What is happening to the Left?  I thought Liberals were supposed to be … well … liberal. Future-looking, open-minded, tolerant, looking out for others, non-judgmental, non-violent, “make peace, not war.”  But that doesn’t seem to be the case lately.

John Daniel Davidson argues that “The American Left Is Talking Itself Into Violence.”  He points out that the violence on campus is now creeping off campus into our communities.

Kirsten Powers, author of  The Silencing: How the Left Is Killing Free Speech, says, “… the illiberal Left reminds me of religious zealots, except of a secular religion.”  She gives evidence of this in the article, Kirsten Powers: The Rise of the Intolerant Left.

Even progressive proponents are recognizing the cognitive dissonance within their movement.  I suggest reading  Nicholas Kristof’s A Confession of Liberal Intolerance, Freddie deBoer’s of course, there’s the backchannel or SE-Smith’s  We Are the Left: Why I Joined the Movement After Years of Internet Abuse from My Supposed Political Allies.  (This last article is very personal and intense.)

What are the possible results of such illiberality? Well, one result may be documented in No Guilt This Time  by Mark Bauerlein.

 

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The Intercollegiate Studies Institute offers a very readable article by Alfred S. Regnery summarizing what Conservatism is, where it comes from, and where it is today.  “The Pillars of Modern American Conservatism” includes a concise summary of conservative values and expands on Russel Kirk’s “Four Cities” as it gives a brief history of the movement.  Definitely worth the read.

Politico’s Jack Shafer and Tucker Doherty demonstrate that the media bias to the left is a function not only of who journalists are, but where they are.  In “The Media Bubble Is Worse Than You Think, ” the authors point to the overwhelming shift from traditional newsprint and television to internet publishers as employers of journalists.

This isn’t just a shift in medium. It’s also a shift in sociopolitics, and a radical one. Where newspaper jobs are spread nationwide, internet jobs are not: Today, 73 percent of all internet publishing jobs are concentrated in either the Boston-New York-Washington-Richmond corridor or the West Coast crescent that runs from Seattle to San Diego and on to Phoenix. The Chicagoland area, a traditional media center, captures 5 percent of the jobs, with a paltry 22 percent going to the rest of the country. And almost all the real growth of internet publishing is happening outside the heartland, in just a few urban counties, all places that voted for Clinton. So when your conservative friends use “media” as a synonym for “coastal” and “liberal,” they’re not far off the mark.

What makes their analysis so interesting is their application of social science techniques.  It’s hard to argue against media bias when the evidence is “data-driven” and statistically obvious.

You can read the full article here:  http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/04/25/media-bubble-real-journalism-jobs-east-coast-215048

It is always better to be safe and ridiculed than vulnerable and praised. – Victor Hanson Davis

The scholar provides a quick overview of what history has taught us about global war.  You can read his short essay here:  http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2017/04/06/ancient_laws_modern_wars_133524.html

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From the educational philosophy of Dewey sprang the “relevance revolution” in schooling. The old curriculum, with its emphasis on hard mathematics, dead languages, ancient history, and books that are too long to read, is portrayed as an offense to modern children, a way of belittling their world and their hopes for the future. To teach them to spell correctly, to speak grammatically, to adopt the manners and values of their parents and grandparents is to cut them off from their only available sphere of action. And in the place of all that so-called knowledge, which is nothing in itself save a residue of the interests of the dead, they should be given, we are told, their own curriculum, addressed to the life that is theirs.  The immediate effect of the relevance revolution was to introduce into the classroom topics relevant to the interests of their teachers—topics like social justice, gender equality, nuclear disarmament, third-world poverty, gay rights…

To counter this argument it is not enough to point to all the ways in which a relevant curriculum debases learning by making ignorance into the measure of what should be taught. For what we dismiss as ignorance is often the smoothed and adapted outer form of accumulated knowledge, like the simple manners of ordinary people that seem inept in sophisticated company only because some forms of sophistication depend upon hiding this reservoir of social knowledge…  The real objection to relevance is that it is an obstacle to self-discovery.

Read Robert Scruton’s complete essay, “The Virtue of Irrelevance,” here: http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2017/02/virtue-irrelevance-roger-scruton.html