The Right’s toxic obsession with political stupidity

The Right’s toxic obsession with political stupidity
Image: arfa adam/Shutterstock

[Ed. – It’s bad enough that Linker accuses the Right — with no substantiation — of being the more flagrant offender. But then he makes the presumption, again unsubstantiated, that none of 65 million people who voted for Clinton last November subscribes to the crazy views put forth by Jill Filipovic and Amanda Marcotte. Notice he has singled out just two of the hundreds, if not thousands, of liberal columnists who present outrageous arguments, all of whom have tens or hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter.]

Catering to the desire for outrageous stories is one way to generate the audience that’s required to make money online. So news outlets have an incentive to highlight the silliest, stupidest, most ridiculous and extreme statement they can find and give it attention….

Both sides do this, but the right does it more — and does it with accelerating intensity and increasingly pernicious civic consequences.

Consider the right’s recent reaction to progressive writers Jill Filipovic and Amanda Marcotte, both of whom strongly supported the center-left presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton. Last week, Filipovic tweeted out (and appeared to endorse) a Guardian column arguing that the best thing people could do to combat climate change is have fewer kids. Marcotte then went further to draw a deliberately provocative (and insulting) analogy between people who have a lot of kids and a woman who has so many cats that people think she’s crazy.

Do we have any reason to believe that these views are widely held by the 65 million people who voted for Clinton last November? None at all. Yet conservative critic after conservative critic responded indignantly to these tweets….

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