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The Moral Arrogance of the Enlightened Set

Every once in a while liberal writers do us the favor of revealing, in unvarnished ways, their true views. Such is the case with John Cassidy of The New Yorker, who wrote this in the aftermath of Rick Santorum’s sweep earlier this week:

Aaghh! Santorum! Not Santorum!! Surely not Santorum!!!

From Cambridge to Brooklyn, from Georgetown to Hyde Park, from West L.A. to pretty much the entire Bay Area, you could almost hear the howls of anguish this morning. They even reached across the Pacific. “SANTORUM? Oh, America, how you disappoint me,” Jeremy Tian, a writer and actor from Singapore, tweeted in response to my earlier post.

 Cassidy then goes on to say this:

To educated liberals of almost any description, Santorum is an abomination. It’s not just that he’s a pro-life, anti-gay, anti-contraception Roman Catholic of the most retrogressive and diehard Opus Dei variety. It’s his entire persona. With his seven kids, his Jaycee fashion code, his 1970s colonial MacMansion in northern Virginia, his irony bypass, he seems to delight in outraging self-styled urban sophisticates: the sort of folks who buy organic milk, watch “The Daily Show,” and read the New York Times (and The New Yorker, of course).

Pause for a moment on the paragraph I just cited. Let’s be generous and grant that what Cassidy wrote is supposed to be clever, funny, and even self-effacing. It still reveals a bit too much.

Educated liberals of almost any description actually do consider Santorum to be an abomination because of what they consider to be his retrograde Opus Dei persona, including his seven children. How de classe. For people of  Cassidy’s advanced attitudes, the truth is it would be better, and certainly more sophisticated, if Rick and Karen Santorum had two children. (I’ll leave it to you to figure out what Brooklyn/Hyde Park/West L.A./Cambridge/Georgetown liberals think should have been done with the other five, including one of whom is a special needs child.)

There is a brand of liberalism – typified by Cassidy and some of his colleagues – that is sneering, morally arrogant, and condescending toward, among others, people of faith. (You know such people; in economic downturns they cling to their Bibles and guns.) What is coursing through the veins of people like Cassidy, when they aren’t lamenting the decline of civil public discourse in America, is unalloyed hatred toward those with whom they disagree, most especially for those who are traditionalists in their moral views.

Honorable liberals (and non-liberals) can disagree with Santorum on issues ranging from abortion to same-sex marriage and gays in the military to women in combat. My own views on some of these matters aren’t what they were a decade or so ago. But for Santorum’s seven children, his fashion code, and his house to inspire genuine loathing tells you much of what you need to know about Cassidy and his kind.

What he wrote isn’t pretty. It isn’t even clever. But it is revealing.


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