Ideological Brainfreeze

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Andrew responds to my comparison between his thinking and Frum's:

But here's where David and I agree: we both grew up when conservatism was intellectually sharp and interesting. Its current brutal anti-intellectualism, its open hostility to moderation in any form; its substitution of purer and purer ideology for actual, pragmatic ideas: these are trends that have left a lot of us on the center right marooned.

I'm roughly a generation behind Andrew. He's the Obama generation, and I think I'm the, erm, Nas generation (yes that works!) I say that to say that how he regards conservatism is exactly how I regard liberalism. It's not that I agree with the entire consensus of liberal orthodoxy, it's that I matured at a time when, to me, liberalism was exactly what Andrew described. It was conservatives who cast their lots with bigots, and creationists. It was conservatives who made neurological diagnosis from Senate chambers. It was conservatives who pretended that there was no global warning.

A fair-minded conservative could likely find similar silliness on the Left. I think this has as much to do with who you are, as when you were born. Being black, I never felt like I had much of a political choice. The color-line was such a moral imperative to me that I thought any ideology that ignored it, or exploited, couldn't be for me. But were I white and had I come of age in the 60s and 70s, who knows. 
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle. More

Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.

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