Too Cool for the Room

It is nothing short of stunning this election year to read and listen to some of our most noted national conservatives demonstrate no practical understanding of conservative America.  It would serve Peggy Noonan, Charles Krauthammer, Fred Barnes, Kathleen Parker, and Bill Kristol well to shirk cocktail parties and mid-town lunches with the broadcast and publishing hierarchy in Manhattan and D.C. and travel like a presidential candidate for a time.  Potluck dinners, small-town festivals, state fairs, church picnics and bowling alleys would be great places to start.  Shake some hands.  Converse with people.   Were they to dare attempt such a journey, it is without question our conservative "All Stars" would find far more Sarah Palins and far fewer Peggy Noonans.  A fact, one might suspect, embarrasses them to their core.

Average American, working class conservatives have disdain for the dishonest turn their "intellectual superiors" have taken.  Their attempt to discredit Governor Palin as an empty "follower" with nothing to offer is both disrespectful and transparent.  Palin was elected by a state's majority citizenry.  This instantly qualifies the Governor for the national debate and singly trumps any perceived qualifications of both men on the Democratic ticket. 

In an election year when youth trumps age, speeches trump experience, and "cool" trumps all - sometimes even the most thoughtful among us transform into high school teens who simply want to fit in.  Ms. Noonan and her once conservative ilk are this year's homecoming queen candidates and Senator Obama is their football captain.
The conservative television and print establishment has no doubt succumbed to the well-crafted speeches well delivered by the freshman Illinois senator.  It is a disappointing but perfectly understood turn for individuals like the former Reagan speech writer.  They would, however, be received more believably and credited with more integrity were they to begin making an honest explanation of their support of the Democratic ticket.  Instead, their newfound infatuation has led to an elitist, deceitful and unwarranted attack on the "vulgar" Americans who call their children "kids" and drop their "ings" at the end of a sentence. 

Ms. Noonan and company have been making the rounds for weeks now asserting Governor Palin remains an affront to conservatives' intelligence.  In truth, it is Ms. Noonan and her weak-kneed colleagues carrying that banner.  It is not enough for them to simply join ranks of Obama's flock and sing his praises to Pennsylvania Ave.  There is no intellectual heft to be found  in that.  To their liberal colleagues and friends, it is considered brave and intellectually honest of them to pile on Governor Palin instead.  Simply, it is cool to kick conservatives this year.  Cooler still?   A known conservative kicking another conservative.  Now that's the pinnacle of cool.

We read them like a book.  Like the newly authored book Ms. Noonan is currently pedaling to the electorate, Patriotic Grace.  Penning and marketing a new book as a conservative in such a challenging year for conservatives is no small task, to be certain.  Surely Ms. Noonan would not sacrifice her once proud conservative principles simply to appeal to Bush loathing, Obama sycophants roaming through a book store in an election year.

Now that would be vulgar.  In this case, however, vulgar is cool.

Chris Stigall is a talk show host on KCMO radio in Kansas City.