04/05/2005: Two Views...
Two somewhat competing but interesting view of the debate and split among supposed "Liberals" and "Conservatives" today in the NY Times:
Paul Krugman offers up this An Academic Question
"...But there's also, crucially, a values issue. In the 1970's, even Democrats like Daniel Patrick Moynihan conceded that the Republican Party was the "party of ideas." Today, even Republicans like Representative Chris Shays concede that it has become the "party of theocracy.
Consider the statements of Dennis Baxley, a Florida legislator who has sponsored a bill that - like similar bills introduced in almost a dozen states - would give students who think that their conservative views aren't respected the right to sue their professors. Mr. Baxley says that he is taking on "leftists" struggling against "mainstream society," professors who act as "dictators" and turn the classroom into a "totalitarian niche." His prime example of academic totalitarianism? When professors say that evolution is a fact.
Conservatives should be worried by the alienation of the universities; they should at least wonder if some of the fault lies not in the professors, but in themselves. Instead, they're seeking a Lysenkoist solution that would have politics determine courses' content.
And it wouldn't just be a matter of demanding that historians play down the role of slavery in early America, or that economists give the macroeconomic theories of Friedrich Hayek as much respect as those of John Maynard Keynes. Soon, biology professors who don't give creationism equal time with evolution and geology professors who dismiss the view that the Earth is only 6,000 years old might face lawsuits.
If it got that far, universities would probably find ways to cope - by, say, requiring that all entering students sign waivers. But political pressure will nonetheless have a chilling effect on scholarship. And that, of course, is its purpose."
While David Brooks, off down that Rabbit Warren Hole of Illusions (yet again) has this fanciful piece of crafted wishful thinking: A House Divided, and Strong. Proving that he must be looking backwards at the last election results and not at recent polls about this "Republican Block of Strength" he posits.
"Conservatives have thrived because they are split into feuding factions that squabble incessantly. As these factions have multiplied, more people have come to call themselves conservatives because they've found one faction to agree with.
Conservatives fell into the habit of being acutely conscious of their intellectual forebears and had big debates about public philosophy. That turned out to be important: nobody joins a movement because of admiration for its entitlement reform plan. People join up because they think that movement's views about human nature and society are true.
Liberals are less conscious of public philosophy because modern liberalism was formed in government, not away from it. In addition, liberal theorists are more influenced by post-modernism, multiculturalism, relativism, value pluralism and all the other influences that dissuade one from relying heavily on dead white guys. As a result, liberals are good at talking about rights, but not as good at talking about a universal order."
Oh, Puuulease David, Get a Grip...and let ME talk to you for about four hours...and then we shall see if there's no "comparable public philosophy debate" from a Liberal side of things. What nonsense! It's simply that Conservatives have this "single issue" voting mentality and have been able to get that "single issue" crystalized and on the ballet at the polls. Or waste lots of Congressional time to take up "single values issues" over substantive real world problems to persuade people to forget all the other pressing national concerns in the world which ought to be taken as whole in the greater decision making philosophy of running this nation.
Check a few polls while yer at it David...and see why, from Conservative, Republicans, Liberals, Democrats and Libertarians a like, those "approval numbers" for these this administration and its' "tight agenda focus" is sliding in a downward trend (and we're barely 3 months into the "four more years" of broken promises.)
Karen on 04.05.05 @ 05:41 AM CST