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Talk Nerdy to Me

August 21st, 2008 · 8 Comments

Just when Obama’s economic rhetoric is giving me hives, I see something like this and get, if not a thrill running up my leg, a little more at ease:

But you know, the truth is that my education was a pretty standard, liberal arts education. So I was exposed to thinkers on the left. At the same time, I was reading Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayak [sic], and I was growing up when Ronald Reagan was ascendant. So the political culture of my formative years was much more conservative.

It partly explains why, if you look at not just my politics, but also I think who I am as a person—in some ways, I’m pretty culturally conservative. I was always suspicious of dogma, and the excesses of the left and the right. One of my greatest criticisms of the Republican Party over the last 20 years is that it’s not particularly conservative. I can read conservatives from an earlier era—a George Will or a Peggy Noonan—and recognize wisdom, because it has much more to do with respect for tradition and the past and I think skepticism about being able to just take apart a society and put it back together. Because I do think that communities and nations and families aren’t subject to that kind of mechanical approach to change. But when I look at Tom DeLay or some of the commentators on Fox these days, there’s nothing particularly conservative about them.

Tags: Economics · Horse Race Politics · Libertarian Theory



8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Chuchundra // Aug 21, 2008 at 9:10 am


  • 2 Brian Moore // Aug 21, 2008 at 9:43 am

    Wow, I don’t like him either, but he knows what to say to make me happy.

  • 3 Christopher Monnier // Aug 21, 2008 at 9:46 am

    [citation needed]

  • 4 Dog's New Clothes // Aug 21, 2008 at 9:52 am


    It’s about 3/4 of the way down the page.

  • 5 thoughtcounts Z // Aug 21, 2008 at 11:25 am

    I don’t consider myself a libertarian, and I’m okay with most of Obama’s left-leaning economic plans, but I’m still really happy to read stuff like this. People of all political ideologies should celebrate when politicians discuss the depth and breadth of their education and say things like “I was always suspicious of dogma.”

  • 6 Franklin Harris // Aug 21, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Well, at least some of that time at the U. of Chicago wasn’t wasted on him.

  • 7 Gil // Aug 21, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    On the other hand he still wants to focus on “Making the economy more fair”, which seems to include raising taxes on the rich, even if it reduces tax revenue.

    That’s not very encouraging.

  • 8 America's Future Foundation | Culturally Conservative Obama // Apr 29, 2014 at 6:00 am

    […] Julian posts the key Time interview grafs. I’m down, of course, but universal preschool AIN’T CULTURALLY CONSERVATIVE, dood! State-supervised socialization for toddlers? Not for my future aloof, elite offspring. I can unironically tell you one little bit of irony: a universal preschool regime will produce Barack Obamas even less frequently than our current crude regime. […]