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January 19, 2006

Right Wing v. Left Wing College

A friend at DePaul University alerted me to a problem being experienced on her campus: conservative students, armed with activist training are creating turmoil and the people they are tormenting seem to be responding like textbook liberals. I don't know enough about the situation at DePaul to say anymore about it, but my friend pointed me to this really interesting article, "My Right Wing Degree," by Jeff Horwitz on Salon that explains this phenomenon.

I'm particularly intrigued that everyone uses the term "Leadership Institute," or some variation of that. I attended a Leadership Institute for union organizing. I kept bumping my head against the union's emphasis on This Election and This Win and This Crisis. While I agree that there is a shockingly low number of Americans in unions, I don't think the way to increase union membership working in crisis mode 24/7. Instead, I appreciate the groundswell approach of Morton Blackwell's LI. I think the right is effective because they play the game of politics; the left is ineffective because they either appeal constantly to Higher Truths or get stuck in the mud, reacting to meaningless drivel of the day. Obviously, lack of union representation is not meaningless drivel; but failure to think long term is a problem for most progressives.

Will you join me in changing this? Think more long term; take time to pay attention to world affairs that aren't the top of broadcast news programs. And let's figure out how to keep ourselves sane in this insane world by not getting outraged by every single thing that happens.

Posted by cj at January 19, 2006 9:44 PM


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