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Update on Introspective Wonderland and the Ideologically Balanced Academic World

Just a few more data points for consideration:
Via For the Record via the (ever-dependable) Brian Leiter, we have Mel Gilles. To quote Prof. Leiter, "[B]e sure to get to the bit about the victims of domestic violence." I really couldn't agree more. And note, of course, that For the Record is written by two assistant professors, currently seeking tenure and their own slot on hiring committees. Just a bit to whet your appetite:

But really, why should I be surprised that right-wingers are generally not very good at good argument ? We progressives really are "bleeding hearts"---not only for all those who are presently being oppressed by the pitiless imperatives of corporate capitalist warfare, but also for those poor suckers who for one reason or another keep shooting themselves in the foot in the voting booth, endorsing various unsustainable prejudices, believing repeatedly refuted falsehoods, willingly submitting to the unlistenable propaganda spewed by Fox News, Bill O'Reilly and the like (or the more sophisticated but equally delirious Wall Street Journal and National Review), and (though it is practically taboo not to do so) gullibly embracing various religious hallucinations. We progressives continue to think: surely such people are not intrinsically stupid, mean, greedy, and/or reprehensibly credulous. Rather, they must be victims of some sort, operating under brainwashed false consciousness, who would embrace the good, the just and the true if only they were made aware of it.

But why think this? If the people who currently hold the prejudiced, factually corrupt views and attitudes that characterize the American right were inclined to be open to exposure of these views as prejudiced and factually corrupt, then (again, with exceptions) they probably would already have given up these views. It's disingenuous to pretend that we think that "intelligent people can disagree" about the value of the progressive agenda. This agenda is correct, by every reasonable factual standard and nearly every reasonable moral standard (such that provincial prejudices and antiquated religious dictates are not enshrined as virtues). And it may well be that those who have failed to perceive its correctness by this point are, shall we say, not operating under appropriate epistemological standards. Supposing so, why think that it is possible to get through to them using reasoned argumentation?

(internal links omitted, emphasis in the text mine)

But don't just stop there: be sure to read about how Republicans are abusers. I'm sure this is a brilliant way to get those who pulled Red-levers last time to switch Blue.


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And there you go again! Honestly, someone makes a point through an extended metaphor and you're beating a whole movement over the head with it like a psychotic prison guard with a baseball bat. I suppose faced with your accusation 'how dare they call us abusers' we're supposed to issue somesort of apology and a whole tradition of liberal thought is going to be tied to the statement of a single individual. Or maybe just forfeit the next election - that would be fair. Because the man has a point, but mostly he has a metaphor. You're bright enough to understand that, so having read the article there's only one thing to do. Call a halt to your abusive hectoring and ask that you stop faking outrage. You don't care. You don't really care and you know full well that equally extreme metaphors are used on both sides of the fence. So stop pretending you do. There, I refuse to be abused by your assumed reasonableness.
Martin: If the point you think I'm trying to make is that some "we" (which, by extension, seems to include you) should apologize--that this is some "how dare they"--then I have expressed myself very badly indeed. The existence of this kind of rhetoric--used and supported not by people of little consequence, but by oft-quoted law professors at major universities and the like--is a positive boon to my political party. Now, I'll agree with you that overheated rhetoric exists on both sides of the aisle. Then again, you'll note that frequently I comment on how Republicans should avoid it. (Or at least, make fun of overheated Republicans.) Take, for instance, Ann Coulter, about whom the best thing I've ever said is that she's no worse that Maureen Dowd. (Damning with faint praise indeed.) Nonetheless, there's a matter of scale here. Back when Clinton was in power, the Republicans were the party of shouting ourselves hoarse with the mudslinging. It did us phenomenally little good then and was a magnificently bad tactic. Now the balance of mud has slid in the Democrats direction. I can't imagine it will do them more good. On the other hand, Martin, one has to point out that those saying there isn't a bias against Republicans in academia should then be very wary of, and indeed go out of their way to reject, statements by fellow academics that their ideology is just so much smarter. It lends a certain amount of credibility.

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