Matt Lewis

Jonah Goldberg explains what’s wrong with conservatism

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Matt K. Lewis
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      Matt K. Lewis

      Matt K. Lewis is a senior contributor to The Daily Caller, and a contributing editor for The Week. He is a respected commentator on politics and cultural issues, and has been cited by major publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Matt is from Myersville, MD and currently resides in Alexandria, VA. Follow Matt K. Lewis on Twitter <a>@mattklewis</a>.

The morning after the presidential election, I quoted Eric Hoffer’s line that,  “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”

And then I wrote this: “It’s time for conservative talking heads — many of whom misled their readers and audiences these last few weeks — to think more about the future of conservatism than about their personal popularity.”

(Even before the election, I had been worried about this trend — as evidenced by another column, “A GOP running on empty.”)

A month or so after the election, Bill Kristol echoed some of my concerns.

But Jonah Goldberg might have put it best today with this:

For starters the movement has an unhealthy share of hucksters eager to make money from stirring rage, paranoia, and an ill-defined sense of betrayal with little concern for the real political success that can come only with persuading the unconverted.


A conservative journalist or activist can now make a decent living while never once bothering to persuade a liberal. Telling people only what they want to hear has become a vocation. Worse, it’s possible to be a rank-and-file conservative without once being exposed to a good liberal argument.

I think he nailed it.

And he wisely avoided calling people out by name.

(But you know who you are…)