I Love You but You Didn’t Do the Reading

From “creationist” neo-confederates to whiskey-drinkin tooth-pullers, this week had it all. Here are some of the articles that riled us:

Is there an intellectual wing to Trumpism? Daniel McCarthy reviews some conservative contenders at American Conservative.

Should college students have to PAY for speakers they disagree with? Hechinger looks at the fight over mandatory student fees.

Wow! Whatta week for in-depth profiles of ILYBYGTH personalities:

John Kelly’s comments generated a lot of culture-war heat.Bart reading bible

Does THIS count as school segregation? Or is it just a reasonable attempt to reward good behavior?

Ouch. The Nation profiles the painful lengths people go to in Tennessee when they lack dental insurance. Spoiler: It includes “pliers, chisels, and whiskey.”

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  1. Some Canadian tabloids run stories like that home-dentistry tale in their back pages, creating a weird impression of the rural US that’s comparable to Lagos. They’re not really wrong.

    McCarthy fails to mention Anton’s vocal anti-semitism and history with Kristol, which is a pretty big deal. Also notable for ILYBYGTH readers: Claremont and the West Coast Straussians have long been known for radical homophobia as almost a pillar of their political philosophies. (See Jeet Heer’s articles on the WCSes and Harry V. Jaffa in the New Republic.) Additionally, R. J. Rushdoony’s financier, spiritual heir, noted homophobe, and primary backer of “Intelligent Design” Howard Ahmanson, has long been a member of the Claremont board.

    Lacking any kind of coherence on the so-called “American “Left,” for the foreseeable future McCarthy’s own inchoate vision of a “postmodern conservatism” might be the least worst political ideology, so expect the media and academe to fawn over it like they did the evangelicals and neocons. (Which is how we got to the present.)

    Also not noted: Modern Age and similar ISI-related publications emanating from the Regnery family fortune and ideological bequest harbored nationalists and apologists for fascism like Paul Gottfried for many years. William H. Regnery II, Gottfried, and Richard Spencer are the money and idea men of the alt-right, all products of the paleoconservative right that imagines it is having its moment now, after 60-70 years of effort.

    Here’s the light Evolution/Education political drama of the week in Canada: Trudeau’s new Governor-General (a nonpartisan ceremonial office representing the queen as titular head of state) is a Québecoise astronaut who mocked creationism, astrology, and climate change denial in her first major speech. Conservatives may have a hard time selling the next federal election as a Flight 93 election, but ethnicity, religion, and nationalist/internationalist values remain unsettled things open to political agitation without Canadian discourse about the nation’s identity and future.


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