In Which I Agree With National Review

When a conservative is right, s/he’s right.

And over at the National Review, Kevin Williamson is right. His article, titled: Take a Bow, Species, rejected the constant drumbeat of what is wrong with America and the world in favor of a focus on what’s right. Here are some reasons for optimism that he lists:

* Polio has basically been eradicated from the globe

* Measles and rubella will be next

* The global rate of “extreme poverty,” currently defined as subsistence on less than the equivalent of $1.90 a day, is now the condition of less than 10 percent of the human race. Take a look at how the World Bank recently plotted that change:

* The overall rate of violent crime in the U.S. has fallen by about half in recent decades.

* U.S. manufacturing output per worker trebled from 1975 to 2005, and our total manufacturing output continues to climb.

* General-price inflation, the bane of the U.S. economy for some decades, is hardly to be seen.

Of course, you aren’t likely to hear about any of that from Republican candidates running for office in 2016. Unlike Ronald Reagan, none of them is remotely a “happy warrior.” Instead, they all seem obsessed with the belief that a country headed by Barack Obama must be in extremis.

This striking mismatch between the GOP’s gloom and doom worldview and our considerably more nuanced reality was addressed in a recent post at Political Animal that quoted a warning from another conservative Republican, W’s former speechwriter David Frum.

I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes it mobilizes supporters – but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead. The real leaders are on TV and radio, and they have very different imperatives from people in government. Talk radio thrives on confrontation and recrimination…If Republicans succeed – if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office – Rush’s listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less, and hear fewer ads for Sleepnumber beds.


When folks on the Right are right, they’re right.