Why we fight

Watching the Republican convention tonight (I know! I’ll stop!) I was suddenly struck by the idea that however transparently cynical and hypocritical the speakers may sound to me, there has to be someone out there who’s watching along and thinking something like “man what Fred Thompson is saying right now is SO FREAKING TRUE.”

Someone out there thinks the Democratic party, as watered-down and center-right as it is, is the party of socialists. Someone believes that Joe Biden, the senator from MBNA, is some kind of Seattle 1999 WTO-protesting Starbucks-window-smashing anti-globalization radical. Someone literally believes in supply-side economics. It’s a bizarre world.

I once had an idea for an experiment where I would spend a year watching Fox News and reading National Review and educating myself about the American conservative movement, and see if I ended up substantially more right-wing than when I started. I’m sort of afraid that when it’s over I wouldn’t have any thoughts at all, just a sort of mental test-pattern, with an image of a flag fluttering in slow motion accompanied by a smooth-jazz rendition of “God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood.

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