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WHY READ WHEN YOU CAN RANT IN IGNORANCE?
am 13. Juli 1999
This is a great book by a woman who is, it will be no surprise to know, much maligned and hated by the Right side of America's political spectrum. No doubt you, dear reader, have heard some of this ranting and perhaps have even read it among the reviews of this book. Had these lock-step followers of the crown prince of ignoramuses, Rush Limbaugh, and the like actually taken the time (and the intellectual courage) to even listen to this book, they would perhaps have arrived at a different conclusion as to its worth. Then again: perhaps not. But I am wasting my time telling you either what you already know, or what you wish to forget. The point is that Hillary Clinton has spent much of her adult life thinking seriously about how we raise our children in a post-modern world. Truth to tell, many of her conclusions are -- hold on, folks -- actually reasonable and always well-thought-out. The title, "It Takes a Village," was taken ourt of context by conservatives and twisted into some kind of Maoist re-education camp, no doubt presided over by the Right Wing's favorite dragon lady. In truth, Mrs. Clinton is merely making the point that Burkean conservatives such as Russell Kirk and that most respectable school of conservative thought have long made: that we do not function as individual automatons in the world, that we live and breath as part of a larger community, and that this community calls forth obligations as well as expectations. Only "conservatives" operating out of the Ayn Rand school of selfishness should have any serious objections to this book. For them, all is reduced to the heroic individual, standing athwart traditional morality and all the rest, bowing only to the crinkled, papered god of money. Unfortunately, this school of thought -- and their ideological bedfellows who know better but go along for the ride, the neo-conservatives -- is predominant in political discourse on the Right today. That is why Mrs. Clinton's book, well-written, well-argued, and, in this tape, well-read by one of America's greatest women, is attacked. Trying to operate in the twenty-first century with an ideology crafted for an agrarian republic is, at best,problemnatic. That such efforts are taken seriously is a cause for far greater alarm than that occasioned by "It Takes a Village." Take it from a former conservative Republican.