May 12, 2006

One-Upping David Horowitz

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are sick and tired of David Horowitz’s overly dramatic portrayals of American academia. Don’t get us wrong, dear reader: We’re largely sympathetic to Mr. Horowitz’s cause. We believe, for instance, that intellectual life in American academia is replete with myopia and intolerance.

And we also feel as if many professors use their classrooms as bully pulpits, instead of allowing students to think for themselves. Moreover, we think that entire academic disciplines—women’s studies, cultural anthropology, culture studies, peace studies, &c.—are nothing but left-wing propaganda machines.

Accordingly, we greatly appreciate Mr. Horowitz’s efforts to bring some modicum of intellectual diversity on campus. His efforts may not yield any fruit, but he’s certainly fighting the good fight.

But then there’s the matter of his irksomely overwrought books and articles on the academy. And, as much as we’re behind David Horowitz, we cringe when we watch him take ridiculous—and unnecessary—positions.

We mean, come on: Universities in this country are so rife with intolerance and politically correct nonsense that one doesn’t need to exaggerate. Left-wing McCarthyism is a major problem on college campuses; it’s an open-and-shut case.

So, then, why does David Horowitz write books such as The 101 Most Dangerous Professors, or whatever it’s called? This unsavory collation is just what conservatives don’t need; the book’s casual linking of real professorial problems (e.g., Ward Churchill) with simple leftists (e.g., Jonathan Kozol) is ridiculous. And it may very well lead the reader to believe that Mr. Horowitz would expunge all non-conservatives from universities.

Need we say that this is not the correct message to be sending? In addition, need we say that this isn’t what intellectual diversity is about? We hope we need not.

But then it struck us. David Horowitz is not an academic, and thus his ranting and railing does not cause him much consternation. After all, he doesn’t have to be on the hallway with tenured radicals; if they hate conservatives, what’s it to him?

Yet his partisan screeds on academia make the big bucks. There’s a real audience for works of the Academia Slouches Toward Gommorah type. So Mr. Horowitz is making the big bucks—without any whammies—by writing this pap. And if it undercuts his noble crusade—so what?

And that’s where we hope to come in. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” aim to beat David Horowitz at his game. If he can make a ton of money with overheated arguments about the professorate, then we can make even more with even more overheated claims.

Our only problem? What to name our first jeremiad, of course. After all, the title for such a polemic is very important. How do the following possibilities grab you:

1) “Berkeley Professors Are Eating Your Children”

2) “Mandatory Lesbianism at Wabash College”

3) “Warning: If You Send Your Kid To College, He May Start Reading”

4) “Impregnate Martha Nussbaum 101 and Other Outrageous College Classes”

Posted at May 12, 2006 12:01 AM | TrackBack