Six Questions You Couldn’t Ask Your Liberal Professor

May 1, 2016 by


  1. 1. Questions You Couldn’t Ask Your Liberal Professor 1
  2. 2. : What advice do you have for college conservatives who are surrounded by so many, adults and students alike, who demonize their views? — $helb1 Luikart, Trinit1 Universin
  3. 3. 4/ The purpose of college is to find out the truth, especially about things that are worthy, and especially by discovering what those things are.
  4. 4. ‘ That has always been hard to do, and it has always met with a lot of resistance. Modern liberalism is arrogant in its ascendance, and it often constitutes an obstacle. x7
  5. 5. ONE KEEP ON. It is not, after all, loyalty to a party or movement that makes the best education, except, that is, the party that seeks and values knowledge of the best things.
  6. 6. fi Must conservatism constantly look to the past, or is there an effective way to study the great minds of the past and apply their insights to a future that is distinct from both our present and our past? — Lhasa Padusniak, Princeton University
  7. 7. A: I do not think the conservative movement is interested in the past unduly. Rather, it is interested in the abiding and the true.
  8. 8. «X. :1’ It is a fact that the past is the only thing we have to study, and the greatest things written about the abiding and the true are necessarily in the past.
  9. 9. The present is fleeting, after all, and Churchill pointed out the obvious when he said that “the future, though imminent, is obscure. “
  10. 10. @ Why is it that schools place such heavy emphasis on the idea of “tolerance” that they are willing to censor students with opposing ideas? — Hunter lhrman, Hope college
  11. 11. Does not the emphasis on tolerance have to do with one of the chief strains of educated opinion today: relativism? Everyone is entitled to his own values.
  12. 12. The worth of a thing is in the fact that someone values it. The absolute right to define one’s existence, as Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy says, is the basis of all.
  13. 13. But this will not work. Relativism is vulnerable to a logical problem. ..
  14. 14. Let us say my value is to dominate you.
  15. 15. Let us say I think the contest among values should go to whoever is stronger. How does one argue against that if all values are equal?
  16. 16. The problem soon resolves / itself into the idea that there are sovereign views for our moment in history, and these are the views defined by the social scientists whose business is defining such things.
  17. 17. It is according to these standards that some are ostracized and others celebrated.
  18. 18. The worth of a thing is in the fact that someone values it. The absolute right to define one’s existence, as Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy says, is the basis of all.
  19. 19. ii “77 1 : ‘ I . _._ The development of these new standards is 7 rapid. A president may oppose the new definition of marriage in one year and ‘_ excoriate those who do so a short time later. , – _ . . . _.. .,. .. : :,: :;> E 5 _ ~-.7.-. -_+: ‘“”””’ 77 7 7-7 777 1′ _‘; ;“§ / ,;_
  20. 20. . 7 7.1″ _. , , . , / , Ag 7-“ ‘4,. ‘ ‘0 J It . .i. ‘. These things change. One must fall in line, and he had better be on time.
  21. 21. In an election, should conservatives vote for the “lesser of two evils” or for a more fringe candidate who is more truly conservative but can’t possibly win? — Andrew Luff, Laihoiic University of America
  22. 22. That is a prudential judgment, meaning the answer depends upon the details.
  23. 23. “i . WE ~ . an , __, 7 _. ‘ . … … . 5351!! iiimi Imm . ‘!! i!. i mm 7 -S — If a candidate is pretty good and can do marginally better, and might win, and someone else would do much better but has no hope, well, then, are we to let the best be the enemy of the good?
  24. 24. In the united States, we have a two—party system. Some large features of our political system agitate that way, and I think on the whole this is fortunate.
  25. 25. There may be 3 cases when a 1, is 7 7, A protest vote, ‘a/ _ 77 **’i>”°-. if large enough, *7.‘ 5, could make a ’ difference to one L‘ e. ‘,_ of the major ~ 775:? parties, shock it I I . into improvement, . ‘we or maybe even ,7: ,5; , . replace that party. 3/ 7°‘7’. -‘ II‘ , ‘ Ki” we I, 177 77777 7777777
  26. 26. The latter has happened only three or four times in American history. It has sometimes (I think of the birth of Abe Lincoln’s party) been a good thing. /
  27. 27. CC There may also be absolute cases, or nearly absolute cases, when one simply could not vote for any of the candidates likely to win.
  28. 28. In 1933 Germany held a plebiscite to give Hitler trans—constitutional powers. One would vote against that, even knowing that it was going to pass.
  29. 29. Later Hitler himself was on the ballot: he was going to win, but one could not support him in any case. Unless, that is, Hitler was threatening to shoot your children, which sometimes he was.
  30. 30. E How serious of a problem do you think the polarization of American political life is? – Even Peterson, Popperdino univorsitj
  31. 31. I think this acrimony is characteristic of times when the differences are fundamental.
  32. 32. In the American Revolution very hard words were spoken, including against some Founders by other Founders. if If there is animosity and debate, it may mean the debate is about something. i’ I .11’/ W 49/ ‘ ’ : :E“: “: v i 5 ~«‘§ ‘ I H 3 . Y fly E; ‘, – . . 92*‘ fr. – is‘ . n~- . 4» Y; J? ’ fix’ 4- ‘t ‘av ‘ , – »2. _: ‘ A i i a V
  33. 33. “’ . . re. ».. I ‘V J ‘W . . 4 A § Better, because more effective as well as more human, to be civil.
  34. 34. Lincoln said Douglas’s policy would lead to the enslavement of all Americans.
  35. 35. Churchill said that the socialist in Britain would ultimately have to use a secret police or Q “a Gestapo” to achieve L his ultimate aims.
  36. 36. 1 , ‘E 1 . A . – ‘ -i ‘, ‘_ . >, _ ; ‘. _’-I -‘p / ‘my , ‘_~ I’ / _ »-: .i. .’. v:. -iii”. ‘« i ‘ . -.5. -‘. .¥a . -3. But they both said this was not the intention of their opponent, whom they otherwise held in esteem. I ‘1 2 3 . X . -s – so
  37. 37. Q g 0 Many politicians seem to care much more about winning elections than actually making a difierence in government and substantively adding to the public debate. How can such an approach he changed? – Ben ldzik, Franciscan Universitj
  38. 38. It is hard to win elections, but much harder to make a difference having won. 41¢! -r*”‘ ‘V ””
  39. 39. The political system was made to be resistant to change, and it has become resistant to change in a different way through the advent of bureaucracy.
  40. 40. Elected officials do not have as much power as -, ,._ they used to have. It i‘i should be a high » I I purpose to repair this.
  41. 41. W Constitutional government provides for real changes of direction to be debated I and decided. W Bureaucratic government takes a lot of 1. that out of the political process.
  42. 42. Most public officials I know are trying to make a difference. In times like these, doing so takes unusual skill. -LARRY ARN N Larry Arnn is president of Hillsdale College. He is committed to providing an authentic liberal arts education and a thorough grounding in America’s founding principles the very principles he studied as an ISI Weaver Fellow at the Claremont Graduate School. Republican & Democratic party image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr.
  43. 43. “-’ INTERCOLLEGIATE T STUDIES INSTITUTE Quiz: Which Conservative The six Core Benefg of Thinker Are YOU? Conservatism Follow Us: n H E
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