Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Process - Part III

This is the first column after lunch, and by this time I've generally had all the Conservative Nonsense I am interested in having. So I generally have a few options. I can mine the sources I mentioned earlier. I can extend my search further out, maybe into the Blog-O-Sphere or to other publications I don't read as much. This is also a common point at which to post my observations about life (such as they are) or to try something humorous.

This time I am pulling something from the Nation, on Campus Leftism and Campus Rightism. The article is pretty good at poking holes in the rights arguments about campus diversity, but the most interesting part is right up front.
What fuels the persistent charges that professors are misleading the young?

A few factors might be adduced, but none are completely convincing. One is the age-old anti-intellectualism of conservatives. Conservatives distrust unregulated intellectuals. Forty years ago McCarthyism spurred Richard Hofstadter to write his classic Anti-Intellectualism in American Life. In addition, a basic insecurity plagues conservatives today, a fear that their reign will be short or a gnawing doubt about their legitimacy. Dissenting voices cannot be tolerated, because they imply that a conservative future may not last forever. One Noam Chomsky is one too many. Angst besets the triumphant conservatives. Those who purge Darwin from America's schools must yell in order to drown out their own misgivings, the inchoate realization that they are barking at the moon.
I do think there is definetely something to the idea that Conservatives are uncomfortable with dissenting voices, and, in a perfect world, such voices would not exist. This helps one understand Rush Limbaugh's critique of the media. He thinks that if the news media were unbiased and fair, they would sound a lot like him.

No comments: