Letters to a Young Conservative, Chapters 5-7

September 19, 2012 | Elizabeth

Hello New Book Club Readers! We are moving right along along with Letters to a Young Conservative. Thank you for your comments so far, Marian and I are looking forward to the discussion evolving even more!

In this post I am covering Chapter 5 titled “Fighting Political Correctness”, Chapter 6 titled “Authentic vs. Bogus Multiculturalism” and Chapter 7 titled “What’s So Great About Great Books.”

In Chapter 5, D’Souza explains the term, “political correctness.” What do you think of when you hear that term? Does “political correctness” mean censorship?

During the 1980s…Many colleges even had “speech codes”; these had the effect of outlawing candid debate on sensitive topics such as affirmative action. One such code even outlawed “inappropriately directed laughter.” These codes were necessary, the champions of political correctness argued, to protect the self-image of minority students. Ironically censorship was being practiced in the name of diversity. (Page 39)

D’Souza also relates political correctness to pretending. He says:

The best way to defeat political correctness is to expose its lies…Thus the three canonical principles of political correctness are to deny the relevant differences between racial groups, between men and women, and between heterosexuals and homosexuals. (Page 42)

Do you think when people speak “politically correct” they are leaving a lot of information out, and possibly changing their story? Do we have to change our views in order to be “politically correct?”

In Chapter 6, D’Souza explains to Student Chris in his next letter about multiculturalism.

Multiculturalism is a movement to transform the curriculum and change the way things are taught in our schools and universities. (Page 47)…The problem, multiculturalists say, is not that students are insufficiently exposed to the Western perspective; it is that the Western perspective is all they are exposed to.(Page 48)

D’Souza goes further to explain, that when multiculturalism is explained as a way to make a more balanced education, it sounds great! But in reality, many colleges and universities that have adopted this approach and look outside the U.S. for less bigotry, more equality and better ideals do not find it. Unfortunately, there is a lot of mistreatment of women in non-western cultures; there is more violence, terrorism and instability. The problem with the approach they are choosing is the changes in curriculum based on representation and not on quality, says D’Souza.

In Chapter 7, D’Souza explains politics in a way that I try to explain to my own friends that don’t necessarily realize its importance:

It provides the necessary infrastructure for us to live peaceful, prosperous, and good lives. (Page 55)

Conservatives, liberals, independents and those that do not associate with politics at all need to all understand the choice they are making in their level of political support and who they are supporting. Government is not something you can pretend isn’t there. Government helps decide what we are able to do, to have and to achieve. Which comes back to the difference between conservatives and liberals -what is the appropriate role of government?

Look forward to next week’s post with Marian as she covers Chapter 8, “How Reagan Outsmarted the Liberals.”


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