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March 31, 2005


the exile

Accompanying the alleged leftward shift of the university in the last 15 years is an equally clear phenomenon: conservatives' rejection of anything resembling academic empiricism or respect for truth. We used to have debates with conservatives, on real issues, with real disagreements on the interpretation of a shared body of empirical facts. That hardly ever happens any more. Conservative thinktanks have jettisoned real thinkers and replaced them with talking-points-repeating-op-ed-writing partisan hack liars. Formerly respectable conservative thinkers (I'm thinking of people like Thomas Sowell) have turned into caricatures of their former selves, transforming like butterflies back into caterpillars and becoming flacks for Dear Leader and apologists for unserious scholars like Michelle Malkin. Sure, there are still a handful of exceptions, but compare Richard Pipes with Daniel Pipes and my point is clear. They don't care about the truth any more. My question: are these two phenomena related? If so, which is cause and which is effect?


I think it goes something like "figures don't lie, but liars do figure".

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