Why did you come in to-night with your heads in the air? 'Make way, we are coming! Give us every right and don't you dare breathe a word before us. Pay us every sort of respect, such as no one's ever heard of, and we shall treat you worse than the lowest lackey!' They strive for justice, they stand on their rights, and yet they've slandered him like infidels in their article. We demand, we don't ask, and you will get no gratitude from us, because you are acting for the satisfaction of your own conscience! Queer sort of reasoning!... He has not borrowed money from you, he doesn't owe you anything, so what are you reckoning on, if not his gratitude? So how can you repudiate it? Lunatics! They regard society as savage and inhuman, because it cries shame on the seduced girl; but if you think society inhuman, you must think that the girl suffers from the censure of society, and if she does, how is it you expose her to society in the newspapers and expect her not to suffer? Lunatics! Vain creatures! They don't believe in God, they don't believe in Christ! Why, you are so eaten up with pride and vanity that you'll end by eating up one another, that's what I prophesy. Isn't that topsy-turvydom, isn't it infamy?
I think being a liberal, in the true sense, is being nondoctrinaire, nondogmatic, non-committed to a cause - but examining each case on its merits. Being left of center is another thing; it's a political position. I think most newspapermen by definition have to be liberal; if they're not liberal, by my definition of it, then they can hardly be good newspapermen. If they're preordained dogmatists for a cause, then they can't be very good journalists; that is, if they carry it into their journalism.
Liberalism, contrary to popular belief, is facing backward in considering the injustice of its ancestors. Conservatism, contrary to popular belief, is facing forward in considering the psychology of its descendants. Definitively, it seems in the modern world that neither side really knows which direction it's facing, and men of the sharpest judgment are simply turned off from picking either of the poisons.
We are all familiar with intellectuals who speak only on behalf of their country, class, religion, 'race,' 'gender,' or 'sexual orientation,' and who shape their opinions according to what they take to be the interest of their affinity of birth or predilection. But the distinctive feature of the intellectual in past times was precisely the striving for universality; not the unworldly or disingenuous denial of sectional identification but the sustained effort to transcend that identification in search of truth or the general interest. . . . In today's America, neoconservatives generate brutish policies for which liberals provide the ethical fig leaf. There really is no other diifference between them.
This is not hyperbole. It is possible for the average professor to have been taught by leftists, grown up in a left-leaning city, read only left-leaning books, entertained by leftists in pop culture and became a professor without holding a job outside academia. How can we expect these professors to adequately explain what people who oppose them believe?