Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Election Day logic

That was the title of an email that a colleague sent out to the faculty loop. Here’s the text:

A conversation in the hallway:

Student: I can’t come to class; I have to go and vote.


Prof: Who’re you voting for?


Student: Don’t hate me, but McCain.


Prof: Why would you do such a thing?


Student: Because I like McCain.


Prof: Why?


Student: Because I really don’t like Obama.

Uh huh.

My wife saw the email before I did and immediately called him out about it in public. I did so in private (not having thought to do so before all my colleagues).

So far, the only responses have been those applauding my wife (even from folks who give no evidence of any willingness to vote the same way as the student).

Let’s hope that my colleague finally learns a lesson he should have learned a long time ago.

Discussions - 7 Comments

Would your wife object to your posting the contents of her response?

By the way, I just got back from voting. I had to wait a whole ten minutes, which is probably the longest I've ever had to wait vote in Ashland.

From the time I was a young man, my parents always taught me the appropriate response to the question, "Who are you voting for?" or "How did you vote?" was an uneqivocal, "That is none of your business, and your asking is terribly rude."


That's what I taught my children... and unfortunately, at least once every election, I must give that response to someone - generally a younger person - who seems to feel they have some right to that knowledge.


Perhaps we should return to common civility and a respect for a touch of privacy.

It is getting nasty out there. My 4th grade daughter reports that there are fights (as in verbal altercations rather than physical ones) every day on the playground about this. And the teachers (at her Catholic school!) tend to take sides. The teachers who are very close to the rules of the school know better . . . but others have less regard and are swept up in their enthusiasm . . . mostly for Obama, btw. I'm afraid that reports of high Catholic turnout for Obama are probably true. In my heavily Republican town, the only place I see Obama bumper stickers is in the parking lot of our Catholic church.

Let’s hope that my colleague finally learns a lesson he should have learned a long time ago.

What if he did, would it really impact your relationship with him or (more importantly) the character of his teaching?

Is that not all about the public has as far as the mediocrity of our institutions of "higher learning", that is "hope"?

What is it exactly, that keeps men such as yourself (men who are fully aware of state of "higher learning") in this racket? Please, no pie in the sky cliches about the benefits of education. We all know that their are better places for that than the American academy (e.g., simply browsing your local book store) and the propaganda picked up is worse than the benefits. If contribution to society and young people is truly your motivation, why would you stay in higher ed?

the only place I see Obama bumper stickers is in the parking lot of our Catholic church.

There are a few ways to explain the left leaning American Roman church. The one you don't hear too often which I believe is a significant factor is RC "social teaching". On balance it lends itself to a progressive, big government interpretation and prescription. It is entirely to reliant on a very modern and progressive view of "solidarity". In that sense it has strayed away from classical Christianity.

Of course you will find very smart folks who will rescue it from it's usual interpretations and bring it back to solid theological foundations, but they don't have real influence with the masses.

Full disclosure: I speak as an Eastern Orthodox and not as a protestant...

My husband waited in line for 40 minutes when the polls opened at 6:30am. His school has parent-teacher conferences scheduled for today so he had no choice. Our daughter was excellent and waited patiently as he explained the process. She has been watching, asking questions of the election, the process and the possible outcomes. She's a sharp 1st grader.

I waited in line for 15 - 20 minutes in Norwalk, some kind of record for my mostly GOP ward (or so it has been in recent elections). The church parking lot was full. It makes me wonder if it's like that on Sunday mornings.

Christopher, I am trying to assess whether you think it is Roman Catholic teaching or the interpretation of that teaching that is progressive and in favor of big government. I think it is very clearly the latter that is much closer to the truth. The Church is no fan of statism and creeping socialism. I think it is fair to say that it takes a mostly voluntarist view of society and the mutual obligations we have to each other. People may have trouble locating the Catholic Church at times on the political spectrum, but it is hardly a voice for progressive welfare statism that robs us of our liberty. There are of course lots of children of the 1960s/1970s who reject the Church's most fundamental teachings and then act as if the Church is a pacifist, statist, and environmental bastion. These cafeteria Catholics are usually those voices who try to "re-define" Catholic teaching to emphasize their liberal causes. Unfortunately for them, there is a growing chorus of young voices in the Church who are happily in-line with the Magisterium both in thought and deed. They are the John Paul and Benedict Catholics who are the new generation of the Church as the hippies recede.

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