Sullivan has reconsidered his suggestion

Sullivan has reconsidered his suggestion that Johhny Taliban springs from the corrupt mores of those blue Gore-voting states. But he does so not because the suggestion is full-on stupid, but because Mr. Walker is in fact a right-wing extremist. In the end Sullivan holds fast, reasoning that the only authentic rebellion against liberal permissiveness is illiberal authoritarianism. He concludes:
… the link between his chosen lifestyle and the culture in which he was born is still valid, I think.
The link is what, Andrew? That the culture in which he was born didn't flat out prohibit Walker's eventual choices? As Daschle might put it, I'm disappointed in Andrew's sloppy thinking. Walker is one guy. He is not a representative sample of Marin County. I know the first rule of punditry is to make wild generalizations on the basis of your own experience, and I guess it carries over naturally to wild generalizations on the basis of some other guy's experience. But hasty generalization remains a canonical fallacy.
I know folks with permissive parents from permissive places who are conservative/liberal activists (take your pick). I know folks with strict parents from conservative places who are themselves permissive/strict (take your pick). So what! Sullivan's misplaced eagerness to use Walker as a bludgeon against “permissiveness,” liberalism, and bluehood is mystifying.
I guess when you see cracks in the walls of hegemony, you beat at them with anything you can grab.

Author: Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research at the Niskanen Center

5 thoughts

  1. “The really perverse thing is that many people will do for their country what they would never do for their own mother.”
    If you think this, then you really are clueless. Next time, stick to a subject you know something about. And next time you get in a self righteous mood, photograph the coffin of someone in your own family.
    The men (and possibly women) in those coffins volunteered to fight for reasons you’ll never understand.
    What a shame that you can’t respect their sacrifice.

  2. Hey, nice pic Will. As a veteran, I need to tell you, thanks for pissing on my love of country as a bad or invalid motivator of the free choices I made. It reminds me that the First Amendment protects not only the members of my “tribe” who have bought into our national collaborative project of creating liberty and self-rule, and the costs that come with it, but that the Amendment also protects the bismotered little chap who runs around the village insists that those of us who protect him from various Huns, Vandals and Visigoths are just misguided fools. I feel a sense of luxury and success, knowing we’ve created a country, a national project, that can afford you a right to exist and do your thing. I thank you.

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