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Ideas as a Business

October 13, 2021

The election of Ronald Reagan was the culmination of the new President’s striving–three times—for the GOP’s nomination for President. We conservative intellectuals had been striving to be heard for a longer time.

So many obstacles stood in our way if we sought a career in academe: finding a graduate degree program with conservative scholars; taking seven or more years to complete a Ph.D. dissertation; finding employment in Academe and attaining academic tenure.

Others in “the Movement” were solicitous and slowly we saw that we were being recognized, a former movie actor identified as “conservative” was elected Governor of California, wealthy businessmen supported conservative activists, influential “Think Tanks” were founded and, finally, one of our own was elected President of the United States.

I secured a Presidential appointment and for the four years of Reagan’s first term, we conservatives accomplished more than what most “Movements” accomplish. During that time, however, say from 1970 to 1984, I noticed subtle changes in the actions of persons and organizations. Those changes revealed that “the Movement” that had been driven by ideas was now a business.

That is not a complaint.

After all, I had “a great ride” during which I met Russell Kirk, Bill Buckley and even dined with Frederich Hayek. I worked for my local Republican Committee during Nixon’s  campaign for President, saw President Kennedy standing in an open car on 14th Street in DC, worked for Barry Goldwater and was admitted to graduate studies with Gerhart Niemeyer, Eric Voegelin and Fr. Stanley Parry.

But when the end came, and “the Movement” became a business, I had a sense of loss.

As I relate in Ennobling Encounters, those years with Voegelin were transformative because there were others who realized that “Voegelin had done it” by tying together a history of consciousness that revealed a connection between our religious faith and our intellect.

Those of us who encountered Eric Voegelin experienced a conjoining of spiritual and intellectual striving that motivated us to pursue careers in teaching and writing about political philosophy.

We mortal beings are “set in our ways” and in the past most acolytes of Eric Voegelin were “academics,” scholars employed as college teachers

Some of my writings were published in Voegelinview, the online journal of the Voegelin Society. But in the intervening years between Voegelin’s death in 1985 and today, the study of Eric Voegelin’s ideas became a business.  

Though few of my associates with whom I travelled the same road of scholarship are employed as college teachers, and even fewer are members of APSA, the Voegelin Society is led by professional “academics” and annual meetings are designed to attract students of Voegelin to gather together at annual APSA meetings.

When I gave a paper at a Voegelin Society meeting, however, I simply walked in to the room where I was scheduled to speak, presented my analysis of Leo Strauss’ Natural Right and History, and left. Maintaining membership in APSA is expensive and members receive APSA publications filled with insipid essays published for self-advancement.

I can recall only one paper since I was a member of APSA that was worth reading: Martin Diamond’s essay on the Federalist Papers. Professor Diamond died in 1977.

Why, then, continue the Voegelin Society’s connection to APSA?

The reason, I sense, is because Voegelin studies have become a business.

Here are example of panels at the recent Voegelin Society meeting at APSA in Seattle. Imagine Eric Voegelin’s curiosity if he walked the halls of that event and saw that, of thirteen panels, four bear no, or very little, relation to Eric Voegelin:

Panel 3. Civil Religion, International Pluralism, and Statesmanship

Panel 4: Intersecting Themes in Classical Political Thought

Panel 5: Roundtable: Constitutional Stress Tests in an Age of Populism

Panel 11: Political Theory as a Resource for Political Challenges

The eight other panels bear the marks of PoliSci as a profession.

I cannot imagine what a young scholar in his or her late twenties would gain from attending the Seattle meeting of the Voegelin Society at APSA annual meeting.

Moreover, where might he or she have attended graduate school in Government and learned anything of interest? And did he or she expect to find employment at the event’s “Job Mart”?

A Journalism School for Conservatives

October 12, 2021

How many times have you seen the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin described as “conservative.” Perhaps that word describes Rubin’s hatred for conservatives, but not one of her columns or television appearances at MSNBC such as this 2018 interview with “Peril” co-author, Robert Costa, has commented positively on conservatives.

When the Washington Post wants to disseminate insight into what conservatives are thinking or what’s happening from a Republican perspective, the Washington Post turns to Jennifer Rubin, as if  this opinion writer had insights that reflected the reality of conservatives or Republicans.

Rubin is described as a writer “who covers politics and policy, foreign and domestic, and provides insight into the conservative movement, the Republican and Democratic parties, and threats to Western democracies.”

Rubin’s essay in the Post for October 18, 2019 is titled “More bad news for the survival of the Republican Party” as if friends were happy to bring bad, as opposed to good, news. Rubin is a friend of the Left and is a commentator for the most biased cable news service–MSNBC.

But why is Rubin described as an “opinion writer who…provides insight into the conservative movement”?

What is Rubin’s source of “insight into the conservative movement”?  Rubin is described by the Post as “an MSNBC contributor, [who] came to The Post after three years with Commentary magazine.”

Ah, there’s the slim reed of alleged conservatism!

Commentary magazine–which had close ties to former defenders of Leon Trotsky against Stalin and was ridden to political influence during the George W. Bush Administration by neoconservatives,  including Norman Podhoretz, Irving Kristol and other former Democrats.

Political or Social conservative Rubin is not, so why does the Post suggest that working for Commentary gives her special insight into the world of conservatives? It’s all a pretense.

Rubin is a female conservative impersonator.

Rubin’s impersonation of a political conservative gives focus to the need for cleansing of “Journalism” programs of “Communication” at American colleges and universities. See section 2 in my essay titled “Why America is in decline…and what to do about it.”

Paul Weyrich attempted precisely that when he founded National Empowerment Television. My new book, Ennobling Encounters, features Paul Weyrich and the small role I played in fostering that idea.

Bright young college-educated conservatives were employed at NET and learned video programming, production, and the skills that support television programming. Today, there is no track like that which guarantees a job in media for political conservatives; you have to create your own.

One way to do that is to become active in your college’s radio station and parlay that experience into an entry level job at a local radio or TV station. Better, NewsMax should provide training to political conservatives seeking careers in cable media.

Or the new Thales College in North Carolina could feature a journalism degree program.

Other than that, good luck–and don’t let potential employers know that you like Susan Ferrechio or Mollie Hemingway.

“Distance” vs Classroom Learning

October 12, 2021

My history of my attempt to reform higher education was published in 2017. My use of the Internet to offer college level courses for degree credit revealed how different online instruction is from classroom instruction. What I learned in 2000 the Covid-19 pandemic has forced all American higher education to learn. This essay by the National Observer’s Higher Education editor was sent to me by Jameson Campaigne and is an indication of how far Online learning has adjusted to Internet-delivered instruction.

End of the Republic

October 7, 2021

The American Democrat Party believes that its slim majority in the U.S. House and Senate and control of the White House authorizes it to institute radical measures that further solidify the administrative State. Democrat Party “Progressives” dislike what Ben Wattenberg memorialized in 1974 as The Real America. The America Democrat “Progressives” and Joe Biden like is the world of “experts” who administer government agencies.

Their rejection of the Trump Administration—brief and flawed though it was–would not have occurred had there not been a transition from “Internationalism” to “Nationalism.”

The choice by Republicans of Dwight Eisenhower over U.S. Senator Robert Taft (R-OH) as the Republican candidate for President at the 1952 Republican National Convention assured continued domination of American politics by a stream of Internationalists from John Kennedy to Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43, and Obama.

Ronald Reagan, a “Conservative” continued transmission of this series of erroneous judgments when he chose George H. W. Bush as his running mate in the 1980 election. Just as the hearts of political conservatives were broken in 1952, twenty-eight years later, Conservatives cried like babies when Gov. Paul Laxalt was passed over in favor of George H. W. Bush.

Continuing a stream of Internationalists from Bush 41 to Jimmy Carter through Bush 43, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama was shattered by the election of Donald Trump who proposed a return to traditional order and a revitalized American nationalism. Trump’s grave personal limitations and flawed character by a wealthy playboy playing in politics assures that the end of the Republic will begin in January 2025.

Don’t blame Trump.

The blame must be placed on NY Governor Thomas Dewey who engineered Eisenhower’s victory over Taft, Richard Nixon’s choice of Gerald Ford as his Vice President, Ronald Reagan’s choice of Bush 41 over Paul Laxalt. The chain of errors leading to the end of the Republic is Dewey, Nixon, Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43, Obama and Biden.