Saturday, January 01, 2005

2004 in Review
So, it's not quite midnight where I am, but it's two hours passed where it matters—yes, I'm talking about the East Coast. My apologies to all of you who are from other regions of the country, but I'll bet you watch The Ball drop in Times Square every year, and I promise you that East Coasters do not watch your local events, and that even the people further west than you don't see them. In other words, the new year begins when it does in New York.

Anyway, this is the first of what I hope will be a series of posts over the next few days, reviewing 2004. Eventually they may even become a column—we'll see about that one—in the meantime, however, they are most likely to be just some ramblings. I'll try to have a theme, but I'm likely to stray. Hopefully they'll at least make sense. Anyway, here's number 1:

In the past year, I've had a lot to say about bias at American universities, including things based on my own experience. It's been particularly hard, 2004 being an election year, to deal with the constant liberal surroundings that one finds at Yale. I've witnessed out-of-line professors and highly offensive behavior from my peers, but more than that, I've seen incredible failure to understand the motives behind conservatism.

The concept that seems to be held by an upsetting number of my liberal peers is that anyone who would dare to vote for President Bush must be a bible-thumping "fundie," so inbred that he can't actually see which box he's picking in the voting booth. This is the spawn point for the post-election screams about moving to Canada, and shame in the American electorate. When you think that the election of a certain candidate is the absolute worst-case scenario, it is easy to immediately conclude that anyone supporting that candidate is stupid, ignorant, or evil.

Now, before I go on, allow me to concede that there are stupid, ignorant, and evil people who voted for President Bush, I'm sure—the thing is, there are certainly some in each of those categories that voted for Senator Kerry, and probably even a few that chose Nader as well.

You see, many pundits have chosen to claim that the American electorate is more divided than ever before, along extremely strong ideological boundaries. I don't think that is true. I think the dissemination of information over the past few years, evident only in this most recent election, has completely changed thanks to modern technology.

How so? Well, you'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out. Happy New Year!

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