Conservatives are generally used to debating and defending their ideas, because from the time we begin thinking about these things we are attacked, ridiculed, battered and beaten by the culture. It starts for most of us in the public school system, is reinforced by Hollywood and popular culture, and cemented by our university experience.
Michael Barone has an excellent column today about the difficulty today’s ruling liberals are having responding to conservative criticism. They have lived so long in an ideological echo chamber that they are initially shocked and mystified by criticism, before deciding the appropriate response is to silence critics:

I would submit that the president’s call for an end to “bickering” and the charges of racism by some of his supporters are the natural reflex of people who are not used to hearing people disagree with them and who are determined to shut them up.

Like a football team that has played a tougher schedule to get ready for the playoffs, conservatives who enter the political and cultural debate having had to claw and scratch will ultimately be more persuasive than liberals who have never had to defend their belief system.
At the same time, we owe it to future generations of Americans to do a better job equipping young conservatives to enter the fields of education, journalism, entertainment and government. At least then it will be less likely that liberals will have any success trying to silence conservative views they have never heard before. And as an added bonus, it will make the Oscars and the Emmys easier to watch, and college tuition easier to pay.

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