This morning, Page A3 fights back: In the rarest of all journalistic events. the New York Times Sunday Review got it right this weekend.
It did so on the section's front page, in the section's featured essay!
This morning, whoever writes the Times' reimagined page A3 (hard-copy only) decided to come fighting back. In the daily section called The Conversation, the anonymous editor/presumptive nephew chose to say this about that:
The ConversationLeave it to the New York Times to reprint and highlight that "highly recommended comment!" Leave it to us liberals to compose and fall in love with a comment like that, in which we immediately identify what The Others think and say as "ignorance!"
FOUR OF THE MOST READ, SHARED AND DISCUSSED POSTS FROM ACROSS NYTIMES.COM
2. Liberals, You're Not as Smart as You Think
Gerard Alexander's Op-Ed, which argued that liberal smugness will push people into an opposing coalition and get President Trump re-elected, drew plenty of debate. "Just what do you suggest liberals do?" asked one highly recommended comment. "Be super respectful and tolerant of ignorance? Invite the other side to a dialogue? In my little town, we tried that and they refused."
Full stop! End of story!
What does Alexander suggest that we liberals do? He offers a long list of suggestions all through his essay. Stunningly accurate headlines included, his essay started like this:
ALEXANDER (5/13/18): Liberals, You're Not As Smart as You Think/Do we liberals "make good movies and television shows?" Is it true that many of us many liberals "are very smart?"
Self-righteousness is rarely attractive, and it's even more rarely rewarded.
I know many liberals, and two of them really are my best friends. Liberals make good movies and television shows. Their idealism has been an inspiration for me and many others. Many liberals are very smart. But they are not as smart, or as persuasive, as they think.
And a backlash against liberals—a backlash that most liberals don’t seem to realize they’re causing—is going to get President Trump re-elected.
People often vote against things instead of voting for them: against ideas, candidates and parties. Democrats, like Republicans, appreciate this whenever they portray their opponents as negatively as possible. But members of political tribes seem to have trouble recognizing that they, too, can push people away and energize them to vote for the other side. Nowhere is this more on display today than in liberal control of the commanding heights of American culture.
Alexander should have given examples. Those early exaggerations aside, we'd say that Alexander's essay was basically right on target. He says a lot of things that have been said before, but the bulk of what he says strikes us as wholly accurate:
He says our tribe's obnoxiousness creates a lot of Republican voters. He says we could get Trump re-elected if we don't make ourselves stop.
We don't know what will happen in the year 2020, but we'd say that, on balance, he's right.
For today, we'll leave it there—though once again, we'll ask you to consider the comment the Times chose to feature today.
Are we liberals "very smart?" Are we able to see ourselves as we are? Alexander's essay is full of suggestions as to things we should stop doing if we want to be smarter and better and if we want to win.
The commenter didn't seem to have noticed the existence of these suggestions. Instead, he said The Others are the problem, due to Their enormous ignorance, ignorance We can't repair.
Inevitably, that comment was "highly recommended." Inevitably, the Times reprints it today, on the daily page it reserves for its most simple-minded content..
What sorts of things are we liberals doing, right now, to make people find us obnoxious? We'll present some examples in the next day or two.
Examples aren't real hard to find. And yes, Trump really could win.