Phi Beta Cons

“True Blue vs. Deep Red”

Yesterday I attended a vibrant panel discussion in Washington, D.C., hosted by the Hudson Institute’s Bradley Center and titled “What’s the Big Idea? True Blue [collectivist, statist, multiculturalist, secular] vs. Deep Red [indicative of belief in limited government, laws of nature (fixed standards of right), the traditional family, proven tradition, often religious]: The Ideas that Move American Politics.” 

 The symposium explored the great divide within American politics and culture which reflects these fundamentally different “foundational ideas” about nature, history and religion. In about ten days a transcript of the discussion will be posted on the Bradley Center web page.

 Although the sixteen distinguished panelists only touched on the “True Blue” character of today’s academy, University of Virginia political scientist James Ceaser concluded in a “framing essay” prepared for the event that “[t]he future of American politics lies in the outcome of a race between the loving efforts of…exurbanites [those “Reds” flocking to areas outside of cities to raise their families] and the efforts of universities [“seminaries of blue”] to convert their offspring.” (The document is posted on the above-mentioned site.)

 With so much at stake in this race, I would urge the Bradley Center to devote an entire conference to the role of higher education in driving this nation’s politics.

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