And the second question was: “Are there any in here, who are not liberals?”

While you are at it, why don’t you ask if the turds in the punchbowl would kindly raise their hands?

This line of question brings with it visions of the Great Leader, Kim Il Sung, asking if there are any present who are not members of the Korean Worker’s Party. “Oh, you’re not?”… (Sounds of bullets being fired). “Good we are now all members of the glorious Korean Worker’s Party.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Il-sung

I raise last night’s questions posed on one of America’s finest college campuses, not because I am shocked…but because the presumption was being made that just because we are students, particularly in the “liberal” arts field of Journalism, therefore we must be liberal or should I say “progressive?”

The timing of the questions is really curious because the nation is poised to make a major rightward shift next Tuesday; the question is not one of “if,” but more of “to what extent?” Will the Republicans win just one house of Congress or both houses? There is little doubt they will also reverse next week a small deficit in governorships to actually take the lead, maybe even a commanding one, and they may also flip several state Legislature’s in the process as the most recent issue of The Economist predicted. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2010/governor/2010_elections_governor_map_no_toss_ups.html

One of my favorite quotes was uttered by warm-and-fuzzy General George S. Patton who stated: “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” We glorify, particularly in Silicon Valley, the phrase “thinking out of the box” to the point that it is almost cliché. The question I am asking today is do American universities really foster an environment for out-of-box thinking or the oft-recited and less-followed, “marketplace of ideas?”

In case you are wondering, I am philosophically a smidge to the right. I worked for a Republican Governor, George Deukmejian of California, for eight years. My political orientation is secular, not religious, conservatism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Deukmejian

My biggest concerns are twofold: 1.) The explosion of deficits at all layers of government mainly because of too much spending (The federal government is running a cumulative deficit of $13.6 trillion or 94 percent of GDP, rising to $16.3 trillion or 101 percent of GDP in 2012 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_public_debt) and 2.) That someone, anyone, will be forced to once again choose between being incinerated by jet-fuel heated up to 2,000-degrees Fahrenheit or jump to her or his death.

One of my responsibilities as Governor Deukmejian’s press secretary was to present his positions and policies accurately and completely to the media, leading to a well-informed public. Along with that task was to clearly understand not only the administration’s point of view, but our critics as well. Some call it “opposition research.” I call it appreciating where the other side was coming from to better retort their contentions. Occasionally that even required picking up the phone and calling a legislator’s office, talking to their staff or even the member, to make sure that I understood the proper context of their comments.

Believe it or not, there are reporters out there that will hype a comment hoping in turn to elicit a more provocative response than what would be normally the case from your side of the debate. A good public urination war is always a good thing in selling newspapers or producing higher Nielsen ratings.

The bottom line is being exposed to all points of view, even if it requires listening to both Sean Hannity and Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow and Ann Coulter. Think of it this way, if you don’t learn anything well at least it may be entertaining…even though you may be grinding your teeth in the process.

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