Some years ago, literary type Harry Stein was mugged by reality sufficiently many times to pen How I Accidentally Joined the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, which made it into the Cold Spring Shops library before the Fifty Book Challenge began. More recently, he wrote I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next To a Republican, in which he relates some of his experiences as the sole, or perhaps most vocal, dissenting voice from the Blue State Smug. There's enough substance in it to evade the proscription of polemical material and offer a very brief Book Review No. 22. The simplest way to understand the book is to consider the possibility that a Pauline Kael could be surprised with a Richard Nixon victory because either Pauline Kael's social world is as circumscribed as Mr Stein suggests it is, or because Pauline Kael's friends have marginalized by their scorn those people who might agree with the intellectual Right, or have persuaded those people who suggest those righties have a point to keep still. That point, expressed most succinctly, might have been made by Madison radio talker Vicki McKenna, who gets props from Mr Stein for expressing dissenting views from within one of the citadels of Political Correctness. Turn to page 126.
We start a brand new class in the public schools, running from kindergarten all the way through high school. It's called "Middle Class Values." And Mom's got to take the class, too -- because she fails to understand what deferred gratification is.
Once upon a time, the common schools implicitly did that -- that is, until the cultural studies types decided that "privileging" the mode of behavior of successful people had more negative than positive effects. By their fruits shall ye know them.
(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)