Posted by Tony Listi on August 1, 2010
Tyranny in democratic republics does not proceed in the same way, however. It ignores the body and goes straight for the soul. The master no longer says: You will think as I do or die. He says: You are free not to think as I do. You may keep your life, your property, and everything else. But from this day forth you shall be as a stranger among us. You will retain your civic privileges, but they will be of no use to you. For if you seek the votes of your fellow citizens, they will withhold them, and if you seek only their esteem, they will feign to refuse even that. You will remain among men, but you will forfeit your rights to humanity. When you approach your fellow creatures, they will shun you as one who is impure. And even those who believe in your innocence will abandon you, lest they, too, be shunned in turn. Go in peace, I will not take your life, but the life I leave you with is worse than death.
— Alexis de Tocqueville
A friend of mine drew my attention to a very important article written by Jeff Schafer at the Alliance Defense Fund. It’s entitled “Stigma and Dogma, Revisited.”
This article re-echoes something that De Tocqueville (quoted above) observed early on about the dangerous tendencies of democratic culture. Stigma and social pressure rule the day in a democracy.
Yet stigma and social pressure were what kept the U.S. conservative and free for so long, esp. with regard to our current social issues. In the early history of America, abortion and deviations from traditional marriage were so powerfully and thoroughly stigmatized that they were not political issues at all. Not so anymore.
Stigma is the expression of moral outrage. The article reminds me of one of the Leadership Institute’s Laws of the Public Policy Process: “Moral outrage is the most powerful motivating force in politics.”
If conservatives are to take the long-term view of changing the culture in order to win (as the left did over a century ago), we have to be willing to publicly engage in the Stigma War. Big govt., govt. coercion, govt. dependency, promiscuity, sexual perversity, infanticide, etc. must all become shameful, stigmatized things again. Conservatives have to be willing to publicly denounce these things as immoral and shameful.
Why do you think the left likes to engage in name-calling? Racist, sexist, homophobe, bigot, etc. All these epithets are intended to stigmatize conservative views, whether the labels rationally apply or not. And they’ve done a pretty good job of it.
When people evaluate candidates or policies, it is moral factors that determine their choices; it is the elements of shame and guilt that convince people to be politically active and to hold certain political views with intensity.
We need not lose hope completely that the world is doomed to irrationality though. Feelings of guilt, shame, and moral outrage do not spring up spontaneously or irrationally; they are rooted in certain rational, though often false, paradigms and faith systems. The problem with the left is not that they aren’t rational; they are, assuming their faith-based assumptions to be true. It’s the fundamental assumptions about the nature of reality, human nature, and justice that separate us from them. (And these false assumption are inculcated into Americans through the cultural institutions of primary schools, academia, arts & entertainment, churches, and the media.)
We need to bring the reasons for our political faith and assumptions to the surface in the most clear, concise, direct, impactful, and thought-provoking ways possible. And this is where the necessity of activism comes in. And good activism is based on good organizational preparation beforehand that gathers the people and resources to make activism effective.
Moreover, activism should be directed not merely at challenging current leftist stigmas and dogmas but toward recapturing the cultural institutions mentioned above that inculcate these false stigmas and dogmas into American youth (and older).
Posted in Abortion, American Culture, American History, Culture War, Democracy, Education, Government and Politics, Liberalism, Marriage, Moral Philosophy, Political Activism, Political Philosophy, Political Psychoanalysis, Race, Racism, and Affirmative Action, Student Activism, Written by Me | Tagged: conservative, culture, diversity, failure, guilt, leftist, moral, outrage, political correctness, politics, pressure, public, shame, stigma, success, war, win | 1 Comment »
Posted by Tony Listi on February 28, 2010
Campus Services Coordinators (CSCs) offer so many benefits and services to students that sometimes it can be hard for students to grasp all of them and take full advantage of CampusReform.org staff and resources. We can turn your student group into an effective political machine.
Here’s what your CSC can offer you:
- Understanding: We were in your shoes not very long ago. All of us CSCs recently graduated from college and were politically active as students. We know exactly what it’s like to be frustrated with leftist bias and abuse on campus. But we also know what it takes to fight back successfully!
- Expertise: Well-run political campaigns have savvy political consultants, shouldn’t your student group have one too? Each CSC is an expert in political organization and activism, especially at the campus level. Drawing on our experiences in college and our own training through the Leadership Institute, we can help you navigate the stormy political seas of student activism!
- Training: Your CSC can set up three different types of youth training for you and your group:
- Youth Leadership School: how to run a youth campaign and organize students politically in general
- Student Publications Workshop: how to start and run a student publication
- Campus Election Workshop: how to win student government elections
- Fundraising Assistance: “You can’t save the world if you can’t pay the rent.” To be a successful student group, you’re going to need funding. Some universities may offer funds. Even so, it is important to organize your own independent fundraising operations. Your CSC can help your craft an effective fundraising strategy. We can help you draft an effective direct mail fundraising letter. find potential donors, and provide other assistance for top groups.
- Media/Public Relations Assistance: “If the media didn’t cover it, it didn’t happen.” To be a successful group, you need a good PR operation. You have to develop a good message and get it out to your target audience and beyond. Your CSC can help you develop your message, write a press release, and distribute it to the major media outlets in your locality (and state).
- Resource Materials: There are tons of resource materials on CampusReform.org. Your CSC can draw your attention to the specific materials you need and can send you supplementary materials.
- Other Opportunities: CampusReform.org and other conservative organizations offer many special opportunities throughout the year: special nationwide initiatives, student activism awards, essay scholarships, internship opportunities, etc.
What you can do to help your CSC help you:
- Communicate regularly with your CSCs! It’s hard for us to help you if we don’t know what is happening with your group and your campus.
- Blog regularly on your campus subsite! In addition to publicizing and permanently recording what’s happening on your campus and your group’s activities, your blog posts are another way to inform CSCs about your situation. We read all the posts from our region.
- Report incidents of leftist abuse and bias! We will evaluate the report and help you respond.
Campus Services Coordinators are at your service. Just shoot us a message or give us a call. Together we can take back American campuses from the left!
Posted in Government and Politics, Political Activism, Student Activism, Written by Me | Tagged: abuse, assistance, bias, campus, college, conservative, group, guidance, help, leftist, liberal, organization, school, student, support, university | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Tony Listi on September 14, 2008
On August 24, Professor Kimberly Nichele Brown gave a most inappropriate speech at the Freshman Convocation that disparaged A&M and its founders:
[W]ho would have ever thought that Texas A&M would have a Hispanic female president? Not its founding fathers, that’s for sure.
According the the convocation website, the purpose of Freshman Convocation is “formally welcoming students to the beginning of their academic career at Texas A&M University.” It is supposed to “provide students with the opportunity to begin their college career in the same, significant, positive manner in which they end their college career.” Welcome to Texas A&M, a university with a horrible past! What a great way to welcome freshmen in a positive manner!
Apparently, a lack of the protein melanin in her teachers inhibited Professor Brown from learning:
Keep in mind that I didn’t have a course that focused on blacks until I went to college, which means that my entire education up to that point was predicated on my ability to decipher knowledge from people who looked nothing like me.
Oh no! Those enigmatic white people! Why won’t they get a tan so I can learn a little better?!
A little less than halfway through the speech she couldn’t help but bring up slavery and “keloided scars“. What the heck does slavery have to do with welcoming freshmen to campus?!
She went on to talk about liberal internationalist gobbledygook:
And if you learn only one humanistic lesson in college, let it be how to become a good global citizen.
Last time I checked there wasn’t a global state in which all human beings participate as citizens (thank God!). Why do liberal professors insist on teaching students things that are contrary to the obvious?
Apparently, in true Marxist fashion, Professor Brown longs for a return to the turbulent and violent college campuses of the 60s and 70s:
While there have been several events in recent history that might cause students to feel disenfranchised, I often suggest to them that one of the reasons for their disaffection might be their lack of exposure to the history of student protest in this country and abroad.
And last but certainly not least, she made a veiled accusation of racism against former students:
Texas A&M graduates are often ranked high for their loyalty, but low in their acceptance and awareness of cultural diversity.
Sorry, but not all cultures are created equal. Cultural relativism is a pernicious sham.
Many parents have already expressed their outrage over Brown’s speech and hopefully more will continue to do so.
Read the full text of the speech for yourself.
Posted in Education, Government and Politics, Race, Racism, and Affirmative Action, Texas A&M, Written by Me | Tagged: freshman convocation, freshmen, inappropriate, Kimberly Nichele Brown, leftist, liberal, Marxist, professor, racism, racist, relativism, slavery, Texas A&M, welcome | 6 Comments »