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Cliven Bundy is proof conservatives are dumber than ever
After noting how unconscious or unspoken views on race likely influenced conservatives embrace of the tax avoiding Bundy who is a white cowboy, not a resident of the city Krugman writes that, fundamentally, the Bundy story is about conservatism becoming, well, kind of dumb. Bundy fiasco, Krugman writes, a byproduct of the dumbing down that seems ever more central to the way America's right operates. conservatism used to have room for fairly sophisticated views about the role of government, Krugman laments. that day, Krugman says, is over: conservative leaders were raised on Ayn Rand's novels and Ronald Reagan's speeches insist that the rights of private property are absolute, and that government is always the problem, never the solution. You might want, for example, to declare that what a farmer does on his own land is entirely his own business; but what if he uses pesticides that contaminate the water supply, or antibiotics that speed the evolution of drug resistant microbes? You might want to declare that government intervention never helps; but who else can deal with such problems?Well, one answer is denial insistence that such problems aren't real, that they're invented by elitists who want to take away our freedom. And along with this anti intellectualism goes a general dumbing down, an exaltation of supposedly ordinary folks who don't hold with this kind of stuff. Think of it as the right's duck dynastic moment.You can see how Mr. Bundy, who came across as a straight talking Marlboro Man, fit right into that mind set. Unfortunately, he turned out to be a bit more straight talking than expected.I'd like to think that the whole Bundy affair will cause at least some of the people who backed him to engage in self reflection, and ask how they ended up lending support, even briefly, to someone like that. But I don't expect it to happen.