Last Thursday, Josh Barro tweeted out something really offensive. But before I get to it, I just want to note that he needn’t fear that he will lose his job. You see: he’s a conservative. Unless he comes out with the n-word, nothing he says will matter. Remember that Ted Nugent can repeatedly threaten assassination against the president and nothing happens to him. Meanwhile, two liberal writers have lost their jobs in the last two weeks because they weren’t nice enough.
But Josh Barro won’t get fired for taking a strong stand against democracy. Because only liberals are ever held to account for what they believe. And when Josh Barro makes a bold stand in defense of the powerful, well, that just makes him all the more worthy for a promotion. How long will we have to wait until he becomes managing editor of The Washington Post?!
As much as elites have fucked up in the last decade, Trump's nomination makes it obvious that it's worse to let the masses pick.
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) June 3, 2016
It’s interesting how “the masses” are simply the Republican Party in the mind of Josh Barro. And then, let’s look back at this Republican Primary. It’s true that Donald Trump is gauche. But how exactly is he categorically different from anyone else on the Republican Party’s “deep bench”? Barro told us more than he knows when he tweeted this out. Like most conservative elites, what is unacceptable is just a matter of style — never of substance.
But I wouldn’t bring this up at all except that this truly vile tweet led me to find another Josh Barro tweet. This one is equally vile, but it is more interesting in its total lack of self-awareness. It is from two and a half years ago, so at least inconsistency isn’t one of Barro’s sins:
Elites are usually elite for good reason, and tend to have better judgment than the average person. #confessyourunpopularopinion
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) December 4, 2013
In one way, I agree with this — but it is such an obvious thing that it does bear tweeting. A professional plumber (an “elite”) has better judgment about what is causing a toilet to overflow than an average person. But that’s as far as it goes. The problem with people like Josh Barro is that they think “elite” isn’t a situational title. This is why we see successful business people listened to with reverence when they pontificate about the educational system. The truth is that Bill Gates knows quite a lot less about education than the average teacher.
Josh Barro must, at some level, realize this. He is, after all, a reasonably smart guy with a great education and pretty much every intellectual advantage a person can have. But all of this does fold into why Josh Barro is an elite — why he is Senior Editor at Business Insider. And that reason is because he is the son of the very famous (conservative) economist Robert Barro. Do you know where Josh got his bachelor’s degree (In psychology!) from? Harvard. Would it shock you to learn that Robert got his PhD from Harvard?
I’m sure Josh Barro would take offense at this (he has skin as thin as Donald Trump’s), but he’s a royalist. And that makes him a great example for the modern conservative movement. It used to be said that conservatism evolved from Edmund Burke. I think that was true up until about 40 years ago. Since then, the conservative movement has regressed back to Burke. Josh Barro might use different language, but at base, he thinks God wants things the way they are. It’s just that Barro’s God is meritocracy, and his career has nothing to do with having a rich, famous, and powerful father.