Friday, May 20, 2005

Goodbye to All That

Ahoy all,

Hope you missed me. Going back to teaching full-time last fall slowed me down--a lot. So did two collisions with right-wing morons, one on campus at Rutgers, another on-line via Blogspectrum. Mind you, I have no intellectual axe to grind against conservative thinking, and, as attentive readers will have noticed, I have defended Irving Kristol in this very space. But these guys truly amazed me. Their ignorance was so profound that I wanted to call them stupid. Instead, I just walked away. What is the point of trying to persuade people who have renounced reason? Who believe that taxes, social services, and public goods as such are a bad idea, or who believe that the way to improve education is to get the government out of it? Over my thirty years of teaching, many, maybe even most of my favorite students have been those who called themselves conservatives--largely because they had big ideas, strong opinions, high standards, and, especially down in North Carolina, by God they believed in the word.

Now most of those who call themselves conservatives, at least on campus, have relinquished any claim on the Enlightenment. They have big ideas and strong opinions and no standards, whether of intellectual veracity or human decency. Like Dick Cheney, the original American Bolshevik, they'll say anything and do anything in the name of their goals, even if they have to shred the Constitution. They have a higher law and a higher truth to guide them. May the Lord protect us from these arrogant and dangerous fools.

MEANWHILE, TUNE INTO www.politicsandletters.com, THE JOURNAL THAT HAS SUCCEEDED MY BLOG. More dialogical, maybe even more fun. Apply to be a contributing editor, or to advertise!