Liberal Myth: Conservatives are Unintelligent and Uniformed
Any conservative or rational free-thinker that openly expresses their opinion or challenges the left-wing narrative is familiar with the subsequent liberal backlash, typically complete with some pretty harsh derision. Whether it’s an establishment supporter, an ideologue rattling off mainstream talking point, or just someone using their feelings to argue, conservatives often face a decision that those on the left never have to:
Should I speak up and challenge what I know to be inherently wrong, or just let it go as the responding ridicule is not worth my two cents?
Now for a seasoned political junkie like me, the answer is clear, as I will happily and successfully take them on any day of the week. But for those just delving into politics or getting their feet wet, it can be a bit intimidating. Especially is the case in places like college campuses, where groupthink usually overrides reason. It is the basis behind why I believe that so many have remained politically inactive and disenfranchised for so long, prior to the introduction of more sophisticated conservative platforms, forums, voices to rally behind, and outlets that are now flourishing.
Per the left's usual condescending attitude of addressing the opposite end of the political spectrum, the right has long been painted as an irrational body of uninformed, backwards, racists, who lack the education to even possess valid points of view. How many times have you heard a conservative speaking up that is immediately labeled and dismissed as nothing more than a “Fox News viewer” (news flash! Most I know don’t watch any form of establishment media), simplistic, out of touch, afraid of technology or change, afraid of gays, afraid of Muslims, and the list goes on and on... But then again, you can't fight reality and fact with feelings, so it's a strategy.
Originally limited to outlets such as the Blaze (most I know have tuned out over Beck’s increasingly questionable antics) and Fox News (mass exoduses after progressively deteriorating into an establishment media provider), emerging outlets such as Breitbart and Drudge have created an online community for conservatives that was virtually nonexistent beforehand.
Regardless of the left’s efforts to smear Breitbart as fake news, the site has grown tremendously over the previous year, experiencing 2 billion page views and even beating out touted liberal outlets like the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, and the Washington Post, not to mention former conservative preference Fox News.
Although they have learned little from the election itself, liberals need to realize that providers like Breitbart are not only here to stay, but are only increasing in popularity as the majority of the media seems hell-bent on preaching an agenda as opposed to reporting the news (see my article, Why the Media got the Election so Wrong). The mainstream, establishment media's brazen attempts to paint Breitbart as a "fake news provider," has done little more than strengthen its cause.
In addition to news and the ammunition necessary to take on the left, these websites are also giving conservatives a forum to organize and voice their opinion. Gone are the days of overwhelming and unchallenged liberal dominance of the entire Internet, especially with conservatives demonstrating an improving suaveness on social media platforms, such as Twitter (credit to Donald Trump for that one) and blogs.
Why bring this up? Because it is all part of the central narrative to stigmatize the conservative movement as a whole, and the sources of information that reflects our ideas and principles. With identity politics becoming increasingly less effective, as proven by the 2016 election, the left's ability to paint conservatives with such a broad brush stroke has seemingly diminished.
But now let’s take a moment to put these misconceptions to rest and eliminate this liberal notion of grouping individuals together with the purpose of besmirching and discrediting them (I know, the tolerant left at work…), simply because they don't share the same political outlook. Based on my own experiences:
- Most conservatives are not only informed, but are more researched when presenting their points than most of the often arrogant liberals I know. You can disagree with someone’s perspective, but to label them as uniformed because it clashes with your world view is unacceptable. Not to mention, you don’t have to look any further than some of the comment sections on my other articles to see nothing more than a reiterations of left-wing talking points, with very little or no intellectual substance to support them.
- Nearly every conservative I know holds a college degree, and those that do not are in no way disproportionately offset by my liberal acquaintances. The left may dominate academia from a administrative and teaching perspective, but this does not mean that liberals are more educated. In fact, some of the most ineffective arguments (lacking critical thinking, supporting data, or rationale) that I have had the misfortune of experiencing are not made by conservatives, but college professors, often with the former just sitting back and letting the misguided rambling of the latter continue out of fears of receiving a poor grade.
- Conservative news outlets are no more providers of "fake news" than any mainstream media outlet. This fabrication is the newest talking point to discredit the success of emerging (and growing) conservative alternatives, as the powers that be continue to lose their influence. As a matter of fact, Breitbart successfully tracked and predicted the 2016 presidential election with far greater accuracy than any of the established cable network "news" stations (probably because they had their fingers on the pulse of the average dissatisfied American who comprise their morning show...).
This false talking point will continue to lose steam as conservative principles successfully right the ship after eight disastrous years of progressives (more like regressive...) purposely attempting to sink it, especially in regards to Trump's list of Supreme Court nominees.