Thursday, May 23, 2002

Linked on The O'Rourkian is an article onNational Review Online about the terrible trials and tribulations of a conservative on campus. Perhaps I should describe it as "yet another".

First, there appears to be an odd discrepency here: although Nordlinger talks about how brutally left-wing colleges used to be and how they might have improved somewhat, Dave Horowitz said, in his column on the same subject that they've become awful now, and the Universities used to be bastions of fair thought. So, which is correct? Is it just the difference in the ages, or could, perhaps, the perception be just a little subjective?

Second, I have to respond with a loud "so what?" Nordlinger's "war stories" serve only to show that the far left is present on campus, and that the far left can get a little nutty. He fails to show why a left-wing skew on campus is actually a bad thing. He obviously didn't get really bad grades, and his example:

[I] had to take [a paper] to the professor, suggesting that I had been ideologically graded... he agreed...and plunked an A on that speech

...only shows that the system of assignment review by professors works. (If he had a better example of systemic bias, why didn't he use it?)

Third, I find this kind of thing amusing. "Conservative" is a bad name on campus. (Well, it's actually somewhat chic, but anyway...) "Liberal" is a bad name in the rest of the United States. Calling yourself a "socialist" can get you beaten up in much of the U.S., whether you actually agree with totalitarianism or not. (Woe to the anarchist who has to try to explain why he doesn't like the Commies or the U.S.). His "hard time" on campus led to what is obviously an accepted and influential position in society, which is more than his leftist compatriots usually get. The whining about university bias just makes conservatives look that much more pathetic. Which is odd, considering their overwhelming control over most media and the profound marginalization of academia in current society. Why whine about one sector of society when you're hegemon over the rest?

Fourth and finally, he's intentionally or unintentionally drawing a comparison between the process of coming out as a conservative (snicker) and coming out as gay or bisexual. The framework of the story reminds me of countless "coming out" stories that I've read, and which conservatives love to adopt when whining about university. Well, guess what: gays go though about three thousand times the hell that any campus conservative does, and it's the fundamentalist ideology that many (if not most) conservatives use as a basis for their beliefs that fuels the fires of that hell. He might reply that it's not as bad to come out as gay nowadays. It was, however, never that bad to come out as a conservative.

Nowadays, you usually get a bogus "think tank" for your trouble. (Hello, David Horowitz!)

No comments:

Post a Comment