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7.13.2016

The Smug Style

"P.C. is the hard edge, the business end of what Emmett Rensin, on Vox.com, has called “the smug style” in American liberalism. Ever since the Democrats lost the working class, he argues, they signed their souls over to “the educated, the coastal, and the professional” classes. These overlords invented the smug style to answer the question, “What’s the matter with Kansas?” as Thomas Frank titled his 2004 book, or more generally, How could the working class vote against its own obvious (to a liberal) economic interest? The answer: “Stupid hicks don’t know what’s good for them.” In this view, conservatism is not an attractive set of arguments or principles but a form of stupidity, of unknowing. Liberalism, by contrast, is a form of shared “knowing,” based not on knowledge, exactly, but on the presumption of knowledge. Hence the smug “knowingness” of the contemporary Left, most apparent and irritating in its smug contempt for working people who have rejected it."

From here.

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