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.
Steve Hochstadt: Until recently, nobody knew that the unprecedented wealth of American society carried extreme dangers for our own future. Our modern lifestyles of consumption are slowly killing the planet.
Steve Hochstadt: When conservative Republicans controlled Washington under George Bush, they spent government money on their pet projects with little regard for the long-term budgetary consequences. Now Republicans at the national level have made the deficit one of their major points of attack against the Democrats in preparation for the November elections.
Steve Hochstadt: Americans use more water per capita than any other nation. Every time we flush the toilet, we use as much water as the average person in the developing world employs for an entire day’s cooking, cleaning, and drinking.
Steve Hochstadt: I believe that as a society we are moving away from a desire to solve problems cooperatively toward a single-minded motivation to defeat opponents. Political conflict has spread into “culture wars,” in which other people’s choice of newspaper or dinner beverage, or their attitude toward recycling or marriage makes them our enemy.