Michael Hirsh, writing in Newsweek, tells us what he really thinks about people who are different than he, and although I don't think he is clinging to any guns or religion, he does seem just a tad bitter at those whom he sees as having "a rather savage, unsophisticated set of mores" This is a stunning piece of self-revelation:
I've watched the Southernization of our national politics at the hands of the GOP and its evangelical base....
...the "radical nationalism" that has so dominated the nation's discourse since 9/11 traces its origins to the demographic makeup and mores of the South and much of the West and Southern Midwest--in other words, what we know today as Red State America. This region was heavily settled by Scots-Irish immigrants.... the Southern frontiersmen never got over their hatred of the East Coast elites and a belief in the morality and nobility of defying them.... a substantial portion of the new nation developed, over many generations, a rather savage, unsophisticated set of mores. Traditionally, it has been balanced by a more diplomatic, communitarian Yankee sensibility from the Northeast and upper Midwest. But that latter sensibility has been losing ground in population numbers--and cultural weight.
The coarsened sensibility that this now-dominant Southernism and frontierism has brought to our national dialogue is unmistakable. [....]
On foreign policy, the realism and internationalism of the Eastern elitist tradition once kept the Southern-frontier warrior culture and Wilsonian messianism in check. Now the latter two, in toxic combination, have taken over our national dialogue, and the Easterners are running for the hills.
There is more sneering, but fair use copyright limitations preclude further excerpts. This is a must-read for all those who doubt that elitism is a serious factor in American politics and journalism.
Hat tip: Russ Vaughn