31 July 2006

Notes from "conservative boot camp"

Kids these days. Back when I was in college, we just, you know, slept around a lot. Nowadays, they're more interested in studying Russell Kirk and debating the war in Iraq. (Though "debate" is a strong word, since it's not like there are opposing viewpoints.)

At the Ronald Reagan Leadership Academy, run by Young America’s Foundation, our precious young minds are getting the education they can't in our lib'r'l skools. They get lectures from such leading lights as Donald Devine, head of government personnel in the Reagan administration:

Arguing for private property, Mr. Devine, the lecturer, noted “there are bums all over here” downtown, and “they sit on public property, not private property.” He lamented the prosecution of Kenneth Lay, the late Enron executive convicted of fraud, by asking, “Do you think it’s possible for a rich person to get justice in the U.S. today?”
With such artful and accomplished speakers, we can only hope for more great College Republicans coming up through the ranks in the future. Geniuses like Matthew McCorkle who shows an obvious appreciation of the roots of western civilization:

“Now we’re fighting a war in Iraq, and people say it isn’t our business,” Ms. Lightle said. “I have this core belief — that the true state of man is free — and the best way we have to be free so far is through democracy.”

“Kirk just nailed it on the head,” she said.

Matthew McCorkle had doubts. “The way President Bush has phrased it — ‘If you support terror we’ll take you out and install a democracy’ — may be biting off more than you can chew,” he said.

Mr. McCorkle, a junior at Hillsdale College in Michigan, countered with a different Kirk book, “The Roots of American Order,” which traces the roots of American civilization to ancient Jerusalem and Rome.

“My impression is that Iraq doesn’t have those roots,” Mr. McCorkle said. “We’re dealing with a sapling here.”

Maybe if they read some Plato, Cato, or anyone other than the modern conservative canon, little Matty McC might understand exactly where and when civilization started. Should an all-growed-up version of Matty want to debate whether the political soil of the Fertile Crescent proved to be arable for liberal democracy or not, he'd have legs to stand on if he could reference more than one modern philosopher.