Liberal arrogance watch

Stanley Kurtz:

Russell Jacoby, a U.C.L.A. historian, has penned a bizarre review of the forthcoming anthology, Why I Turned Right: Leading Baby Boom Conservatives Chronicle Their Political Journeys. This is a Mary Eberstadt edited collection, to which I am a contributor. (The review is in the current Chronicle of Higher Education, and is subscriber restricted.) I kid you not: Jacoby’s main complaint is that the book is well written, which supposedly proves that conservatives are superficial.

“Almost without exception,” Jacoby begins, “each essay is lucid and articulate.” “Would it be possible to assemble a countercollection by leftists that would be equally limpid?” “Unlikely,” Jacoby answers. The leftist professorate, he admits, “distrusts clear prose as superficial. Oddly, English and literature professors led the way....they became convinced that incomprehensibility equals profundity....Compared to that, much conservative writing has a deft, light touch.” The villain here? “...conservative think tanks, which encourage readable prose for a reading public.” Yes, Jacoby admits, “these conservatives are best at puncturing liberal, especially academic, balderdash.” “On the basis of this volume, conservatives are excellent writers–and facile thinkers. Perhaps the two go together.”

...

One aspect of the arrogance of liberalism is that if you were really smart you would agree with them on the issues. They also have the tendency to think obfuscation is also smart because it makes you think. Personally, it makes me think they are not very good at expressing their point of view.

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