One of the right wing ideological attack targets is academics in general who are accused of being “liberals” as though that were a mark of shame.  ‘Liberal’ as defined by the right wing think tanks is a pretty foul thing to be — all sorts of moral failures, attacks on family values and embryos to doubts about futile and illegal wars, etc. etc.

But the main reason that we are hated is that we academics deal carefully with the facts.  We are not trying to sell self interested falsehoods about this and that as are the right wingers.  We also tend to care for people as we are working with young and vulnerable students from every conceivable background and part of the globe.  Perhaps we are a bit more empathetic than the haters of the right.  But it is still the basic fact thing that really gets to the right wingers.  They say we have the best health system in the world and we point out that it is killing many people and wasting money with bureaucratic waste as well as costing twice as much per resident as those of the other developed nations which do it right with single payer systems.

I could go on ad nauseum about the distorted facts that we find ourselves having to get straight — the climate and pollution, limited resources being terribly wasted, medical advances being blocked by religious ego-maniacs, etc., etc.

Socrates/Plato in my field faced the same problems — the sophists who sold their arguments to the highest bidders versus the obvious facts and matters of elementary justice.

So it goes — every era has its own breed of greedies as well as those who try to block their attacks on innocent women and children.  A liberal is a person who gives a damn about his/her fellow human beings!

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent  212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
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