Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Is Jim Webb the New Zell Miller?

Quite possibly, as we and others have been suggesting.

Discussions - 37 Comments

We already knew Webb was pro-military. Now we also know that he can be gracious toward an opponent in victory.

These are good things, but they don’t make a new Zell Miller. Miller really broke with his party in decisive ways.
I’m not convinced Allen will. Just for starters, Bush and the Republicans were much stronger politically a few years ago than they are now. For the time being, they’ve really lost their mojo. Defections to the Republicans tend to happen when they look like the strong horse.

We can hope that Webb will make real trouble in the Democratic party, but let’s wait for some real evidence.

I don’t think conservatives should jump on this bandwagon. Claremont isn’t buying. I’m not either. Check out this link:
http://www.claremont.org/weblog/005346.html

Well, if Claremont isn’t buying it, I guess we shouldn’t even discuss it! The ’clubiness’ of you Straussians can get a little annoying...try to get out a little more often. There is a wider, more conservative world out there.

Well, I guess, for as weird Webb is, the Miller comparison does has precedent. I’ll never forget Rush Limbaugh’s parody’s with Zell Miller back in the ’90s. Miller got the lame-brained idea that kids listening to Mozart improved their education prospects, so he initiated a state-wide program in Georgia to jump start the kiddies accordingly. Limbaugh laughingly then took Miller to the mat.

Ah, but then we got Bush, compassionate conservatism and the No Child Left Behind Act... and Zell Miller’s speech at the convention.

Shucks, I’m still trying to figure out why Moser was so up on the winning Webb formula, not to mention the GOP’s "thumping" strategy.

Hey, anybody out there think Jim Tressel’s got the "right" idea? :)

The thought that Webb is the new Zell Miller is depressing, and I think this is whistling in the dark. Miller’s speech to the Republican National Convention was a disgrace -- from him who supped at the Democratic table. (For those who don’t know, that’s a reference to John L. Lewis’ diatribe against FDR.)

I contintue to admire Webb. I think he will try to do the right thing. The irony here of course is that Allen lost the race more than Jim won it. If the Allen people hadn’t played the Babbitt card with the stupid excerpts from Webb’s novels, an act that eveyone saw as one of incredible desperation, the chances are that Allen would not have lost. And don’t get me started on "Macaca" and trotting out those Navy women who cliamed to have been so terribly damaged by his Washingtonian piece from 1979. If women want men to accept them as more than hysterical victims, why do they keep acting like hysterical victims?

I’m with you, Mac.

Shucks, I’m still trying to figure out why Moser was so up on the winning Webb formula

I’ve been out of town all weekend, but Mac’s post pretty well sums up why I didn’t think Allen deserved reelection.

Just to clarify, I am not a Straussian and I didn’t like Allen, either. But if this guy wants to revive the Dixiecrat wing of the Democratic Party and praise the rebellion, let him. But don’t call it conservatism.

Well, what would you call it, Stephen? Different regions are trying to conserve different things (and no, I’m not talking about slavery, although I would argue that virtually the whole U.S. has tried to preserve segregation). Saying that the Dixicrats weren’t conservatives displays a distressing ignorance of what conservatism really means. And, I might add, whatever conservative goals you might have, all are dependent on Southerners. They are the heart of the conservative movement at this point in history.

I would call it populism, certainly not conservatism. Conservatism can be popular, but it can never be populist. And the side that was fighting to preserve representative constitutional government was the conservative side. Lincoln was fighting to preserve the union, the other side was trying to tear it apart. What, exactly, was so conservative about that?
I don’t make the mistake that so many northerners make of confusing "Southerner" with "racist." I live in the south. I like southerners. I understand that my conservative goals depend on southerners. But if my goals depended on racists, I would rather lose. Secession from the union founded by Washington, Hamilton, and Madison cannot be called conservative.

Well put, Steve.

Well, the Moser pep squad shows up! How exciting!

At the time of the Civil War, the Union was only four score and seven years old...certainly not an ivy-covered institution. The Southerns saw it for what it was, an experiment...an experiment that no longer served them well. Indeed, they saw themselves as conserving something foundational to that experiment: The right of people to select their own government. Who invaded who here? Do you choose not to remember?

As for your blather about racism, you both are both deeply infected with political correctness. You will be losers, not because the racists are right or powerful, but because you have accepted the Leftist framing of social issues. They have won your hearts (albeit with high-falutin’ philosophy), and you have forgotten what holds societies together. You are counting on the abstracted "American" to pull our fat from the fire, but it ain’t gonna happen, boys. The ability of "nationalism" to substitute for more primordial identities isn’t proven, and it’s short run (about 4 centuries) may be coming to an end. Indeed, our problems with Jihadistan stem from their rejection of the western notion of "nation."

I would hope that both of you would begin to understand which side of your bread has the butter, and act accordingly. Charging down the middle with a grey hat on is likely to get you seriously killed.

Forgive the errors...I’m in a hurry to be off.

Stephen puts it very well indeed. But it’s not just racism that is a problem if the kind of "conservatism" Dain talks about is embraced. In the end, it’s nothing more than will to power. It’s Thracymachus in the first book of the Republic. It’s Might makes Right, rather than Right making Might. You toss your hat in that ring if you want to Dain. You go off to fight the Jihadist enemies on their own terms if you want. And what, exactly, distinguishes you in that fight? The fact that you don’t (yet) prefer to blow yourself up along with innocent bystanders? And on what basis do you condemn their actions? You can’t exactly say they are wrong . . . they’re just embracing their "primordial identity" after all. So what? They’re not like you and that’s reason enough to hate them? Yes, we "Straussians" (as you like to call us) are really pie in the sky with our thinking that there can be such an abstract thing as an "American" formed out of common human nature. But you’re very realistic, Dain, in your quest to forge a nation of Dainians. You’d better really get working on that pro-creation thing. You’ve only got what? A few hundred million more to go? Lucky you. But I think you’d probably better lay off the blogging and get busy. Pun intended.

Ponzi, I’ve always considered you an asset of sorts to this blog, but you’ve trailed off into incoherence at this point. If you insist on acting like a second-rate intellect, I guess I can’t stop you.

Age and ivy notwithstanding, American conservatism is different from say, the British variety because of our revolution. That is, we were and are trying to preserve the results of a revolution. The age of the republic made it even more necessary to preserve the fundamental principles.

Of course, representative government is still a work in progress. But Lincoln (and Andrew Jackson and many others for that matter) recognized that representative government could not exist if it recognized a right of secession. Representative government depends on a loyal opposition. You don’t get to leave just because it doesn’t serve you well.

How did the election of Abraham Lincoln interfere with the rights of southerners to select their own government? They got to vote. They lost. What about the rights of blacks Americans?

Who invaded whom? 1. Southerns fired the first shots and attacked American soldiers on American soil. 2. Southern legislators voted to secede and gave speeches saying that it was because of slavery. Read Apostles of Disunion.

Protecting the political rights of Americans is not political correctness, it is the civic duty of every American.

I haven’t accepted the Leftist framing of any "social" issues. I thought we were talking about political issues. I have always like Jonah Goldberg’s idea that conservatism is a "partial philosophy." I might also add that I draw a strong distiction between "Left" and "Liberal." For that matter, I don’t like being identified with the "Right." Left and Right are European terms that tend to confuse matters and invite comparisons that are not really applicable in the American context. My philosophy is not high-falutin’. I am just an average Hamilton-Madison-Adams (both)-Lincoln-Grant-Hayes-McKinley-TR-Taft (most)-Coolidge-Eisenhower-Ford-Reagan kind-of-a-guy.

I am not sure what you are driving at when you say we/I have forgotten what holds societies together. Are you saying we need some kind of affirmative action program to promote the ideas of racists when they lose political battles? I am really not sure what you calling for.

Our problems with "Jihadistan," as you call it, do not stem merely from their rejection of the western notion of "nation." They reject quite a few of our values. So what? Their beliefs don’t determine my values.

I reject the idea that racists butter my bread. I would rather starve. I would be charging down the middle if I accepted your framework for American politics. I don’t, so I’m not.

I am really looking forward to the majority of Webb voters younger than 45 realizing that Webb quit the Reagan administration because he thought Reagan was dovish. That is really going to hurt.

So, Stephen, democracy is a kind of prison-house...once you’re in, you’re in. Congratulations on making American democracy sound like the Mafia.

As for "the side of your bread," you are too quick to tar us with the ol’ racist brush. You speak like a typical Left Liberal (better?). America is a set of inset circles (communities) -- "America" is simply the largest of those circles, encompassing as it does our diverse communities. These are what inspire political behavior, not being "an American." If you don’t believe me, I ask you why the strong correlation between ethnicity and voting behavior exists, or region and voting for that matter. What, cat got your tongue?

Sure, democracy is a prison house, if you accept the idea that freedom is slavery, up is down, and cats are dogs. But yes, the idea of a republic (and I am repeating myself) depends on a loyal opposition. For a list of reasons why you can dissolve a government, see the Declaration. As far as I can see, I am accusing racists of being racists. The reach of my brush extends only that far. Perhaps we should just ask the questions: Are you, in fact, a racist? Do you believe that all men are created equal and that they are and have always been entitled to equal political rights? I also reject the premise of your statement on ethnicity and voting. Which ethnicity? All of them? Which election? Are you talking about party identification? Which party? Both? Which issues? Is this stagnant? Forever? Has it never changed? Even if you are correct, so what? What about the people who do not follow the pattern? What do we do with them? And again, what would you have us do about any of this?

As for what I believe America to be, here ’tis: To be an American is to believe in the values and principles of the Declaration and the Constitution. You might want to listen to/read Peter Schramm on the subject. My cat doesn’t have my tongue. He is resting on his favorite chair. His name: General Sherman.

Well, naming your cat after a terrorist...how appropriate!

89% of African-Americans vote for Democrats...about 80% of Jews, and 70% of Hispanics. Those that don’t vote with their ethnic interests (as they see them) often vote for their religious interests (like black Christians). If we add class interests, you haven’t got many "Americans" left, bucko. What would America look like if people voted for the national interests over their own? Even soldiers...if you look into the psychology of their "altruism" you find platoon-level honor and in-grouping, not some abstract loyalty to a government form. Burke taught us this...but apparently you are too busy reading Strauss to have attended to the bedrock of conservatism.

So you just keep trotting out your Lefty names...makes me no nevermind. But it does tell me that you are no conservative, and that you don’t know squat about human nature.

"For a list of reasons why you can dissolve a government see the Declaration."

I’m looking at it right now. "He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. [....] He has constrained our fellow-citizens, taken captive on the high seas, to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands. He has excited domestic insurection among us...."

Sounds pretty familiar to anyone who has read much about the Civil War. I guess the "FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES" [bold in the original] of the South had had enough.

Dain: By what logic or definition of the term "terrorist" was Sherman a terrorist? As for the data (if accurate) on voting patterns, you have yet to answer the other questions. And you are wrong about the military. You are partially right about the immediate reasons why they fight, but historically they have been very aware and loyal to the abstract ideas of their form of government. This continues.
Brutus: President-elect Lincoln must have been busy. When he was inaugurated on March 4, the south had already seceded. Rebels fired on Ft. Sumter on April 12. Lincoln hadn’t plundered the seas, ravaged the coast, burned the towns, destroyed lives etc. between his election and the secession and rebellion. Rebels had had enough (?) of a bunch of stuff that hadn’t happened yet, but would happen because of their actions. Is that really your argument?

So, Stephen, I guess you’ve never heard of Sherman’s "March to the Sea." How about "scorched earth policy," or "total war?" How many civilians (mostly women and children) died as a direct result of being burned out of their homes in the winter? How many civilian casualties resulted from Sherman’s campaign? Do you know? Do you care? You should contrast that with the behavior of the Army of Northern Virginia in Maryland and Pennsylvania...an army that did its best to obey the doctrine of "just warfare." Conversely, Sherman’s actions fit the definition of "state terrorism" to a T.

As for Brutus’ point, Virginia and some other States seceded as a result of Lincoln’s call for troops to invade South Carolina. You need to study this history more carefully -- shooting from the hip just won’t cut it on this blog. Sumter was resupplied with the intention of conflict...that’s very clear from the public record. Lincoln was the aggressor in the Civil War...period.

A few points on the history aspects of this discussion (recognizing that there is no need to bother with the discussion of who started the war and why--the evidence is clear on those points).

First, Sherman’s march to the sea was nowhere near as destructive as Lost Cause memory makers have sought to make it out. Mark Grimsley did look into Shermans orders and actions and the quality and quantity of his army’s activities in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina in The Hard Hand of War. He found that in Georgia especially, Sherman’s troops burned out supplies, barns, and storage areas, but did very little destruction to actual plantation homes. (Ever wonder why we can still do tours of so many plantation homes throughout the South, if they had all been destroyed by Sherman and his men?) They did more damage in South Carolina, the hotbed of the rebellion, but the troops did it on their own, against Sherman’s explicit orders. Even then, the destruction was limited and the troops did not rape and plunder their way through.

Second, while it is true that American soldiers throughout time have been motivated by loyalty to small groups of buddies, that is not all that has motivated them. There is plenty of evidence to indicate that belief in cause and country has been essential as a factor in sustaining combat motivation. See, for example, the work of James McPherson on Civil War soldiers in For Cause and Comrades, and Peter Kindsvatter on American troops in the major 20th century wars in American Soldiers.

Third, ethnicity and religion extends far beyond black, Hispanic, and Jewish, which is an important point for this discussion because in the years since World War II, block voting among European ethnic groups in America steadily declined while they increasingly defined themselves as American first. (A quick look at the work on Asian American voting patterns shows that they do not now tend toward block voting either.) That said, it is unclear how members of racial, ethnic, or religious groups identifying themselves with American national political parties is somehow indicative of tribalism winning out over nationalism. If they were overwhelmingly tribal, wouldn’t they have their own political parties?

Finally, just because nationalism as we define it now is relatively new in historical terms, doesn’t mean that it runs counter to human nature. It seems to me that American nationalism is an essential aspect of American conservatism--as well as the oft-forgotten strand that connects contemporary conservatives with American luminaries of centuries past, from Washington and Lincoln to TR and Eisenhower.

You need to study this history more carefully -- shooting from the hip just won’t cut it on this blog.

So what works of history have you studied in developing your position, dain? It’s been a long time since any serious historian has put forward your version of the Civil War and its origins. James McPherson, Allen Guelzo, Mark Neely, Gary Gallagher--all of them dismiss the romantic myth of the "Old Cause." The leading advocate of the neoconfederate position is a philosopher. Who, exactly, is "shooting from the hip"?

"So what works of history have you studied in developing your position, dain? It’s been a long time since any serious historian has put forward your version of the Civil War and its origins. James McPherson, Allen Guelzo, Mark Neely, Gary Gallagher--all of them dismiss the romantic myth of the "Old Cause." The leading advocate of the neoconfederate position is a philosopher. Who, exactly, is "shooting from the hip"?"


Mr. Moser, what is required to be a "serious historian?" Do they have to have "neocon approved" stamped across their forehead? As Thomas DiLorenzo ably demonstrates, the current crop of Lincoln historians are "court historians." Surprise, surprise none of the approved history deviates from the party line. I will remind you that DiLorenzo’s book was a New York Times best seller. Unfortunately, it may require non-historians to expose "The Real Lincoln" because all the leftists historians (that includes neocons and other shades of leftists as well) are in the tank.

"The leading advocate of the neoconfederate position is a philosopher."


Mr. Moser, are you referring to Dr. Donald Livingston? Do you have an issue with philosophers? I think most would consider Dr. DiLorenzo, an economist, the leading advocate of the "neoconfederate" cause, or Dr. Michael Hill, a historian. (From the standpoint of celebrity or name recognition.) BTW, I’m not fond of the neo prefix. Confederate or Southern Conservative will do just fine.


But glad you brought up Dr. Livingston and we are incredibly well represented if he is our leading advocate. His speech "Secession and The Modern State" is an excellent explanation for why secession is the conservative, pre-modern alternative and the unitary "indivisible" state is the radical, liberal, modernist alternative. It is a must read. If you read it and still hold the pro-Union/anti-secession position, then you have no excuse. You are an unrepentant modernist. Just go on and check your conservative credentials at the door.


http://www.secessionist.us/secession_and_the_modern_state.htm

I guess one way to define "serious historian" is "not an economist," which is what DiLorenzo is. I wouldn’t trust his analysis of the Civil War any more than I’d trust James McPherson to analyze the effects of the minimum wage.

"I guess one way to define "serious historian" is "not an economist," which is what DiLorenzo is. I wouldn’t trust his analysis of the Civil War any more than I’d trust James McPherson to analyze the effects of the minimum wage."


I figured. You are getting all credentialist on me. Mighty academic of you. Remember Weaver warned us against specialization. Oh that’s right, y’all don’t like Weaver. But what the hell do I know. I’m just a physician. I’m only qualified to comment on disease states.

There’s nothing wrong with Moser asking about how the historical profession views these issues. Gallagher actually defends some aspects of the "Lost Cause," namely those pertaining to the quality of Lee’s generalship. And in the _Confederate War_ he posits independence as an important reason for why Confederates fought. But the best of the academic "neoconfederates" is Ludwell Johnson who taught for many years at William and Mary.

"There’s nothing wrong with Moser asking about how the historical profession views these issues."


Of course there is nothing wrong with asking. There is only something wrong if you naively believe the historical profession is going to give you an honest answer. It is a self fulfilling prophesy. They know the answers they are going to get before they ask the questions. It is like trusting the media to give an honest account of the election results. They can not because they are not disinterested parties.

Sorry, but I don’t buy this idea that the entire historical profession has an agenda in which they go in knowing what they are going to find. In fact I know this not to be true, and asserting it ipse dixit does not make it so. (We could say similar things about the blanket generalizations about "the media" but I imagine this is an argument not worth having.)

Not to be too blunt about it, but anyone who dismisses the scholarship of Gallagher and McPherson is simply not someone anyone needs to take seriuously. But this is especially true when the criticisms are nothing more than ad hominem attacks.

Finally, it is easy but daft to attack credentials. Yes, there have been lots of wonderful histories written by people without PhD’s. And if you have any evidence that historians overlook those works, I’d love to see it. But on a matter tied to history, I am going to take the person with the PhD in history 999 times out of 1000. Not because of the credential itself but what goes into the making of the credential. If you do not know what it takes to get a PhD in history it is understandable that you would think that it is just another step and a few classes after a BA. Not true. Any historian with a PhD has read literally thousands of books and articles in his or her field and has also produced a work of serious research and writing. Having a PhD does not make someone right on an issue, but I think the idea that having a PhD does not give someone some leverage and position in an argument about history is claptrap. That said, historians disagree all the time and so the idea that all historians somehow come into their work with a loaded hand is nonsense.

I just don’t see the usefulness, nor do i think it shows much intellectual integrity, to slam the work of an entire profession of people because you either don’t want to bother to engage what people here say or because it is easier to taint with ad hominems than to make a serious case.

dcat

Mr. (Dr.?) Catsam,


That the academy is thoroughly corrupted by radical leftist is hardly up for debate. The few conservatives that remain or made careers in academia are generally older and were tenured before the current crop of radicals took over. (Clyde Wilson, Donald Livingston, etc.) The current crop of young conservative PhDs hoping for careers in academia (and this applies to history as well as other humanities) often try to fly under the radar. When they are "out of the closet" so to speak, they tend to be of the neoconservative variety. As was said on the other thread, neoconservatives are the preferred brand of conservative in academia because they are essentially leftists. Often "popular historians" come from journalism, another bastion of leftism.


What you are saying about neutral historians might be correct if they were all employed by some truly neutral foundations but are there any? Outside academia (or co-mingled with) "conservative" foundations and think tanks are generally controlled by neocons as well. Are you suggesting that I should actually expect honest Lincoln scholarship from Claremont?


Of course it works both ways. I wouldn’t expect anyone to believe that something coming out of the Rockford Institute or the von Mises Institute isn’t going to have a point of view as well.


I absolutely agree that a PhD confers a certain degree of expertise. But I also think that the modern academy overemphasizes specialization. (That may be an inevitable outcome of the system.) But we must avoid a sort of elitist credentialism. People are capable of making themselves experts on things depending on their intelligence level, dedication, and interest in the subject. Do you need a degree in film history to be an expert on the Star Wars series? I am certain we can find a lot of geeky, obsessive fans who could talk circles around a film history expert.


On that note, history and all the humanities would do well to look outside themselves for some fresh blood. And I’ll take the economist DiLorenzo’s history over Jaffa’s “court history” any day of the week.

The academy is probably liberal. Whatever that means. It is not "corrupted by radical leftists." Period. Are there radical leftists in the academy? Yes. There are also radical conservatives -- believe it or not. There is a difference between liberalism and leftism and people who care about intellectual truth differentiate these things.

But more to the point, so what? For the overwhelming majority of classes that take place in a university setting, how many have anything to do with politics qua politics? I am a liberal. And I am a professor. And I try to be as fair as possible because I have a responsibility to history. I taught a graduate class last semester on liberalism and conservatism in American political history and I would defy anyone to show that my class skewed left. This idea that we in the academy are defined by what we believe politically is an absurdity. And believe it or not, liberals can be right about some things just as can conservatives. Only in an echo chamber is saying that something is liberal sufficient to dismiss it without engaging it.

As for most historians being employed by neitral entities, I have no idea what that means. I receive absolutely no pressure to produce work of any ideological stripe. You are simply wrong in the assertioon that universities are incapable of producing good and balanced work, and once again it is an assertion without evidence, a blanket attack against American institutions of higher learning that, in addition to being utterly vacuous, is also irreelevant and simply serves as a lazy way to taint the poeple working in those universities.

Meanwhile, take DiLorenzo over Jaffa all you want. But if you take DiLorenzo over McPherson you are a fool. And in any case, I don’t isolate history -- I believe in interdisiplinarity and believe that historians and political scientists and economists should be speaking to one another. But in discussing history, I do priviledge historians just as if we are discussing economics I priviledge economists and if we are discussing cancer I priviledge oncologists. I guess I’m just dogmatic that way.

And call me a crazy idealist if you’d like, but I am of the belief that we actually judge individual work on its merit, be it scholarship or journalism or what have you, rather than make blanket generalizations that don’t hold up under scrutiny. If you think a particy=ular work of history is flawed, by all means, say so and say why. But to say that historians do not produce good history and to attribute that to some sort of reductionist piffle about ideology is at best silly and intellectually bankrupt.

dcat

Dr. Catsam, apparently I hit a nerve. Actually one area where neocons and othercons have been able to agree is on opposing liberalism in the academy. (David Horowitz being the most prominent example.) So I think you are on your own on this one.


For the record, I do not march in lock step with Dr. DiLorenzo. I think he actually is very careful not to be too politically incorrect, himself. He correctly points to Lincoln’s many statements on race to show he was not the paragon of egalitarian virtue that he is made out to be. For him the point is skewering the Lincoln myth and identifying Yankee hypocrisy. Fine. But what I have argued on all these threads is that no one in 1861 was an egalitarian, so we should be honest about that. Not use it as evidence that he was a "racist," a term that didn’t even exist back then.


I think people with an agenda often cherry pick the historical facts that suit their agenda, both left and right. I believe a historian can look at all the facts and make a sound judgment about what went on. But how those facts are spun is still often influenced by their own biases.


Here is what DiLorenzo has to say about McPherson. "Liberal historians like David Donald and James McPherson praised Lincoln’s "social legislation" because to them it appears to be a precursor to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and indeed it was." So there you have a neutral fact, Lincoln enacted social legislation. For McPherson that means Lincoln was a kind, compassionate, forward thinking humanitarian. For DiLorenzo it means he was a wealth redistributing proto-socialist.


I think there is danger in the pretence of neutrality. People should be up front about their biases, and not claim they don’t exist or don’t affect their work. I’m sure there are many people who truly strive for neutrality, but the wise person reads with an eye for bias, nonetheless.


I think the same of journalist who are in essence recording history as it happens. Everyone knows the New York Times is biased. It is silly for them to claim otherwise.

Oooh, I’m on my own. Well, too bad for me. Look, if your reference on liberalism and the academy is Horowitz, I’m pretty comfortable dismissing you. I may be "on my own" on this one. But what does that mean: burden of proof is on you to show both that the liberalism you purport is actually a real thing, but more importantly, that it has any real impact in the classroom. You hit a nerve to be sure, because that nerve has been hit before, and it is always based on a lot of nonsense. Forgive me if your ideological range (all the way from neocons to othercons!) does not impress me. All I give a damn about is this: Can you prove that my classes are biased? Can you prove that classes taught by putative liberals are biased? I suspect that you cannot, because you have already decided the answer to your question. All I know is that the job market has zero jobs that test for liberalism, but a whole lot that demand conservatism explicitly in the form of religious institutions. But again -- show that my classes are biased. Otherwise, stop fighting straw men.

And who is arguing for neutrality? Not me. I, in my biased way, know that McPherson is a better historian than Dilorenzo. You presume that McPherson’s historical work is based on some sort of ideological vantage point, something that is up to you to prove. But that does not change the quality of McPherson’s work. Once again, and it really ought not to be a point that bears constant repeating: That an argument may or may not be liberal does not make it wrong. I realize that the echo chamber over here is such that liberal = wrong. That echo chamber is a cavalcade of idiocy. As is any liberal echo chamber in which conservative = wrong.

McPherson is about 100x the historian that Dilorenzo is. I’m honestly not willing to spend the time to engage anyone who thinks otherwise.

And yes, the New York Times is "biased." (Actually, the Times has an editorial stance. There is a difference.) So what? It is also likely the best newspaper in the country. Frankly, I am not interested in engaging anyone who thinks that, say, the Washington Times is an especially good newspaper. Nor would I want to engage anyone who thinks that the Wall Street Journal is a bad newspaper. The facts are out there -- the media is probably more conservative than it is liberal (in every election but two from 1932 to 2000 the majority of newspapers supported the GOP presidential candidate). But the media = liberal trope allows conservatives to feel beleaguered, even if that beleagured status is crap.

But I realize that facts ahnd evudence get in the way of most conservative doctrine, so let’s just fall back on the substanceless accusations of someone like Horowitz. After all, he echoes the echo chamber -- why let facts get in the way?

dcat

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