Opinion Pages Don’t Reflect America

Chris Roberts, American Renaissance, March 28, 2018

Both Left and Right agree.

Since the 2016 election, political elites and commentators have become a regular target of derision. Opinion columnists at the New York Times, Washington Post, and other legacy media have been especially mocked by America’s socialist Left, emboldened by the surprisingly strong candidacy of Sen. Bernie Sanders. Chris Lehmann, editor in chief at The Baffler, frequently writes that neoliberal elites are stifling a left-wing populist uprising. The popular socialist podcast, Chapo Trap House, dedicates entire episodes to criticizing center-right pundits such as Ross Douthat and David Brooks. Up-and-coming socialist outlets are constantly attacking center-left figureheads, hoping to push them aside. Two examples are Jacobin’s criticism of the more moderate Vox, and the many attacks from the left on centrist Jonathan Chait.

All pundits across the political spectrum are wealthy and out of touch. They represent the opinions of a small minority of Americans who are just like themselves: wealthy, urban, and college-educated. Socialists are justified in mocking them. America’s best known pundits monolithically support policies that are unpopular with the general public, such as frivolous foreign interventions, corporatist free-trade deals, gun control, and mass immigration. America’s major pundits are indistinguishable from each another in that nearly all supported Hillary Clinton, hate President Trump, and write the same turgid prose. Last year, leftist writer Hamilton Nolan, published a satirical piece titled, “Seven Hundred Words of Garbage Indistinguishable from the Average Major Newspaper Column.” Here’s a sample:

Donald Trump may like meatloaf, but the “meat” of his proposals leaves much to be desired.

Take health care. Complicated? Of course. Only Donald Trump was shocked to learn that heath care is a complicated subject. Does the Republican Congressional health care bill pay due heed to the complexity of this issue? Experts say it does not. The reasons are myriad, and complicated, but suffice it to say that few of us will get through life without needing health care—and when the time comes that you need it, you will hope that it is provided to you. Without diving into the complex details, I’ll simply note that the complications that go with designing a health care law should be respected—and not disrespected, or disregarded. A complicated issue deserves a careful look. Sadly, Republicans in Congress have not given us that. And that is what we deserve, as Americans.

Was Mr. Nolan imitating Thomas Friedman, David Brooks, or Gail Collins? One cannot be sure . . . which is the point.

If newspapers wanted accurately to reflect popular American views, their op-ed line-up would include nationalists, isolationists, and race realists. Consider that when asked by a pollster, “On average, blacks have worse jobs, income and housing than white people. Do you think those differences are because most just don’t have the motivation or willpower to pull themselves up out of poverty?” 55 percent of white Republicans and 26 percent of white Democrats said “yes.” That means around one-third of voters agree with the statement, but you can’t find a single pundit who does. When it comes to building a border wall with Mexico, around 37 percent of Americans support it. But the only pundits who do are conservatives such as Pat Buchanan, Michelle Malkin, and Ann Coulter. The number of columnists at the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Washington Post who support the border wall is certainly less than one-third—it may even be zero.

In 2014, a poll asked white Americans how they felt about a close relative marrying a black person. Only 26 percent said they were in favor of it. Can you imagine a mainstream pundit representing that perspective? This year, a poll asked a wide variety of Americans, “Do you think we should have open borders or secure borders?” Seventy-nine percent opted for security, and only 21 percent for open borders. The same poll asked “Do you favor or oppose the lottery that randomly picks 50,000 people to enter the US each year for greater diversity?” Sixty-eight percent opposed, and only 32 percent favored it.

Many of the opinions you find at American Renaissance, VDare, Unz, and similar sites are not fringe. They are supported by between one-third and two-thirds of the country. Yet we are treated as fringe, in no small part because our ideas, though reasonably popular, have no representation in major newspapers. So to all those socialists complaining about how undemocratic and elitist the op-ed pages are, I say “Hear! Hear!” But that means both socialists and white advocates have to be brought to the table.

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Chris Roberts
Chris Roberts is a former Director of Special Projects at American Renaissance.
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