The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The Power of Prejudice

Posted on | March 26, 2013 | 20 Comments

Rule One of “How to Get a Million Hits on Your Blog” is shameless blogwhoring. Think of it as an existential philosophy: In the New Media environment, that which is not promoted does not exist.

“I blogwhore, therefore I am.”

So, after I was the first to report Rick Santorum’s endorsement of Curtis Bostic in South Carolina, I sent out an e-mail promoting the exclusive to several friends and was quite taken aback when one friend replied with a rant informing me that “gay marriage is going to happen,” that opponents “are on the wrong side of history”and that Republicans will “never win again until they move the f–k on.”

It was like the Monty Python “Argument Clinic” sketch. It was shocking because the article I sent hadn’t said a word about same-sex marriage. I was reporting the news, not pushing an opinion. From the standpoint of pure blogwhoring, my friend could hate Rick Santorum’s guts and be voting for Elizabeth Colbert Busch. Just link me, damn it.

The opinion-driven way of thinking is another existential reality of the New Media age. Because we all have the “means of production” at our fingertips, there is a tendency to make our engagement with the online world a function of our own personal preferences: We consume only what interests us or what we find agreeable, and our production of online content is geared toward obtaining hegemony for our worldview.

In fact — and if you haven’t noticed this, you’re not paying close enough attention — we increasingly treat sources of information as if we were choosing them as our personal companions. The question that determines our choices is not whether someone reports useful facts or provides pleasurable reading, but whether we like them, whether we view them as “good” people, as being “on our side.”

The correct word for this is prejudice.

Why did my friend react instantaneously to my e-mail about Santorum’s endorsement with a rant about gay marriage? Why did my friend think I was in need of a lecture about this? I don’t know, but it struck me as evidence of a prejudiced attitude.

My own prejudice has always been in favor of underdogs. There is nothing like an upset — David slays Goliath, FGCU makes the “Sweet 16” — to make for a great story. So on the morning after the March 19 South Carolina primary, I took a look at the result and said, “Hey, maybe this Bostic guy could pull off a surprise.” It’s a long-odds proposition, but the thing about a situation like this is that if you thought about the odds against it, you would never bother paying attention at all. And I try to keep in mind that when Whittaker Chambers quit the Communist Party and became a conservative, he thought he was joining the losing side.

Oh, yeah — almost forgot — the latest poll out of South Carolina shows Curtis Bostic doing better than Sanford against the Democrat.

But I’m prejudiced, remember?

UPDATE: This moring, I found myself compelled by circumstance to link the infamous Will Folks. Now? I find myself linked by Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post, whose cheerleading for Mitt Romney in the 2012 primary campaign didn’t endear her to many conservatives. This shows the impermanence of political alliances and also human sacrifice! dogs and cats living together! mass hysteria!


Excepting only Mardi Gras in New Orleans, there is nothing in this world wilder than a South Carolina Republican primary.



20 Responses to “The Power of Prejudice”

  1. Finrod Felagund
    March 26th, 2013 @ 4:20 pm

    The Florida Gulf Coast coach has one awesome wife, to boot.

  2. Peter Ingemi
    March 26th, 2013 @ 5:18 pm

    I seem to recall the ERA was inevitable at one time too.

    Conventional wisdom is always correct right up until the moment it isn’t

  3. K-Bob
    March 26th, 2013 @ 5:31 pm

    I guess that’s the other shoe dropping. Ah, well.

    BTW, You got placed on BadBlue’s feed for the “We record what is to all known” post.

    (Also, people need to go read this. They want your Glocks now, too, despite the fact that a majority of people do not want gun control.)

  4. Charles
    March 26th, 2013 @ 6:07 pm

    The ERA dropped from sight because equal rights for women were acknowledged without need of an amendment. Reagan gave women Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and that took care of the problem.

  5. Instapundit » Blog Archive » QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I blogwhore, therefore I am,” writes Stacy McCain….
    March 26th, 2013 @ 8:10 pm

    […] OF THE DAY: “I blogwhore, therefore I am,” writes Stacy […]

  6. egoist
    March 26th, 2013 @ 8:15 pm

    I meet, therefore I am. WRT work these days

  7. Bill Peschel
    March 26th, 2013 @ 8:32 pm

    Just on a quick scan, I don’t see any leftwing sites on your blogroll. Does that reveal you as an unprincipled blogwhore?

  8. Choosing to Tell the Truth - Lowering the Boom
    March 26th, 2013 @ 8:40 pm

    […] to my mind by a couple of things over the past few days. Robert Stacy McCain wrote today about the impermanence of political allegiances, but in the process pointed out one of the perils of […]

  9. Jum Jum
    March 26th, 2013 @ 9:20 pm

    I am consistently astounded by the lack of calm, rational discussion on most of the websites I have commented on. even in “argument” a dispassionate tone should be the agreed upon norm; and it was, even on the internet, until the Millennials started coming of age. Adults can discuss the Holocaust, atomic weapons, abortion, etc. without accusing one another of being a Nazi or a *gasp!* Christian. This was the default position I grew up with (even though my philosophical opponents were throwing offal on police officers in the streets).

    What I see now convinces me that those under the age of 30-35 are completely incapable of emotion-neutral, logic-based discussion. They take and give offense as a matter of course They routinely make an emotional investment in their position, and argue with every vicious, if ancient, forensic tactic known. I have found the Millennials to be spoiled and willful children, incapable of adult discussion.

  10. Good Stuff
    March 26th, 2013 @ 9:33 pm

    “shameless blogwhoring. — that which is not promoted does not exist.

    So-called internet celebrities were all made by us, so if we want to blame someone we should blame ourselves. If we didn’t look, pay attention, talk about, or repost, could they become famous?

    GAN LULU BOOBS (No Watermarks)

  11. K-Bob
    March 26th, 2013 @ 10:36 pm

    They’re left out. On principle.

  12. K-Bob
    March 26th, 2013 @ 10:39 pm

    Besides, now they swoon over a (hopefully former) sexual predator having occupied the White House, and they never speak ill of the abuses under sharia. They are totally cowed by their slave masters on the left.

  13. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    March 26th, 2013 @ 10:49 pm

    You should always respond how Bill Murray did in that scene RSM referenced.

  14. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    March 26th, 2013 @ 10:51 pm

    I hope the Supreme Court does the right thing and stays out of the marriage debate. Leave it to the states to resolve.

    But everything the ERA was threatened to harm…has almost pretty much happened. Still, it would have been far worse if the ERA had been ratified. They would have shoe horned in all kinds of BSC stuff.

  15. Steve in TN ™
    March 26th, 2013 @ 11:34 pm

    Yeah, gay marriage is inevitable is the same manner that soon a woman’s first born child will more than likely be born out of wedlock (48% this year). Both are harbingers of our society’s loss of morality – and it’s demise.

  16. Scribe of Slog (McGehee)
    March 27th, 2013 @ 9:17 am

    The ERA dropped from sight because the people pushing it suddenly realized mere equality wouldn’t be enough for them. Plus, it would strip them of the banner of victimhood, which would be inconvenient for future political battles.

  17. Rob Crawford
    March 27th, 2013 @ 11:59 am

    It means he has taste and doesn’t give time to wannabe tyrants.

  18. Quartermaster
    March 27th, 2013 @ 12:24 pm

    If there are donuts in the meetings, then they can be considered meetings. If no donuts are present, then it is not a meeting and your just gettting together to waste time.

  19. DaveO
    March 27th, 2013 @ 2:16 pm

    I’m just laughing about your linking Will Folkes. It’s not SC politics without Folkes’ fornicating follies following front-runners.

  20. DaveO
    March 27th, 2013 @ 5:13 pm

    Not in NYC. Apparently there are strict dietary laws enforced with pharisaic zeal. No donuts at meetings is the new normal.