This week’s readings had its moments of insightful history/social commentary and I’m glad this topic was chosen.
Carlson’s article on the history of the conservative movement(s) from the 20th century was intriguing. It seemed as accurate as a short paper could be. I thought some of the “less-traveled” paths were a bit paradoxical. On paper some of these failed conservative camps sounded a bit communistic – specifically communitarianism. It’s interesting how these cultural philosophies sound really good in theory, but in practice it turns out much different. I guess that could be said about any political system.
Some of the other articles had less substance and were hardly historical arguments. Postell’s article about Lincoln and the Founding Fathers and the anonymous blogger’s article about Marxist teachers both had age-old fallacy: A is similar to C, B is also similar to C, therefore A is similar to B. My scooter is green, my lawn is green, therefore my scooter is a lawn! Obama likes Lincoln, Lincoln made a limited government comment once, so why is Obama trying to take my liberties?! It’s hard to get through these types of articles.
This is not a practice limited to conservative bloggers and only a few of the articles were that ridiculous. I thought some of the articles brought up good points and simply offered an opposing argument to some of the extreme topics placed in the classroom. Some of the articles, like Carlsons, and the “point of contention” blog bring up the fact that the rise of conservatism coincided with the U.S. emergence as a superpower. I think that’s a fair point that is worth repeating. I think we all could gain some understanding by looking back to the 1950s and say out loud what we thought was great about that time, and what we disliked. I think we would very quickly find out who is leaning conservative and who’s leaning liberal.