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.
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.
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
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
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."
columnist continues at length, analyzing his topic in detail. He
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