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Hillsdale Forum April 2011

Hillsdale Forum April 2011

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Published by The Hillsdale Forum
In the April issue of Hillsdale College's only independent publication, get the lowdown on Trump's presidential aspirations, learn the history behind the recent revolutions in the Middle East, find out how states can reclaim their rights from the feds, and more.

And don't miss our on-campus specials: see the future of the Class of 2011, discover what Greek life taught one sorority girl about politics, take a new look at potential changes to Hillsdale's core curriculum, join our cafeteria rants, and take pity on our poor downtrodden R.A.s.
In the April issue of Hillsdale College's only independent publication, get the lowdown on Trump's presidential aspirations, learn the history behind the recent revolutions in the Middle East, find out how states can reclaim their rights from the feds, and more.

And don't miss our on-campus specials: see the future of the Class of 2011, discover what Greek life taught one sorority girl about politics, take a new look at potential changes to Hillsdale's core curriculum, join our cafeteria rants, and take pity on our poor downtrodden R.A.s.

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Published by: The Hillsdale Forum on Apr 24, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Scarlet Letter DebateThe Class of 2011Facebook Isolation,Greek-Life Politics
States vs. Feds,GOP on Liberalism
Continued on page 6
The recent Middle Easternrevolutions represent more than just a desire for representativegovernment. They havesparked an increase in rhetoricconcerning Pan-Arabism.Simply put, Pan-Arabism calls forthe unification ofall Arab-speakingcountries. Thiswould mean a unionbetween mostIslamic nationsapart from Turkey,Persia, Indonesia,and Afghanistan,which are notethnically Arab.The origins ofthe movement goback as far as thefounding of Islamitself.In the seventhcentury, the Arabsexploded out of their homelandinto the world. Within afew decades they quicklyswallowed the Parthian empirewhole, cut the ByzantineEmpire in half, and destroyedthe Visigoth Kingdom in Spain.Arabic culture and languagespread across Syria, Jordan,Mesopotamia, and NorthAfrica.By the year 750, however,the Umayyad Caliphate beganto break apart and within a fewcenturies the Ottoman Turkshad gained control of theregion. The Ottoman Empiremaintained its hold on the Mid-dle East into the 20
century.North Africa, however, had fall-
-pean powers. World War I sawFrance and Britain take chargeof the remnants of the brokenOttoman Empire. The period ofEuropean imperialist rule thatfollowed gave rise to the earlyPan-Arabic movement.In the early part of the20
century, Syrian intellectu-als advocated the earliest formof Pan-Arabism. World WarI showed promise of bring-ing Arab unity, but in the endthe British and French decidedagainst it. Anti-imperialism re-mained the prevalentArabic philosophyuntil the 1950’s, afterthe Baath Party wasestablished in Syriawith the aim of Arab
Egyptian presi-dent Nasser was an-other leading propo-nent of pan-Arabismfrom the 50’s to the70’s. For a short pe-riod, Egypt and Syriaexisted in union be-fore Nasser’s ambi-tions led the Syriansto break away.An Egyptian-led coalition con-sisting of Syria, Jordan, andIraq launched a concerted at-tack on Israel during the Six-Day War. The Arab coalition’s
As the highly anticipated2012 presidential election drawsnearer, billionaire businessmanDonald Trump has evidentlyembraced his inner Republi-can and is seri-ously consideringmaking a bid forcommander-in-chief. The famed64-year-old hasgrandiloquentlyspoken of his ap-titude for the po-sition for almost adecade now; thistime, however,it seems that hemay be engagingin more than just
Speculationsof a possible Trump presiden-tial campaign began prior tothe 2000 election when the re-nowned entrepreneur looselyconsidered running as a third-party candidate with the Re-form Party. During the initialhype, Trump advertised his po-litical platform in his book enti-tled “The Ameri-ca We Deserve.”In the text,Trump surveyedthe Americanpolitical sceneand proposedseveral dramaticsolutions to theissues Americafaces. His bare-faced wordsdrew a lot of at-tention to hispotential runfor election,forcing voters toconsider what they wanted ina candidate. Although Trumpdecided against running in the
Continued on page 6
Hillsdale’s core curriculummight be revamped in thenear future. The faculty iscurrently discussing a new corecurriculum that includes anexpansion of eight credit hours.Interestingly, the new core ismeant to be taken over all fouryears, as opposed to the currentsystem of front-loading of coreclasses during the freshmanand sophomore years.Provost Dr. David Whalensays that there is a generalattitude among students ofgetting the core out of the way,a belief the core is somethingthat freshmen and sophomorestake before really startingtheir education with theirmajor courses. The new core
perception problem. Dr. Whalensays, “The core is not equivalentto a liberal education, but hereit is the single most importantpart of a liberal education.”He believes that startingone’s major early and takingcore classes in smaller dosesalong with classes for the majorwill encourage students to seethe core as less of a chore andmore of a critical part of theireducation. He also says thatteachers of upper-level classesare often surprised whenstudents turn in poorly-writtenpapers. Dr. Whalen hopes thatconstantly taking core classeswill give students betterretention of the knowledge andskills that the core teaches.Obviously, though,expanding the core wouldput more pressure on somestudents, such as doublemajors, those who wish tograduate in three years, andeconomics majors, who needmore economics electives for
Continued on page 6
“Republicans want to shutdown the government becausethey think there’s nothing moreimportant than keeping womenfrom getting cancer screen-ings. This is indefensible andeveryone should be outraged.”
-Senator Harry Reid
“In 1994, people were electedsimply to kill the National En-dowment for the Arts. Nowthey’re here to kill women.”
-Rep. Louise Slaughter 
“Let me repeat that, so all thosewho want to stomp on wom-en’s health and women’s rightscan hear us loud and clear. Thedangerous, ideological cuts toPlanned Parenthood that passedthe House are never, never, nev-er going to pass the Senate.”
-Senator Chuck Schumer 
Democrats on Republicans’attempt to de-fund PlannedParenthood:
Few could have predictedthat Barack Obama’s agendawould inadvertently spark therise of the Tea Party movement,which has gotten Americansthinking harder about limitedgovernment than they have indecades.Chief among the move-ment’s concerns is the waynational policies like govern-ment-run healthcare violatethe rights of individual statesto make decisions for them-selves. Despite recognizingthe problem, however, con-servatives have not yet set-tled on a viable solution.
-suits challenging ObamaCare’sconstitutionality, all but guar-anteeing an eventual rulingfrom the Supreme Court. This isentirely appropriate philosoph-ically but risky strategically,since the preferred outcome de-pends on whether most justicesrule based on the original intentof the Constitution rather thantheir partisan biases.In Minnesota’s 2010 guber-natorial race, unsuccessful Re-publican nominee Tom Emmeradvocated an amendment to thestate constitution that wouldforbid federal laws from takingeffect in Minnesota until gain-ing approval by a two-thirdsvote in the state legislature. It’snot hard to see this proposal’spractical failings: deeming
 federal laws illegitimate untilthe high bar of supermajoritysupport says otherwise will in-
-sion over the execution of thelaw. Besides, there’s no reasonto expect that a state legislaturewould be more consistentlypro-Constitution than whatevermajority holds power on Capi-tol Hill.Nationally syndicated ra-dio host Jason Lewis has a moreradical solution in mind. In hisrecent book “Power Divided IsPower Checked,” he proposes a28
Amendment, which wouldnot only clarify that the GeneralWelfare and Commerce Claus-es of the Constitution must beconstrued narrowly, but would
to secession: “any state whoseinhabitants desire through legalmeans and in accordance withstate law to leave this union ofthe several states shall not beforcibly refrained from doingso.”Secession is one of theRight’s more heated inter-movement debates, an issuethat often distinguishes Liber-tarian from Republican, North-erner from Southerner. ThisHillsdalian happens to thinksecession-at-will is a danger-ous doctrine ultimately atodds with the nation’s found-ing principles. Washington, Jay, Hamilton, and Jefferson allsaw the Union as a safeguard ofliberty, and Madison explicitlyA little while back Iheard several students decrying John Dewey as a terrible writer,loudly wondering why theyhad to read him. That sameday I talked with a professorabout philosopher Judith Butlerand he smiled and said thatshe wasn’t a very good writer.I smiled back at him and toldhim that Derrida would say weweren’t “reading” her.And Derrida has a point.It is not enough forconservatives to decry queertheory and Derrida’s Anti-Foundationalist philosophyand John Dewey’s progressiveeducational agenda: they needcounterarguments.They don’t have any. Andthe typical knee-jerk response“progressivism/liberalism isbad for the country” doesn’tcount.Progressives don’t thinkthey’re bad for the country.They think conservatives arebad for the country. The GOPresponse to this typically hasbeen a puerile ‘nah-uh.’ It isnot enough for Jonah Goldbergand other conservative“intellectuals” to write bookshighlighting liberalism’s linksto fascism, nor is it enough forconservative governors andlegislatures to try to underminecostly collective-bargainingrights for public-sector unions.Politics is a game ofstrategy, and it is time forconservatives to start playingthis game like it is meant to beplayed. Bill Clinton turned amassive 1994 political reversal
getting in front of a televisionscreen and
his vision forAmerica. Governor Walker andGovernor Kasich could do thesame in their states but insteadthey trust that they are
andthat as a result, they don’t needto explain why.The same is true on thenational level. The momentthe new Republican Congress
gotten together and discussedgetting their message outto the voting populace. Notmerely on important piecesof legislation, but
every day
.The Republican majorityis squandering its nationalsupport by not engagingin effective information-operations and is letting peoplelike the man from the DailyBeast who impersonated theKoch Brothers tear their agendato ribbons.We see this happeningoutside of the Beltway too.The ACLU can intimidateand coerce nearly anyone intocompliance with the agenda ofits patrons because legal fees areso high and so few entities existto adequately oppose litigationthat even lawyers from theACLU itself admit is frivolous(harassing municipalities overcrèche positioning, petty 1
 Amendment suits, etc.).While not a true GlennBeck-style prime-time-television-conspiracy, theliberal control of colleges, the
Matt ColeCatherine Simmerer
Editors in Chief 
Anna Williams
Editor at Large
Rachael Wierenga
 Associate Editor 
Catharine Clayton
Copy Editor 
Maria DiodatiOlivia Tilly
Layout Staff 
Calvin FreiburgerCatherine Sims Joseph Viviano
Staff Writers
Sam Sparks
Business Manager 
Calvin Freiburger
Senior Writer
denied the legitimacy of seces-sion, explaining that as a mutu-ally-binding legal compact, theConstitution cannot be brokenby any single party. Moreover,conservatives should carefullyconsider secession’s implica-tions—by breaking away fromthe country, a state isn’t merelyrejecting an unjust administra-tion, but also rejecting our veryConstitution as no longer worthdefending within the system ofgovernment it establishes.So what is the answer? Tak-ing unconstitutional laws tocourt is certainly worth the ef-fort. So is amending the Consti-tution to clarify, as Lewis sug-gests, that the federal govern-ment can’t meddle in the states’affairs except where the Consti-tution explicitly, demonstrablyauthorizes it. But conservativesmust recognize that neither willbe a magic bullet, and that theproblem is more complex thanstates versus feds.So many of our country-men accept statism in large partbecause we have failed to bevigilant in our states and home-towns. Decade after decade,we’ve allowed progressivepresuppositions about govern-ment and society to graduallyinfect our politics, education,and culture. To turn thingsaround, we must retake theseinstitutions at the local level,particularly with renewed at-tention to what our schools areteaching. We can’t expect fu-ture generations to recognizebetrayals of our founding prin-ciples if they aren’t even taughtto recognize names like Lockeor Publius.We didn’t get here over-night, and we shouldn’t expectto get back overnight either.Meaningful, lasting reform isthe work of generations, whichwill demand of conservativesthe patience and persistence tosee it through.
Kevin Shaw
Guest Writer
legal activities of the ACLU,and the superiority of theDemocrats’ public-relationsmachine combine to makevictories for conservatives quite
liberalization and politicizationof primary schools will makeconservative victories in the
So instead of cheering fora small victory in Congress,conservatives should be askingthemselves why they lost the
place. Instead of mindlesslybashing thinkers like JacquesDerrida and FriedrichNietzsche and Roland Barthes(who most of them haven’t readat all, much less attempted tocomprehend), conservativesshould realize that there is muchto be learned from the thoughtof postmodernists and leftistintellectuals. To begin rollingback liberalism—actuallyrolling it back—conservativesneed a grand strategy of, amongother things, opposing frivolous
Continued on page 7 

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