cal poly conservative columnist brendan pringle
cal poly conservative columnist brendan pringle

I usually don’t spend time responding to my liberal colleague’s articles, but I believe the last one merited my attention. I write to you all today as a victim of the prejudice expressed in Mr. Andrew Bloom’s latest piece about “conservative intelligence.

I write with the hope that bleeding heart liberals will flock to my aid as the latest victim of discrimination in our unjust society. Hello? Jesse Jackson? President Obama? Gloria Steinem? You there?

Oh well. It was worth a try.

Obviously, I would never classify Mr. Bloom as a bigot. But to use skewed, manipulated research to degrade conservatives as “inferiors” (citing studies that appear to have popped out of the psych world’s loony bin) seems just a bit ridiculous. In fact, the studies Mr. Bloom mentions seem more fitting in the field of eugenics than psychology.

Mr. Bloom quoted a report by “Psychological Science” that suggests a correlation between “the bottom 50 percent of yesterday’s children” with “the ingrained dogmatism of today’s social conservatives,” and argues that “lack of effortful, deliberate thought” somehow causes an “endorsement of conservative ideology.”

Mr. Bloom goes on to suggest that having a “religious” or “economic” worldview is “artificial” in nature, and that the conservative endorsement of capitalism is “curious.”

Of course, the fate of many liberal college grads waiting in the unemployment lines could be due to the fact they reject the realities of capitalism (and hope for the next big socialist revolution). Anyone seen the photos and videos from Occupy protests?

It’s also “curious” that the same liberals who cry for social justice perform less charity than conservatives. Arthur Brooks, author of “Who Really Cares,” discovered conservative households give 30 percent more to charity than liberal households. They also do more volunteer work and donate more blood than liberals. This must be part of their feeble-minded nature.

As Mr. Bloom rightfully states, the world is complicated because it is constantly changing. Yet conservatives generally manage to stay on top (or at least, remain financially solvent). Why? Because they are able to adapt. While liberals often expect the world to conform to their idealistic views of economics, social justice and so on, conservatives confront reality and deal with it head-on. End of story.

To use a phrase such as “clinically misguided” to generalize the conservative world-view seems a bit much, even for someone who finds excessive comfort in his pocket thesaurus. By this logic, only psychopaths work hard, believe in God and live prosperous lives.

Really, Mr. Bloom?

Could it possibly be that certain Americans are financially successful because they work hard and are good at what they do? Or could it be that certain Americans don’t buy into the belief our world is based on “class struggle.” And could it possibly be certain Americans live more fulfilling lives because they have found comfort in their faith (and have not submitted to the increasing “moral relativism” around them)?

Studies from the Pew Research Center show that Republicans are happier than Democrats. And while financial success is one factor, it surely is not the only one. Marriage, family and religious activity are all major determinants of happiness.

Ultimately, Mr. Bloom deals with conservatism as if it were a disease — something to be despised along with those who advocate such views. Whether he means it or not, he clearly expresses a desire to shut out the “grating voice of conservatism” from today’s political dialogue. The only alternative he provides is that of childishly ignoring the conservative voice, as if it were some putrid bi-product of democracy.

Liberals such as Mr. Bloom pride themselves on being the “open-minded” ones, but cling to any ridiculous pseudo-scientific study that proves they are intellectually superior to others and discounts the credibility of their opponents. It seems to be pretty clear that Bloom “extrapolates to the extremist platitudes which breed prejudice” — not conservatives.

Treating those with opposing viewpoints as if they were intellectually inferior is tantamount to racism. Beyond all the “fluff,” Mr. Bloom’s article is a sad misconception of the truth and a rejection of Cal Poly’s core values.

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13 Comments

  1. Brendan:

    This is the latest narrative and method of the left. Do not discuss issues respectfully and rationally but claim intellectual superiority and attempt to shoot the messenger rather than discuss the points in the message.

    I encountered this very thing in a recent discussion on healthcare and social policy. Embracing a more self reliant philosophy suddenly got me labeled as selfish and ungiving. When I pointed out that i give thousands of dollars annually to a sound charity, serve in homeless shelters and help the needy, assist with youth groups such as Boy Scouts and Cub scouts and in my church, caring for the needy virtually weekly, that gets ignored. I asked to measure up to any of my critics dollar for dollar and hour for hour and got no such response. Only that trying to adhere to the principle of teach a man to fish rather than feed him a fish made me selfish.

    Todays world espouses personal attacks and accusations rather than a rational and open discussion of the concepts and it has permeated all facets of life, even academia. This is not the values Americans of all points of view should espouse.

    I loved my education. I had a professor who asked a question of the class. A studious student regurgitated what she had read as the answer. the professor asked why that should be. Her response was, that is what it says in the book. The professor responded by saying, that does not make it true or correct necessarily. He continued to say he had written books, anyone can write a book. Why is that correct. His point became very clear. He was pushing all of us to think critically and think for ourselves. It is a lesson I have never forgotten. Are universities do all a disservice if they do not embrace that concept. Keep up the good work.

    Todd

    1. Hey, Todd, how insightful, refreshing, and encouraging a response to Brendan’s write! I appreciate it, and I’m sure that he does even more.

    1. Such an educated response, Anonymous; you must be a liberal arts senior. “white people problems”, was that a class offered in your studies?

  2. All students (as well as faculty, staff, and administrators) at Cal Poly would be well-served by reading Stanley Fish’s _Save the World On Your Own Time_.

  3. Very well stated! This is refreshing to hear a retort to the liberal mindset that has taken the country over, especially in a college newspaper!

    Keep up the good work!

  4. It’s true that conservative ideologies are stupid. Look no further than the superior economies and social cohesion of the progressive western European nations. Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, France, and England dominate the United States in terms of economic productivity and civil happiness.

  5. I think the best example of your conservative intelligence is how the link you provide to his article goes to the Mustang Daily admin panel. The fact you didn’t even bother to check it speaks in volumes.

  6. Mr. Pringle:

    I am surprised that Cal Poly students, at least in the English department, seem so averse to the use of primary sources in their work … since it seems obvious to me that neither you nor Mr. Bloom actually read the study in question, although it was sitting available at the Kennedy Library.

    I suspect, but cannot confirm, that Mr. Bloom took his interpretations of what it said from an article in the Huffington Post … probably not the best interpreter of research available, I think you will agree, and then added his usual adjectival embellishments. He liked it because he thought it confirmed his worldview.

    You, on the other hand, didn’t bother to read it either, preferring to trash both the research and the publication it appeared in because the results did not corform to your world view. I am not sure either of you is justified in doing so.

    The bulk of the study, and the most reliable, was based on the British birth cohort studies data sets, taken from all children born in a particular week in April of 1958 and 1970, and followed up thereafter, about as large, and as random, a sample as you are likely to find anywhere … at least in Britain. But to extrapolate from the attitudes of people, now in their forties and fifties, from an entirely different country than the US (different enough so that a double digit percentage of their population are outright Marxists) directly onto the “young (American) conservatives of today seems a stretch. Indeed it was a stretch that the authors did not make.

    You could have criticized the study on its merits without trashing the research, but you chose not to. You did, with startling hypocrisy, embrace the results of a Pew study showing the conservatives are happier than liberals. Nice to know, I suppose, but that study was based entirely on self-reporting via telephone interviews … and self-reporting on anything so subjective is notoriously inaccurate … for instance, in things we can actually measure, for instance divorce rates, conservatives don’t seem to be as happy as they claim to be.

    Excoriating peer-reviewed research, or praising it to the skies, without actually reading it is intellectually lazy and a discredit to the fine school you represent.

    Best wishes,

    Mole

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