Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Cultivating liberal student activists

This article describes this conference. The conference organizer’s rationale is here. Of course he has to make the case for organizing students, but the real political problems for liberals are discussed here, here, here, and here. If you haven’t yet had your morning does of caffeine (and need it), dwell on this little gem:

Now clearly, liberals do predominate in college and university faculties. That shouldn’t surprise anyone: Academic inquiry, and modest faculty salaries, tend to attract liberal minds, just as, say, tobacco industry lobbyist positions tend to attract conservatives.

But ask students whether most of their liberal professors spend their time working with them to organize for political change on electoral reform or clean energy. Most professors focus on their scholarship, or perhaps their classroom skills. Sometimes it takes a determined, organizing effort from outside to connect like-minded students and professors on a campus for extracurricular efforts to discuss real-world issues and work for change. Conservatives have done this effectively; progressives haven’t.

The relative effectiveness of conservatives in maintaining a presence on campus and cultivating some young people has more to do with factors noted here and here.

If you haven’t yet had your fill, you can scroll through the conference blog here.

Update: I should have noted Charles Kesler’s worries about conservatism. My favorite line:

It is one thing (a blessing, I can tell you) to grow up reading and watching Bill Buckley; another to grow up reading and watching Bill O’Reilly.

Discussions - 8 Comments

is hardly the next generation’s Buckley. I would suggest that it’s a stretch to even call Bill O’Reilly a "conservative." He’s certainly not an intellectual one.

If there is next generation Buckley it would have to be Rush. And if there are "worries" to be had it is the abject hatred this man commands of the New Left. Buckley never seemed to draw that kind of vitriol, did he. But then again they all hated Reagan in fine Rush-like fashion. And they probably hate Dubya, who is constantly "reaching out" to them, more than Rush. So really the only difference between Buckley and those who generationally follow his lead, is their political effectiveness and the scope of which they have built upon the foundation Buckley laid. Thus Kesler ought to be worrying more about those who hate us for no good reason than folks like Mr. O.

Kesler is right. Buckley’s sophistication and erudition are mostly lacking in today’s spokesmen, and the herky-jerky Fox format (split screens, Aruba updates, all the commercials) doesn’t help. In addition, the radio talk-show hosts spend a lot of time talking about their show, not about ideas.

not, how liberals are afraid of making the terrorist mad at America and conservatives cower everytime the Washington Post et al roughs them up.

I happen to enjoy listening to Rush, but if he’s what passes for a conservative intellectual, that’s a pretty sad commentary on the state of the movement.

I’m really curious here - what is there to ENJOY?? Regardless of one’s politics, he strikes me as being like the most obnoxious, arrogant guy at the party, whose first priority is appearing to be right about everything, appearing to know everything. And it’s not like he’s a great comedian. What is there to possibly ENJOY - for even 30 minutes, let alone 3 hours!!

And unless drug abuse has changed Rush for the better, he’s quite the racist jerk, having said:

to a caller: "take that bone out of your nose and call me back." (under his earlier pseudonym Jeff Gannon...umm...I mean, Jeff CHRISTIE)


"Have you ever noticed how all newspaper composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?"

Background story here.

definitely classify Limbaugh as a conservative intellectual. His brilliant linking of Antonio Gramsci to the present-day Culture War alone qualifies him.

A really great, straightforward book that picks apart some of the most egregious claims of this Claremont Institute Statesmanship Award winner (see Limbaugh’s quotes from M. Wojciany below for examples of his diplomatic prowess) is Logic and Mr. Limbaugh: A Dittohead’s Guide to Fallacious Reasoning by Ray Perkins. Not everyone likes it, though. A Rush fan from Danville, Indiana offers this brilliant review:

"If you wish to waste your time, read this book. This is just another liberal who wishes he had the following that Rush has. Rush’s logic is in fact quite good and there are a number of other books that give you the other side. Marxism is dead around the world except in the USA. Its these type of liberals that keep it alive."

Yes, that’s right, anyone who critiques Rush must be jealous of Rush’s popularity, and a (typical) Marxist liberal.

I’m really curious here - what is there to ENJOY??

A lot of people must enjoy his show, because he has an audience that Al Franken would kill to have.

As for Rush’s racist comments, I admit that they’re pretty slimy. But at least he never joined the KKK, unlike certain Democratic Senators I know.

Note to Jerry Noles: Nice how you choose to quote the stupidest of the critical comments about Perkins’s book, without mentioning any of the others. That’s what they call the logical fallacy of the "straw man." Is that one mentioned in your little book?

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