Steve Hochstadt: When the real estate boom turned out to be a house of cards, people’s debts came due much sooner than they had expected. Governments are much less to blame for the current foreclosure crisis than homebuyers, egged on by unscrupulous bankers.
Steve Hochstadt: If we tune out the shouting, we might find that we American voters are not at war with each other. Tuesday’s results included several messages about national policy that most Americans agree on.
Steve Hochstadt: Republicans and Democrats agree on little else, but that this will be a transformative year for our national politics. After saying that, I wish that they both would offer me more about how my family’s life, my community, my country will be better
Steve Hochstadt: Many American voters appear ready to ignore character, to vote for liars and jerks, as long as they say they will cut taxes or shrink government or whatever the popular panacea of the moment happens to be.
Steve Hochstadt: The most unfortunate recent development in American politics is that Constitutional questions cannot be discussed calmly. Too many people care less about defending our Constitution than using it as a club to smash political opponents.
Steve Hochstadt: If conservatives have nothing good to say about our government, why don’t they let the rest of us figure out how to make our great country even better?
Steve Hochstadt: So when I see myself labeled as part of the “liberal elite”, and more often hear people talk about the “liberal elite”, I know they are trying hard not to think about all the people they know who are liberal but not elite, or elite but not liberal.
Steve Hochstadt: The main problem has been the the policy of intervention. We can’t create a safe world by sending more arms overseas.
Steve Hochstadt: Those who want government to go away, or at least get a lot smaller, seem to have two ideas about how to shrink government: Cut out the “waste” and let private companies take over many of its functions. Their assumption is that the private sector can do these jobs better and cheaper. Is that true?
Steve Hochstadt: I will keep talking about race because my students cannot understand American history without knowing the role played by racism.
Steve Hochstadt: These days it seems like only political allegiance determines judgments about whether people are good or bad. I want to be judged by how I act, not how I vote, by whether I tell the truth, how I treat my neighbors, how I live in my community, how well I take care of my mother. (Hi, Ma.)
Steve Hochstadt: Simple virtues and political cliches won’t solve our problems, which can’t all be blamed on “liberals.” Getting off our butts to cheer our congressman was not what Wurzelbacher wanted. If these conservatives do Take Back Illinois, they won’t know what to do with it.
Steve Hochstadt: Conservapedia is mainly silly, reflecting Schafly’s cranky ideas, such as that vaccines are a conspiracy to poison us. But the wider idea that science, and other kinds of knowledge, can be “liberal” or “conservative” is dangerous. This is exactly the argument that German Nazis and Soviet Communists used to reject “Jewish” or “capitalist” ideas.