Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Difficult Task Of Conservative Intellectuals

Conservative intellectuals have the following problem, which is aptly summarized by this quote from John Quiggen:

The Republican party is a coalition of crazies, racists and plutocrats. But there is a political requirement to talk about policy in a way that is not obviously crazy, racist or pro-rich. The task of conservative intellectuals is to square this circle…

So how do conservative intellectuals deal with the problem of climate change without infuriating their base which has been taught to deny climate change?  They respond by shifting the argument away from climate change denial.  They exaggerate the cost of mitigation and they underestimate the risks of doing nothing.  The following post by Paul Krugman shows that reform conservatives have not found a good alternative to climate change denial.  Their economic argument is easy to attack.  Its not easy to be a conservative intellectual when your political base is crazy and anti-intellectual.

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