Commentary on the so-called Creation/Evolution/Intelligent Design Debate and Right-Wing nuttery in general - and please ignore the typos (I make lots!)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Tammy Bruce's recurring theme

Flicking through the channels last night, I stumbled across a talk being given by Tammy Bruce on 'Youth and Conservatism' at, perhaps, the Reagan Library (I only watched about 10 minutes of it and the location was mentioned, but I did not take note of it, though she did mention the 'several beautiful' pictures of Reagan in the room). I usually don't stop to watch the 'talks' on CSPAN, but I heard something that caught my attention - something about how 'professors' were trying to intimidate conservative students into keeping quiet.

Being a professor, and knowing that in none of my classes does anything political typically come up and knowing that I certainly wish MORE students would speak up during discussions, I thought I'd give this 'talk' more than my usual 30 seconds. The talk was a bit rambling and disjointed, but the gist was that 'liberal' professors were trying to quash conservative ideas; socialism is responsible for all genocides in history; liberals have a deep self-loathing and hatred for this country and all people, including themselves; conservatives are really the majority in this country; liberals want to force conformity on everyone; liberals want to silence those with differing views; etc. OH, and if you didn't think socialism was bad enough already, she took great pains to point out that Hitler was in the National SOCIALIST Worker's Party, therefore, Hitler was clearly a leftist.

And that was just in the 10 minutes or so that I could stomach. I found a number of the claims contradictory, wholly unsupportable by facts, and, frankly, pretty stupid and not at all reflective of anything I have experienced. It seems a common theme for conservatives to attack academia like they do - they don't want their conservative youth to actually realize that not everyone conforms to their ideology, after all - claiming that professors are intolerant liberals and the like. And so many conservatives claim to have been victims of this. Now, I can certainly see that there are classes in which the professor might be a liberal and might express their beliefs, say, certain English classes, Political Science classes, maybe some Philosophy or History classes. But I think in general, one's political philosophy does not really enter into what one's area of research or teaching is, at least not in my experience. I had one adjunct instructor - in an American Government class - who came right out and stated that he was a liberal and that he had worked with various Democratic politicians and the like, so we all knew exactly where he came from. At the beginning of each class, we had about a 15-20 minute 'current events' discussion (these were classes that met twice a week for about 90 minutes), during which he would bring up an issue and let the class discuss it. He tried at every turn to instill his liberalsim into the class, berating conservative students and embarrassing them into submission... Oh, wait, no he didn't. At worst, he brought up counter-points to the conservative students' typically poorly thought out statements (the class, like society in general, was roughly 30% conservative, 30% liberal, the rest in the middle). Most students said very little. There was one non-traditional (i.e., older) female student that sat in the front row and always had some angry conservative retort to anything said, and two 20-something right-wingers that sat in the back next to me. They always had some snide irrelevant barbs to toss out. I distinctly remember one issue that came up - tax-funded abortions. I believe it was a case in which the military would not pay for an abortion (or would, I don't remember the specifics of that issue), and the non-traditional female student was vehemently opposed to her tax money being used to pay for something she did not believe in. The instructor, playing Devil's Advocate, said, "Well what if I'm a pacifist and I don't want my tax money being spent on the B-1 bomber?" (I think I just dated myself there...). Non-trad just clenched her jaw and stared at him - she had no comeback.. Classic...

So, back to the topic - Tammy Bruce then claimed that she has had atheists come up to her and say that considering the beauty and grandeur of everything around us, it is hard to deny that there is something greater than us out there. Yeah, I'm sure that atheists just walk right up to Tammy Bruce all the time and say such things. Anyway, Bruce was busily spewing her 'people on the left hate themselves' gibberish to a sparsely populated hall - which seemed to be about the size of my living room - when I had had enough. I popped in the newest George Carlin DVD that I had rented and laughed for an hour. The contrast was incredible...

This morning, I got to thinking about this person, whom I had never heard of before, yet supposedly has a syndicated radio talk show (don't they all?) on 160 stations, according to the blurb on the CSPAN screen. So, I did some googling and was amazed to discover her history - lesbian, former NOW president, feminist, that, darn it, just seems to have a problem with minorities... and liberals...

And that is not all - she claims (or at least did in 2003) to be a progressive Democrat! And it seems her 'they hate themselves' schtick is old-hat, too. IN 2003, she was claiming that it was black America that hated itself:

According to Bruce, Cosby and Mfume are part of the Black Elite—people who are “motivated, whether consciously or unconsciously, by a deep-rooted hatred for their country and themselves, which leads them to attempt to destroy the future of their own people and, indeed, everyone else.”
These people have no ethics, no morals, and no sense... And ALL of them seem to have a radio talk show.


Jon said...

I go to a large state university in a fairly liberal state, and I've never encountered a professor who was overtly political during lectures, or even in person.

Maybe it's because I'm a math major.

Doppelganger said...

That was my experience, also.

Must be a conservative thing to see libral' bugaboos around every corner.