Sunday, December 04, 2016

Another day, another article criticizing Conservatives from the NYTimes.

Thanks @NYTimes

This time it's for conservatives trying to understand the historical and philosophical roots of their movement.

What I particularly loved was this little bit of irony -

These are safe spaces for conservatives who think little has changed since William F. Buckley scorned the “ne plus ultra relativism, idiot nihilism” and “hoax of academic freedom” at Yale in the 1950s. Participants pride themselves on civil disagreement — which is easy when there are rarely any liberals in the room.
Instead of mocking conservatives’ ideological echo chambers and self-regarding fantasies, progressives should learn from them. For one thing, higher education should include a bit of self-regarding fantasy. It allows 20-year-olds to turn off their phones, try on the ideas of civilization’s greatest minds, and practice interacting as adults. (Academic gowns aren’t such a silly idea, either: They are a great equalizer. One may be a prince or a pauper underneath.)

Conservatives are routinely criticized by progressives as anti-intellectual, but then when an itellectual movement takes hold they are mocked for participating.  And then the liberal establishment and papers like the NYTimes wonders why Rural Americans and Conservatives feel divorced from the rest of the country and vote for someone like Donald Trump.

I know it's ridiculous of me to try and defend the intellectual tradition of Classical Liberalism (as it is called in Europe) / Conservatism.  I am way to stupid to try and defend the likes of Locke, Smith, and Hayek, or the intellectual underpinnings of the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.

So I won't try.

Instead  I will just say that I am a pretty typical conservative.  Smart enough to get by but not a genius, but every conservative I know knows that there is an intellectual tradition behind what we believe.  We may not always be able to express it but we know it exists.  I am glad these camps exist. I hope they expand.  I have suggested similar plans before.  I want people who believe in the Western Intellectual Tradition and the Scottish Enlightenment leading this country going forward.

In short - screw you Molly Worthen  (and yes I know after she attacks the rights intellectual echo chambers she suggests the left should establish similar programs, but even there she implies that because it is "progressive"  it will be "better")



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