Skube op-ed piece
runs in Washington Post

 

An opinion article by Michael Skube, an assistant professor in the School of Communications, was carried in the Sunday, April 20, edition of The Washington Post.

Skube's article, titled "If Liberalism's Such a Dead Horse, Why Beat It?," was also a topic of conversation the same weekend on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" program. Viewers of the program called to talk about the provocative article that discusses the fall of liberalism and the rise of conservatism in America.

The column begins: "No one in American public life has become so much a pariah, so ready a punching bag, as the liberal. He can trace his lineage to Franklin D. Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln (a Republican, no less) and Thomas Jefferson all he wants. He's still a libril, and for that reason hounded from elective office, hammered on talk radio and - as if injury needed insult - hung out to dry in best-selling books.

"The titles and subtitles of these volumes betray more than an adversarial point of view. They drip with bile. A sampling: 'Useful Idiots: How Liberals Got It Wrong in the Cold War and Still Blame America First.' 'Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right.' 'Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty Over Liberalism.'

"Liberalism's crowning achievement was the New Deal and its last hurrah the Great Society. But those were decades ago, when the Democratic Party's liberalism reflected the values and hopes of most Americans. In the years since, it has drifted - sometimes willfully - ever farther from the American middle class. It has become easy sport for barrel-chested pundits to take careful aim at the barn door, and knock off for the day. To be a liberal in America today, you might think, is not to be an American at all. As one conservative has written, there are Americans and there are liberals. Which is to say: If you are American - a real American - then, by definition, you are conservative."

The columnist continues at length, analyzing his topic in detail. He concludes:

"The same contempt and hubris that did liberals grave harm now is reflected back at them. With the tables turned, conservatives of a certain stripe are proving themselves as capable of ignorance as anyone in the faculty lounge."

Skube is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for criticism. He continues to write freelance columns for a number of the nation's most widely read print publications.

 

 

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Last Modified:  4/23/03
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