TCS Daily

Cold War on Campus

By Herbert London - June 5, 2008 12:00 AM

In order to fulfill the requirements for a major in history at Northwestern University, my daughter took a course called "The Cold War At Home." As one might imagine in the hothouse of the college system, left wing views predominate. The students read Ellen Shrecker, not Ronald Radosh. Joseph McCarthy has been transmogrified into Adolf Hitler. And victimology stands as the overarching theme of the course.

Communists in the United States are merely benign civil rights advocates and union supporters. The word espionage never once crossed the lips of the instructor.

An extraordinary amount of time and energy has been devoted to the "lavender persecution" - harm imposed on gay Americans. Presumably, this group was more adversely affected by McCarthy's allegations than others.

Despite the recent scholarship on the period such as Alan Weinstein's well researched book on Alger Hiss or Stanton Evans' biography of Senator McCarthy, views that do not fit the prevailing orthodoxy aren't entertained. Pounded into students is the view that America engaged in "totalitarian practices" not unlike the Soviet enemy we decried.

Although the course is entitled the Cold War at Home, you might think the instructor would be inclined to ask who the enemy is, why was the Soviet Union an enemy and what tactics did this nation employ against us. But these issues are not addressed.

Class session after class session was devoted to the drum beat of criticism. I asked my daughter if she read anything about Gus Hall and the American Communist Party or if she ever heard of I.F. Stone or if any time was devoted to the Venona tapes. She looked at me perplexed.

There is only one theme: the U.S. government was wrong; there wasn't any justification for harassing communists and Edward R. Murrow and Victor Navasky are the real heroes in this period.

Needless to say the historical story of that time is nuanced. McCarthy was over the top, but communists of the Alger Hiss variety did insinuate themselves into key positions in the State Department. Not every communist in the U.S. was a threat to national security, but many were and some gave military secrets to the Soviet Union.

Victor Navasky attacked Elia Kazan for naming names in Hollywood, but as Kazan saw it, he was protecting artistic freedom from communist handlers who wanted to approve every line in a film script.

Looking back, it is not so easy to describe heroes and villains, unless, of course, the instructor responds reflexively to the standard left wing agenda.

Here is the rub. I don't mind having my daughter exposed to the jejune interpretation of Navasky apologists. What I do mind is the lack of balance - the unwillingness to consider another point of view.

When I suggested that she should write her final paper on the role of anti communist liberals such as Sidney Hook, Irving Kristol, Stephen Spender, Midge Decter, among others, my daughter said "my instructor doesn't admire these people and I don't want to jeopardize a good grade by writing about them." So much for open discussion.

Of course, the condition I described is not atypical. Courses in the soft disciplines have become propagandistic exercises as instructors have arrogated to themselves the role of moral arbiters. Invariably the United States is wrong; our historical role in the Cold War malevolent and civil liberties were put at risk by demagogic politicians.

I can only wonder what historical scholarship will look like in a generation as my daughter's brainwashed cohorts enter the ranks of the professoriate.



This kind of dovetails off the points I was trying to make on Hollywood and their inability to do accurate history. This is the type of total revisionist non-sense I so despise.

Was old Joe over the top - yes; was he wrong - not really. Watch some Hollywood jerk take the high points from this class and turn it into a "historical documentary" movie.

In the 50's 60's and 70's the Communist threat was real. Just as, in this present decade, the Muslim extremist threat is real. In both cases there was no question that something needs (needed) to be done about the threat, the question then and now is what should be done? How do we deal with it?

As for colleges, I've come to the conclusion that my kids need to stay as far away from a "Liberal Arts" college as possible. There is no education there anymore, just indoctrination.

Old News
A keen insight into the ideological swampland that is the American university (primarily Liberal Arts depts) atmosphere, but unfortunately it's old news -- particularly to those of us who happened to wade into that mire first hand. Perhaps the experience of Mr. London's daughter at Northwestern was a chilling reality check recently brought home to him, but my gosh -- Dinesh D'Souza trod this ground ten years ago in his insightful "Illiberal Education" expose. And anyone following David Horowitz' efforts with his Academic Freedom initiatives is well aware of the uphill battle to be found on that front.

I respectfully disagree
It will take a lot of sacrifice by a lot of people to undo this mess. I don't know if the present crop has the integrity and desire to make the sacrifice. The daughters answer is exactly the problem and has nothing to do with conservative or liberal upbringing; it has to do with principals and whether or not the individual is willing to stand on theirs and back them up.

No, neither situation is all that new, but it has gotten progressively worse. In recent years (The past decade) my brother, sister and a nephew have all butted heads with this attitude by professors where, if you disagree with them, you run the risk of failure in the class, or at least a serious hit on your GPA. All were in their second or third year, all bucked them anyway, all survived knock to their GPA but learned there is no money in bucking the odds and never did it again.

So what are we teaching at Universities? It isn't how to think critically or how to think for yourself, it is pure indoctronation into liberal thinking.

And, sad to say, it isn't just in "Liberal Arts" classes, or more to the point non-manditory electives. It is permeiating throughout the college establishment.

The only way to change the system is either through whole masses of students protesting this kind of thing, refusing to take these type of classes and generally making it very unpleasant for the university to tollerate this. The only other way is through constant outside harassment.

Unfortunately, it seems, the liberals doing this presently have both avenues covered. Most of those non-liberals who would protest are too serious about their grades and what it potentially means to their post-college worklife to fight. The rest love this crap. And they have the "freedom of speech" and "academic freedom" to protect them from most legal actions.

No, this time change of direction is going to be difficult. All I can say is check out the schools and send your kids to a conservative college, or at least a conservative department within the university.

Culture War Battlefront
>"Children should be taught that it is possible to stand up to an authority figure..."

In the culture war arena, Gramsci's "long march through the institutions" has simply been a remarkably effective tactic, perpetuating a safehouse for Marxist true believers wherein their ideological indoctrination can work wonders on the easily-influenced natures of young, idealistic students. Tenured leftist professors unaccountable to (and contemptuous of) the workings of the "real" world outside the faculty break room provide near unrivaled influence over uninformed youngsters who view their instructors as intellectual authority figures. Taking advantage of most students' inherent naivete is the tenured leftist's stock-in-trade, so perhaps the notion that parents should help prepare their children with the ability to question "authority" is a worthwhile one.

Was it Ginsburg who promised "We'll get you through your children"? We're seeing the institutionalized effects of that strategy playing out before our very eyes, and I certainly do wish more parents would arm their college-bound young Johnny's and Julie's with a healthy dose of principled skepticism. However, parents of a leftist bent are quite happy with the state of higher education, so they're pleased that Ward Churchill et. al. are dutifully instilling their offspring with ideological armaments against The Man. Thus, the battle lines are drawn.

Probably off topic
I saw the new Indiana Jones movie last weekend.

In the opening scene we have a bunch of communist agents, including one who was a high ranking American General.
These spies break into the most secret base in the US, and make off with a valueable artifact. Killing dozens of soldiers along the way.

In the next scene, we have a college president complaining about all the paranoia regarding communists.

Cognitive dissonence hits maximum.

What happens when ...
The author wonders what's going to happen when the proffessariat is inhabited by collegians who have been steeped in this one sided history of the US.

Too late.

This opinion matches no conservative parents or children that I have ever met (or liberals either)
In every household with which I am familiar, children are taught to respect authority, but not to never question it.

There is a big difference between the two positions.

On the other hand, it's children of liberals who are taught to never question the pronouncements of their parents.

I have had little input in the hiring process
But in many cases, I would take someone who worked up through the ranks over a liberal arts college grad.

In my opinion, a liberal arts degree is at best worthless.

I disagee too.
What is you basis for your bigoted comment about children of conservative parents?

My son asks questions of his high school English teacher to clarify the question. She takes offense, especially when he points out she is less than clear in her writing. That is only one example, but if she were true to her profession, she would welcome questions, especially for clarity.

As for costing students grade points, whey you have to pay hundreds of dollars for bulls**t courses to graduate with a real degree, say in engineering, you do what you need to do for the grade and keep your mouth shut. A BS physics friend had to suffer through a women's studies course for an elective to graduate. He told me it was a course in hating men. He kept his mouth shut to graduate. Some academic freedom! This was at the University of AZ, a large university.

Not off topic
Just older history. The communists are not the threat now, but they certainly could be again in the future.

is much too strong a word.


Very true mark
I have had a lot of of input in the hiring process at a couple of different kinds of businesses. Generally, if applicable, you hire someone with a specific education in that field. However, in certain areas where no degree directly applies, you look for the best candidate. Here is where that Liberal Arts degree can get you the job. However, that will not (and has not) happen(ed) if I'm on the hiring committee.

But it isn't the liberal arts degree that is the problem as no one has given that particular sheepskin any credit for a long time. It is the fact that many of these classes are manditory to get a degree in History, Education, and even electronics or graphic design.

The problem, as I see it, is that many of these classes started out as pure electives. As such the teacher has absolute freedom in what they taught and how they taught it. Kids took these courses to fill out their credit requirements and because they were often amusing. A bad grade didn't really affect them and could even be removed from their transcript. Now some of those classes are manditory to some specific degrees, but the "loose" format and instructor independence remains.

Some of the worst degree fields to enter these days are: Teaching (Education degree with course specality), English or language (because of the requirement for creative writing and literature "electives"), History (especially areas of Political Sciences) and, worst of all, Journalism (the entire cirriculum is often left-biased).

so true
The battle lines are thusly drawn. The question is why?

Shouldn't teachers try to be as neutral as they can and let the students think for themselves? Shouldn't they be exploring the facts surround these subjects and presenting both sides? Shouldn't term papers be able to take any side of the argument and be graded on their own merits?

If not the college is not educating.

She pretty sure of herself.
" a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices;"

Providing such statements about conservatives without proof certainly suggests a serious prejudice.

What if she said the same for blacks?

Odd the difference a few years make
You and I aren't that far apart in age, yet I grew up in a moderately conservative family that actually bent Democrat… until Carter. Their parents were more conservative. Yet my grandparents attended college (both of them) encourage their kids to do so and All of my siblings and most of my cousins have, at minimum, an associates degree in some field. We have acquired everything from an AS in electronics technical to a doctorate in psychology.

All three generations were taught to "stand for something or risk falling for anything" and to question authority, but only when we had grounds to do so (evidence in facts proving them wrong [or at least questioning their premise], in response to an attack on our moral foundation, denegration of our heritage, etc.). But we were also taught that a person in "authority" or who was an "authority" on a subject had earned their position. Therefore, unless you have grounds to question them, you sit and learn from them.

As a teen I seldom questioned authority, but on those occasions when I did, I won because I adhered to that family foundation. However, the only reason I won, was that I never accepted the teacher's "final word". I took it to their boss or forced them to take me to the principal (Sheriff, County Commissioner, etc. Seldom is a relative thing and I was a busy kid!).

My family also had another principal rule, "pick your battles and, if possible, the field of engagement". This has served me well my whole life. There have been many a battle I could have fought but let pass because it was the wrong fight, place or time. Some I went back and took on later, most I just ignored.

So it is obvious to me that your personal frame of reference is paramount to your preception of these things. As Obi-Wan said, "you will find a great deal of what you hold true depends on your point-of-view."

As to the rest of your post, I hope you nail the idiot(s)!

Quite right . . .
. . . all of those "shoulds" are ligitimate, but any objective analysis of the ideological dogmas permeating higher education clearly shows them not to be expected (although there are of course exceptions).

The answer to why the situation exists essentially boils down to an established tenure system which promotes ideological cocooning and a haven from accountability to the university "customers" (i.e., students and their parents who are footing the bill).

Roger Kimball's "Tenured Radicals: How Politics has Corrupted our Higher Education" is an excellent read on the subject.

thank you
I will try and get the book!

that is too true
but liberal or conservative, some parents are tyrants; a situation I've found more amongst otherwise "liberal" parents. They cannot be questioned by their kids. Often these kids are either withdrawn in school or little monsters who know their parents will back them up no matter what.

Children of conservative tyrants tend to be reserved and respectful rather than withdrawn; you seldom find them confronting teachers or any authority figure because they know the parent, when called in, will side with the teacher.

Most kids have parents, whether liberal or conservative, that try to instill discipline while keeping communication open. It is a very tough tight-rope to walk. More often than not, with teens and young adults, it is they who close down communication with their parents, either out of fear of disappointing them or out of rebellion.

No matter how strict a teacher or authority figure is, kids will respond differently than they will with their parents.

One more thing, if you actually got through to the parent, I will give big odds they where the type that had always tried to keep the communication going and really cared. If not, they would have laid into you like a hungry grizzly into a school of salmon!

Chrisitians are horrible people.
How many Christians do you know that are perfect? I don't know any so all Christians must be horrible people because the Christians I know fail to live up the standards of their philosophy.

That is the same logic you apply to conservatives.

Socialism is the threat.
There always seem to be people who want to control someone else's life, not just their own. When too many gain the power of the state to use force to control my life, the danger manifests.

Until the majority can be reduced to a significant minority, the threat persists.

That was nasty?
I reviewed it three times and couldn't find a single comment I would call nasty.

I disagreed with your major point, and left it there.

so your parents represent all conservatives in your mind????
It's really sad that your hatred of the people who limited you in your youth has caused you to close your mind so thoroughly.

Maybe you should define 'conservative'.
I am from a conservative county and state that elected George McGovern and Tom Daschle. The state is also trying to ban the murder of unborn babies.

The state also ranked rather high in standardized tests in spite of low per pupil spending.

SAT scores:

SD is sixth, KS is 7th, even MS is in the top 25.

Liberal Maine is 50th, HI is 48.

Your conservative correlation to education is not holding up to evidence.

What would be the point of taking such courses?
Joanie-- I haven't had much inspiration these past couple of months to offer anything much in the way of a response here. But your excellent comment has started me thinking.

First, I wonder what the point would be for a student to enroll in a course where rote politico-social dogmas were being promulgated. If the point is merely to make an "A", certainly the broader point would be so the student could start a career in some field where this "A" was worth something. And if one didn't agree with the dogma, why bother?

It would be like an atheist taking endlessly disagreeable theology courses. If the only field this area of study equips one for is to be a Doctor of Divinity or a priest, what would be the atheist/student's point in undertaking such a field of study?

I can only see the enduring of such ignorantly taught courses to be of value to (a)the student who plans to follow slavishly in the professor's footsteps and some day teach the same material, or (b)the student who is there to ***** the professor's thought processes.

And if he or she gets devalued in the form of a low grade, he gets to go through the school's departmental upper levels, demanding a review of his grade and a proper day in court for his POV.

This kind of approach, it seems to me, would be of inestimable value should the student be aiming toward a career in the foreign service, or in some august think tank. I, for one, would instantly hire a bright young star who fought the system intelligently in the service of his or her beliefs, over a drone who could at best only transcribe the thought processes of his instructor, in the service of an "A".

I also think history is getting short-sheeted by the notion that the leftward tilt of many social studies departments in modern universities is some kind of irreversible catastrophe that has occured. If we recall back in the fifties, nearly every college course-- outside of CUNY at least-- was being taught by conventional solid responsible conservative types.

Then Vietnam happened. And the philosophy being taught was suddenly made irrelevant by reality. It was a revolution not unlike that in the field of geology, after the principle of sea-floor spreading had become established. All of a sudden the students couldn't be made to swallow the old medicine any more.

So all reading my words here, be of good cheer! All we need is some kind of historical occurrence that fully repudiates the philosophies of the lefties, and the universities will turn toward the right for another generation. So far, though, that doesn't seem to be happening.

Or, one can feel free to send one's progeny to Bob Jones U, where they will be taught that the earth never evolved but was made to God's design specifications-- probably by elves. Thus preparing the little buggers for a career in... what?

All kidding aside, it would behoove EVERY young person taking a dumb course taught by some dumb professor to set the fellow straight, and to take his thesis to the equivalent of the school's Supreme Court for a proper ruling. That right, to me, upholds the true value of an education.

The indoctrination will be mandatory
Marjon, you're telling us "A BS physics friend had to suffer through a women's studies course for an elective to graduate. He told me it was a course in hating men. He kept his mouth shut to graduate. Some academic freedom!"

Are you sure? I've just been all over the U-AZ website looking at elective requirements from their engineering school:

...and I don't see a thing stating students are required to take a course in man-hating, in the fulfillment of their BS requirements. It may be that your friend is playing this up for more than it is worth.

If he didn't like the course, maybe he should have exchanged it during drop-add week for one in art history, or music appreciation. These are the traditional choices for non-field related slam dunk subjects. He just thought "women's studies" sounded easy to pass.

What's available
You take what's available to graduate. If you need a 3 hr humanities course to graduate next semester and that's all there is, or something even worse, you take it.

That's the reality of 'higher' education.

This was the requirement and choices: Diversity Emphasis Courses
"Diversity Emphasis Courses: Gender, Race, Class,
Ethnicity, Sexual Orientation or Non-Western Area Studies
SELECT FROM: AFAS 222 ,255 ,302 ,304A,304B,306 ,
AFAS 315 (SP06 OR AFTER),340 ,342 ,365 ,381 ,
AFAS 444 (FA03 OR AFTER) A ED 408 ANTH 202 ,203 ,
ANTH 205 ,206 ,307 OR ANTV 307
ANTH 314 (FA07 OR AFTER),316 ,320 ,
ANTH 375 (FA07 OR AFTER) ARH 203 CHN 251 ,275 ,
CHN 276 ,331 ,340 ,341 ,419 ,420 ,429 ,430 ,431 ,
CHN 443 ,468 ,475A,475B,475D,475E,482 ,483 ,495A
CLAS 362 EAS 130 ,333 ,345 ,350 ,445 ,452 ,487A,
EAS 487B,496C FREN 245 ,249 GEOG 210 ,251 ,369 ,
GEOG 413 GER 274 ,278 ,373 ,376 HIST 253 ,254 ,
HIST 489 HUMS 260 ,333 ,365 ,370 ,420
ITAL 330B,330D JPN 220 ,245 ,272 ,304 ,310 ,311 ,
JPN 396H,402 ,411 ,412 ,446A,446B,447A,447B,485 ,
JPN 486 ,489 ,495B,496A,496C JUS 370A,370B,372A,
JUS 372B LING 210 MAS 265 ,365 ,375 MUS 109 ,
MUS 334 ,337 ,344 NES 277A,330 ,334 ,
POL 330 ,332 ,334 ,335 ,441 ,464 ,468 ,476 OR
POLV 476 POL 478 ,487A RELI 210 RSSS 315 ,328 ,
RSSS 350 SOC 222 ,260 ,280 ,324 ,427 ,450 ,459 ,
SOC 467 SPAN 210 TRAD 101
UNVR 310 (FA06 OR AFTER),315 (FA07 OR AFTER)
W S 200 ,210 ,240 "

And it was Physics, not engineering.

paranoia and delusions
1) I never told you that I have a bad temper. That was your presumption based on the fact that I disagreed with you without using lots of pretty words to hide the fact.

2) The hatred is plain from your choices of adjectives and your eagerness to blame all conservatives for the alledged failures of your parents.

3) Now conservatives are stalking you. Hmm, do they use space ships and can they read your mind when you aren't wearing your aluminum foil hat?

How about 1 and 2?
How do you know your 'stalker' is conservative?

School issues
I had similar experiences in collage. Some professors will let you put forth an alternative idea and other will not even tolerate it. I ended up changing my graduate major because of this issue. Just so happen that the professor that I tried to have a discussion with was also the head of the department. He did not like me bringing up alternative information, even when I had other professors backing me with the idea. The end was that I had to change majors because he basically told me that “he was the teacher and I was the student and I would never pass”.

Those are some good choices
Omigod! There are a lot of great courses in that list. Your friend just chose very poorly.

He'd have benefitted from taking anthropology, or sociology, or languages, or history, or geography. And he wouldn't even have necessarily wasted his time taking music or philosophy. What he did was to choose a dumb course and not drop it while he still had the time.

The idea behind these humanities requirements is to somehow craft a well rounded personality, and not just a competent research scientist. Before such a requirement was put into place the tech schools churned out a lot of wonkish types who were always fiddling with their slide rules instead of having a life. University heads saw a need to change that, and to mainstream their tech students.

Not necessarily a good idea. If such people are more comfortable with numbers, I say let them keep their numbers and forget about the rest of the human race. We would just distract them, with our inane pastimes.

I guess you haven't been to university lately.

Sometimes there few real choices as popular courses fill up fast.

And when you need those three bull s**t credits to graduate, you do what you must.

They used to be called "bad professors"
Your story just shows there are still a lot of "old school" teachers out there, who see their mission as the pounding of great ideas into empty heads. I had my share of those back in 1960, and I guess I figured in time they would just grow old and fade away.

And I didn't bother to complain. I just suffered their courses and gave them what they wanted. Resistance would have been useless.

The distinction, I believe, is that today the question has become deeply politicised. People like David Horowitz are making their living bemoaning the evil liberals in education. And now, of course, the even more evil Muslims. It's a plot, he tells you.

It used to just be crabby old coots who had tenure, spouting off about their favorite fixed ideas to a captive audience that couldn't complain.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Not for the past 45 years or so
"I guess you haven't been to university lately.

"Sometimes there few real choices as popular courses fill up fast."

The school was offering about forty choices for an elective. Women's Studies was the best your friend could find?

Who today doesn't know what such courses are going to be like? If he didn't want the predictable lessons of the women's movement drummed into his head he should have opted for anthropology. It holds a lot of appeal for scientifically inclined people, as it affords them a chance to study the behaviors of their fellow humans as though they were bugs in a terrarium.

I can see how a certain kind of person would be repelled by the idea of women and equality. It's a concept they should not be forced to endure. :)

Ask him.
If you don't believe me, I can put you in touch with him.

Oddly enough, I majored in Physics at a Jesuit University. We had to take philosophy and all sorts of humanities. However, the difference was the material offered was classical in origin and the idea to invoke critical thought. There was no emphasis on all this useless crap like today. Womens studies? I picked up a womens studies book one off a desk and randomly started reading it. Basically it was about how all sex is rape and so on. It was utter trash.
Liberalism is not subject to critical thinking, if it were it would not have to be shoved down the throats of students, it would be part of a larger debate. The left stifles debate. To disagree is to be punished. Free thinking on the left means agreeing. I remember a few ultra left professors and I for one refused to cooperate in the indoctrination. I was actually forced to take a class over because I refused to accept this professors warped views of reality. I was 21 then and I refused to be a sheep. I often wonder though, why so many are today. We have had 50 years of liberal thought and look at this nation.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Socialism does not work, never has and never will.
Apparently the left is insane?

Haha, Bob Jones? So because leftist ideology prevails in higher learning it must be right since it has not been repudiated by history? Hasn't it?

OK, perhaps you can show me how leftist ideology has benefited anyone? You see the nation today. Are there less poor? Has welfare ended the ghettos? Would blacks perhaps be better off had we left them to their own? How has enslavement to the state made them better? Instead you have bred Obamas and Wrights. Bitter hate mongers and other lunatics who seek to destroy the culture and fabric of this nation.
It is amazing. No matter how badly socialism has failed it must continue because "we are the ones we have been waiting for".

It is like a bad play. A tragic comedy. It would be funny if not for the misery that it spreads.
One final note, if leftist are so open minded, so tolerant, so enlightened then I wonder why they constantly feel the need to stifle debate, to silence the opposition? Why do liberals get so angry when confronted? Could it be that they have little faith in their core beliefs? Could it be that the are afraid they are wrong?

Great professors like Ward Churchill?

Sex is rape
He told me that was part of the class.

Facts mess with utopian visions
" The media have been crucial to Barack Obama's whole candidacy. His only achievements of national significance in his entire career have been media achievements and rhetorical achievements.

Perhaps his greatest achievement has been running as a candidate with an image wholly incompatible with what he has actually been doing for decades. This man who is now supposedly going to "unite" us has for years worked hand in glove, and contributed both his own money and the taxpayers' money, to people who have sought to divide us in the most crude demagogic ways.

With all his expressed concern about the war in Iraq, he has not set foot in Iraq for more than two years-- including the very years when progress has been made against the terrorists there.

You don't need to know the facts when you have cocky ignorance and the media behind you."

Typical 'liberal'.

Or when the inmates take over the asylum: Antioch College
"Antioch is about social justice, he said, not making money, so the college should have stayed the institution’s top priority. “Of course it’s a struggle” for the college to manage financially, he said. “But it’s always a struggle to be a liberal arts college and to do some radical things for education.”"

Too bad those tenured professors didn't donate their time for social justice.

The distorting lens of one's fixed opinions
So good to hear from you, dbt. But your post contains many more errors than facts. For instance

"Haha, Bob Jones?"

Nope. Not Bob Jones. Roy Bean.

"So because leftist ideology prevails in higher learning it must be right since it has not been repudiated by history? Hasn't it?"

Never said a thing about that. If you look back over my several posts here, you'll see they are all ideologically neutral. I'm favoring neither side, but advocating balance and fresh thinking for old problems.

As for history? Too soon to say. Right now we're all the way to the Right... and I don't see things getting any better for most people.

"OK, perhaps you can show me how leftist ideology has benefited anyone? You see the nation today. Are there less poor?"

What is demonstrable is that when the government turned toward the left, in 1932, income equality began to increase. Which, if you were rich, is bad. And when the government turned toward the right, in 1968, the income gap began to widen-- which it continues to do today. Which, if you're not rich, is bad.

There are ample metrics available to demonstrate these trends.

"Has welfare ended the ghettos?"

Welfare was cancelled, back in 1994. Welfare ended, except for limited periods of assistance... which is why they now call it Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, or TANF. Unless you think we should eliminate food stamps and unemployment insurance.

"It [meaning socialism] would be funny if not for the misery that it spreads."

There's no necessary correlation between misery and ideology. In Zimbabwe you could fairly call it socialist misery. But in the rest of the poverty-laden Fourth World, what's making people go hungry is good old fashioned speculation on crop futures. In other words, capitalism.

You should look this up (but won't).

"One final note, if leftist are so open minded, so tolerant, so enlightened then I wonder why they constantly feel the need to stifle debate, to silence the opposition?"

Again, look at my comments. I don't say all leftists are open minded. In fact implicitly I talk about narrow minded profs of either persuasion. Your problem is you read what you think you're reading, not what's actually being written.

"Why do liberals get so angry when confronted?"

Do I sound angry? Really? I actively encourage debate-- as you well know.

Choosing the lesser evil
Yes, I can see you would feel threatened by a President Obama.

But would you really rather be ruled by someone who provided aid and comfort to an enemy in time of war, in exchange for favorable medical treatment? We do, after all, have Defense Department documents transcribing the broadcasts John M made for Hanoi, and the interviews he gave to French Communists.

And the people who hate him most aren't lefty peaceniks. They're his fellow Vietnam Vets-- the POW-MIA crowd.

Look it up. Don't forget to download the actual documents.

Man Haters
I think womens studies are basically either frustrated or ugly women who are bitter they can't get laid.

But then again, maybe Obama can create hope of change for bitter angry feminist.

I will trust those who were there.
"We must elect a leader who is ready on day one for these difficult and dangerous times. We need a leader who will insist that we win in the struggle against radical Islam. John is committed to let our troops win! We need a leader who will take on the big problems that most politicians seek to avoid. Leaders take on the tough issues. John McCain is that sort of leader. He knows the American spirit -- he has lived it like no other candidate. He knows we can do better and that America's best days are ahead.
Commander Everett Alvarez, USN (Ret.)POW for 8 1/2 years
Colonel Bud Day, USAF (Ret.) Medal of Honor POW Over 5 Years
Rear Admiral Robert Shumaker, USN (Ret.)POW for 8 years
Colonel Leo Thorsness, USAF (Ret.) Medal of Honor POW for 6 years
Commander Paul Galanti, USN (Ret.)POW for over 6 1/2 Years
Captain Mike Cronin, USN (Ret.)POW for over 6 years
Major General John Borling, USAF (Ret.)POW for over 6 1/2 years
Captain Richard Stratton, USN (Ret.)POW for over 6 years
Lt Colonel Orson Swindle, USMC (Ret.)POW for over 6 years."

""We are honored to have had the opportunity to serve our country under difficult circumstances," Denton declared. "We are profoundly grateful to our Commander in Chief and to our nation for this day. God bless America."

With that, the Navy pilot who went down in an A-6 carrier attack aircraft during a bombing run over North Vietnam's Thanh Hoa bridge complex on July 19, 1965, marked the end of the longest wartime captivity of any group of US prisoners in history.

It was a triumph for Denton, who had alerted the world to the communists' torture of prisoners in May 1966. Dragged before propaganda cameras after 72 hours of nonstop indoctrination, the sleep-deprived pilot had numbly blinked his eyelids to relay the message "t-o-r-t-u-r-e" in Morse code as a Japanese television news crew filmed the interview.

A total of 771 Americans were captured and interned during the Vietnam War. Of those, 113 died in captivity and 658, or 85 percent, were returned to US authorities during or at the end of a grueling conflict that claimed the lives of more than 58,000 American troops in Southeast Asia."

"One prisoner estimated that communist torturers exacted statements of some sort from 80 percent of the POWs. As soon as they recovered from the physical trauma, the prisoners faced the torment of having collaborated and, theoretically, having violated the Code of Conduct. However, the Code, updated after the Korean War and reviewed after the USS Pueblo incident off Korea in 1968, assumed that captors would observe the minimum provisions of the Geneva Convention governing POWs. Under relentless torture, "the Code increasingly seemed to be a noble, but meaningless, abstraction that paled into irrelevance before the harrowing reality of the ropes and stocks," the historians found."

"Some prisoners were lucky enough to win early release. Prisoner leaders, including Navy Lt. Cmdr. Richard A. Stratton and Navy Lt. Cmdr. John S. McCain III (now a US senator and Presidential candidate) rejected Vietnamese offers of immediate repatriation, fearing that such a release would yield a propaganda bonanza for Hanoi and have a disastrous impact on POW morale and cohesion. They also thought that such an act would run contrary to their duty to stay with their men until all were safe."

" Mr. Johnson was an Air Force pilot, Mr. McCain a Navy aviator. Both were beaten. In all, Mr. Johnson spent almost seven years as a prisoner, 18 months longer than the future senator.

"He was a stalwart with the rest of us," Mr. Johnson recalled a few years ago, when Mr. McCain shared his own memories: "I wasn't really as courageous as Sam Johnson. I mean that. He suffered a lot more than I did." "

Know the source.
We all know you are not ideologically neutral.

Why pretend?

You're avoiding the evidence
I can see you're into deep denial. What you found were second hand opinions and testimonials. I sent you to look for evidence of treason.

Try these. The first one one is Ted Sampley's article on McCain's experiences while in NVN:

And this second one has links to the original Defense Department documents, such as transcripts of the November, 1967 broadcast to Cuba, the November, 1967 interview on Nhan Dan (Hanoi radio), the January, 1968 interview on French television, the June, 1969 radio broadcast into South Vietnam and the Fernando Barral interview of January, 1970:

Now ask yourself. If someone had dug up actual DoD documents showing that Barack Obama had once served in the military and had acted in violation of the Code of Honor while captive... do you think that would be a significant piece of information? I think you would.

I might have known that would be your response
Actually I am very strongly ideologically neutral. I advocate a mixed economy and a pragmatic approach toward finding solutions that solve problems. But that's not at issue here.

I have made statements here that stand on their own. Without reference to what you may think of me personally, you should be able to address those statements as statements. In a word, you should be capable of objectivity in assessing written information, without reliance on personal slurs as your defense.

Go to it.

POW by John G. Hubbell.
Paraphrasing: "On OCT 26 a SAM downed McCain. The Vietnamese had not been quick to ID their prisoner and nearly let him die.
He had been fished out of Wester Lake with two broken arms and a broke left leg. Ashore someone had smashed a rifle butt into his left shoulder breaking it and another had bayoneted a deep wound into his left foot. No American reached Hoa Lo in worse physical condition. p.363.
He could not believe his injuries would be left unattended. ...Holding out wasn't easy. Twice each day a guard would attempt to feed him but his stomach would accept nothing. He had to relieve his self and lay in his own vomit for four days.
His left knee was the size shape and color of a football. After four days realizing his reserves were diminishing, he summoned Bug (guard) and told him he would give military information if taken to hospital. Bug said it was too late, he was going to die.
The next thing he hears is Bug saying your father is an admiral and we take you to hospital.

Cat, prison system command said French TV man is coming. You need two operations, if you don't talk you don't get any. "I won't do it," said McCain.

When Chalais was introduced to McCain, Chaliais winked at him. The interview aired 13 FEB 68 on CBS News.

Cat wanted McCain to say he was grateful for humane and lenient treatment and hoped the war would end. McCain ignored them. Chalais told Cat, what he told me is sufficient. p.366."

There is a bit more about McCain and a lot more about the rest of the POWs who were tortured.

Reading their accounts, all did their best to obey the
Code of Conduct.

This book was written in 1976.

RADM Stockdale (POW commander) filed charges against two, Capt. Wilber and Col. Miller. Charges included mutiny, aiding the enemy, conspiracy, soliciting other prisoners to violate the Code of Conduct.
Secretary Warner found merit to the charges but decided courts-martial would disruptive to other returnees. They were charged with failing to meet standards expected of officers and 'retired'.
McCain was not accused by Stockdale (Perot's VP).

I can judge BHO by the those he chose to associate with. McCain had no choice in North Vietnam and like the rest, did his duty to the best of his ability.

" I am very strongly ideologically neutral."
A lie, as you have so often demonstrated.

You support socialism, which is not neutral.

What is a 'mixed' economy? Does it involve state control of private property? (socialism)

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