and the only conservatives who offer cogent arguments against some
of his opinions. He is disdainful of the traditional conservative's embracing (again Buckley) their role of "standing athwart history and shouting stop". (More about this later.)
They identify with Northeastern, upper middle class, respectable person values and culture to a man, regardless of original background. Public policy discussions are filtered via a parochial, gated community lens.
I was tempted to just post "nonsense". Better to assert that this is just another divide and conquer tool. Sam Walton (born to a farmer) and the founder of Walmart was far the from eastern upper-class but that was the playing field onto which he was to play. And he succeeded. So do myriad others. But look at what is in that sentence above. What are "upper middle class values and how do they differ from lower class values? I would tell you not much. What is "upper middle class culture" and how does it differ from that of the rest of society? Does he really mean a different "culture" or is he making a distinction without a difference? I would assert the later. Are there differences between upper class and lower class behaviors? Sure. But they are not major ones. They are behaviors, not an entire "culture" in need of such a sweeping term. He uses the term "parochial". That would certainly not apply to the movers and shakers of today. They are almost to the man the opposite of that.
They are reluctant to identify their exact politics, but if they do, they usually identify themselves as something uncontroversial such as being "moderately liberal", "moderately conservative,", "center-left", "center-right", a "traditionalist," or as being a "responsible conservative" or being a "grown up".
And here is another mistake but it is an easy one to foist on others. The truth of this statement only applies in a world of stark differences and enforced parochialism. The terms "liberal" and "conservative" today, rather than having lost their meaning have come to mean rigid orthodoxy to a set of rules defining each club. Indeed the author of this statement relies on the rules to condemn others who attempt to be something else. And that something else was what just about everyone was as recently as 30 years ago. Indeed it is what the majority of people are today. They simply do not have a unified voice.
So I would maintain that the folks described above represent the truly unrepresented in the country. Ironically they are the people who moderate republicans (the one or two who remain) and most democrats look to for votes. And then run away from as quickly as possible.
But look at the terms used. What does "traditionalist" actually mean? The devil is in the details.
They overemphasize civility and niceness in public discourse. The Tea Party movement and Donald Trump on the right, and the Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter movements on the left, are looked down upon not because of their aims, but because their tactics are too "disruptive" and "mean".
False equivalence much? The Tea Party and Donald Trump are not counterbalanced by either of the others. They are not the same thing. The Tea Party Movement is an arm of the republican party and Trump the party's standard bearer. The Occupy Wall Street folks would blanch at the very notion that they are democrats and the party would reject them out of hand. Black Lives Matter is something quite "else" and it even defies the label "left". It is not "left of center" to believe that the cops should not shoot innocent people and to proclaim it such is a typical tactic of the far right.
They love the abuse of Occam's razor.
Abuse of Occom's razor?
They face no punishment, ridicule, or loss of status for incorrect predictions or mistaken opinions, as long as the predictions and opinions were mainstream when they were made.
And who else does? Besides. What does this mean anyway? Is there some imperative for the center to "get it right all of the time" while the fringes are absolved of this responsibility? Or is this just frustration with people deciding that "it" is not so bad for me the way "it" is so lets not risk breaking "it" until we are certain of the correctness of our course.
We see a great example of this in health care. Everyone knows that our (US) system is broke. It under serves and over charges. But the majority of people have "enough health care for now" and are wary of sweeping changes even when they can see the advantages of those changes for others. (And are in denial that they may ever be one of the others.)
On economics, they are neoliberals to a man. They are staunch and reflexive supporters of free trade, supporting all trade deals while often not going into detail about why they actually support them beyond "just because".
No. This is not true. There was Robust debate about NAFTA. What they are doing is acting from observation. It goes like this: "The US is the largest economy in the world, has a very sizable middle class and fairly well controlled poverty, and the status quo is how we did it. It has served us well for a very long time." Again. This is a completely reasonable position to take.
They are hegemonic. The government, regardless of ideology, is given the benefit of the doubt. This is especially true of the U.S. military. At the same time, a VSP discounts the competence of a private citizen and the reliability of the private sector.
What is true of "the military". The military does not play in US politics save the requirement by pretty much everyone that it remain the most powerful in the world. What is controversial about this?
I would assert that this is the author making inconsistent arguments. On one hand he says that this VSP is "neoliberal to a man" and then says they discount the "reliability of the private sector". Which is it?
The European Union and NAFTA are sacrosanct and must never be questioned, and as such, they are very hostile to Euroskepticism and the Brexit, which they blame on ignorance and consider blasphemy of the worst order.
Nonsense. They simply look at the history of both and conclude that they both work pretty well. Interesting you use Brexit. Recent polls in the UK show that another vote to leave the EU would go down to resounding failure. Why? Because the people have stared over the abyss as one might say? Does this mean the moderates were right from the start and that the UK ought not leave? I think it does but then I understand that Brexit was not born in economics but certainly dies there.
On foreign policy, they are neoconservatives to a man. They enthusiastically support wars, (especially, preventive wars) along with peacekeeping operations and nation building as long as these military operations aren't too bloody.
Nope. Both Trump and Clinton ran on getting us out of wars. There is deep skepticism about the current kerfuffle with Iran. (Though I will admit that in the case of Iran there is little support, right, left or center for too much restraint. Iran is pretty much an "asshole" to beliefs on all sides.)
Paul Krugman also refers to this as "Serious Person Syndrome," which states "it’s better to have been conventionally wrong than unconventionally right."
So is Paul Krugman just frustrated that his ideas are not universally embraced and that the most common argument against some of his untried ideas is simply that they are solutions in search of problems?
I like Krugman but this piece seems a bit frantic. He is little short of a genius if not actually one. But he is looking for some reason that reasonable people do not down hammers and join him on the barricades. Krugman's work has profoundly impressed me and he has defined my opinions on economics for many years. But he is frustrated and not so good at accepting that, for most people, the old adage "if it ain't broke don't break it" is a controlling factor in their world view.
"We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated." Trump.
"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters, okay? " Trump
The American dream is about freedom. Pelosi