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I emailed the author, who replied, “I certainly do not remember writing about Johnson drunkenly dropping bombs out of planes. Even if I did, it had to have been at a first-draft, fact-checking phase. It is certainly my fault for not reading the finished product and requesting a correction. It is certainly Breitbart's fault for not sending me a proof before publishing it.” I’ve written about this article before. And I’ve repeatedly, publicly mocked the site for leaving it up unchanged. They still haven’t fixed the error as I write. Even an absurdity didn’t bother them enough to correct it.
Of course, critiques of Breitbart say nothing about the quality of American Affairs or American Greatness, but for all Buskirk’s confidence about where loyalties lay on the right, those new publications, which probably do have something to teach the old guard on an issue or two, are orders of magnitude less influential than the old guard publications. It isn’t the best of populism that is popular; only the very worst of populism.
So conservatives need to step up.
Trumpist populism is not an opportunity for conservatives to exploit; it is an existential threat to their project. Anton at least understood that to support Trump required a radical break with conservatism; he does not yet see that his Trumpist turn will work out as poorly as did his support for the Iraq War, a previous radical departure from conservative insights that Anton and the right foolishly undertook after a previous bout of catastrophizing about the supposedly greater threat posed by the status quo.
If conservatism is to survive as a constructive force for the moment when Trumpism ends in another bankruptcy, and the country needs a healthy left and right to recover, conservatives need not only to learn from the flaws that caused their countrymen to lose faith in their project; they must openly and explicitly break with populism and its excesses, bringing a conservative critique to bear upon them. “America needs a reminder of conservatism before vulgarians hijacked it,” George F. Will recently declared, “and a hint of how it became susceptible to hijacking.”
Who will point out populism’s flaws by drawing on conservatism’s best insights, attack its hucksters as much as the left, and fight for the right as if conservatism could win?
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Source : https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/09/can-conservative-journalism-survive/539181/