EppsNet Archive: Conservatives

Identity Politics = Liberal Suicide?

13 Aug 2017 /

Mark Lilla is professor of the humanities at Columbia University. He’s got a book coming out, The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics.

As you might have surmised from his job title, Lilla is a liberal himself. His concern is “the divisive, zero-sum world of identity politics” and its negative effect on liberalism in America.

Here’s an excerpt of an excerpt published in the Wall Street Journal:

As a teacher, I am increasingly struck by a difference between my conservative and progressive students. Contrary to the stereotype, the conservatives are far more likely to connect their engagements to a set of political ideas and principles. Young people on the left are much more inclined to say that they are engaged in politics as an X, concerned about other Xs and those issues touching on X-ness. And they are less and less comfortable with debate.

Over the past decade a new, and very revealing, locution has drifted from our universities into the media mainstream: Speaking as an X… This is not an anodyne phrase. It sets up a wall against any questions that come from a non-X perspective. Classroom conversations that once might have begun, I think A, and here is my argument, now take the form, Speaking as an X, I am offended that you claim B. What replaces argument, then, are taboos against unfamiliar ideas and contrary opinions. . . .

The politics of identity has done nothing but strengthen the grip of the American right on our institutions. It is the gift that keeps on taking. Now is the time for liberals to do an immediate about-face and return to articulating their core principles of solidarity and equal protection for all. Never has the country needed it more.


Is There an “Anti-Queer” Climate?

16 Jun 2016 /
Doogie Howser

Christian conservatives are responsible for the mass shooting at a gay bar in Orlando because they “created this anti-queer climate,” according to American Civil Liberties Union attorneys.

Agree that the summer climate in Orlando can be pretty oppressive but it’s just as bad for straight people.

Haha, but seriously folks, is there an “anti-queer climate” in America? I don’t see that. Can you think of 10 or 12 recent examples of “anti-queer” behavior that you’ve observed in your own life? Six? One? I can’t.

Quite the opposite: If a bakery doesn’t want to put two men on a wedding cake, it’s a national outrage. If a state doesn’t want penises in women’s bathrooms or locker rooms, it’s a national outrage.

America loves gays. Who in America is more beloved than Ellen and that Doogie Howser kid?

Now if you ask me “Is there an anti-Christian conservative climate in America?” I would say — and I’m neither a Christian nor a conservative — definitely yes.


Can You Hate Both Political Parties Equally?

11 Aug 2013 /

Democrat or Republican. Liberal or conservative. If you’re not one, you must be the other. If you don’t vote, people — apparently rational, functional people who manage to drive their cars without ramming them into walls — tell you with a straight face that your non-vote is a de facto vote for the candidate you would have voted against (had you voted). Because you’re not allowed to hate both. Because, in under our idiotic one-or-the-other political system, even if you hate both parties, you’re supposed to hate one party more than the other.

The Lincoln Memorial

Speaking Ill of the Recently Deceased

1 Mar 2012 /

This notice went out today from David Carson, the moderator of the Who’s Alive and Who’s Dead mailing list, which among other things, sends out an email to subscribers when a famous person (like Andrew Breitbart) dies:

Something I unfortunately have to remind everyone of once in a while is, if you have something uncomplimentary or unpleasant to say about the recently deceased, you don’t need to say it to me. (This is only an issue when someone conservative dies, by the way. I’ve never gotten any nasty-grams when a liberal, moderate, or any other kind of person has died. But a conservative? Every single time, including today. Make of that what you will.)


Liberals and Conservatives

4 Oct 2011 /

If you want to take my guns away from me, and you’re all for murdering fetuses, and love it when homosexuals marry each other, and want to give them kitchen appliances at their showers, and you’re for the poor, you’re a liberal. If you are against those perversions and for the rich, you’re a conservative. What could be simpler?

— Kurt Vonnegut