It is a truism of American life that unless a conservative turns off all technology, grabs a gun and a dog, and heads for the hills, he will be exposed to an avalanche of liberal thought and ideas — in education, television, movies, and the Internet. Liberals, by contrast, can and often do live lives isolated from conservative thought, and their ignorance of our ideas is starting to show.
Tom Wolfe exposed an extreme version of this cohort in his essay on the Black Panthers hosted by Leonard Bernstein in his elegant New York apartment. Wolfe contributed the term “radical chic” to the language to describe the Bernsteins and their wide-eyed guests. What we’re dealing with here is not quite radical (though Obama may in fact be plenty radical himself, the semi-beautiful people who support him are not), nor is it wholly chic. It is a sort of “consensus chic,” though I appreciate the aroma of contradiction the phrase communicates, since that which is genuinely chic exists self-consciously apart from the consensus of hoi polloi.