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Monday, January 28, 2013

Quo vadis, conservator americane?

Not that anyone cares much of a wit, but a careful reader of my blogroll will notice that I have deleted the link to the "American Conservative" site.

I have done so not necessarily because I intend to stop reading that site--in fact I have saved a link to the blog of Noah Millman, one of my favorite commentators there--but rather because I believe that by linking to the site in general, I am giving some endorsement to it, or at least stating that it is a site worthy of being shouted out at to.  (P.S.:  if I were grading this blog post, I would write "awk" next to that last sentence.)  But I cannot do that as long as the site continues to sport columns by Patrick Buchanan and Rod Dreher.  The former resorts consistently to thinly and not so thinly veiled racism.  Perhaps I am still judging him for his speech at the 1992 Republican convention.

The latter, whatever "ism" he is or isn't guilty of, adopts a "beggar-thy-interlocutor" approach to public discussion, eliding all nuance in favor of drive-by arguments and the "look at me, I'm hurt by a modern liberal society that just won't understand my needs!".....unless, of course, the discussion veers toward food, and then he adopts all the nuance you can ask for, including admonitions to his fellow conservatives about too quickly condemning healthful eating as some sort of liberal-elitist plot to undermine good, wholesome American freedom fries.  It's not that his food blogging is bad (it's not exactly my cup of celestial seasonings tea--and I probably have more sympathy/empathy for the defensive "but I like my Doritos and frozen pizza!" posture than many liberals I know--but his food blogging is well done, I admit).  It's that he doesn't, it seems, carry his thoughtfulness over to almost any other issue.  (I must add, though, that I have often offered comments to his moderated page that disagree with what he has said, and he has always posted my comments despite the fact they disagree with him.)

There is much to praise about the site, however.  As I said above, I admire Noah Millman's work.  Daniel Larison and Alan Jacobs, from what I've read of them, aren't too bad either.  (However, I ought to be careful, at least in respect to Larison.....perhaps I like him because he was quite a vocal opponent of Romney and eschews the neo-con hawkishness one can find among some movement conservatives.  In other words, I already agree with him, so I cannot claim to be exposing myself to new ideas by reading him.)