McDonnell’s thesis


Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

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12 Responses

  1. zic says:

    I plan to continue my unbroken streak of skipping every election out of sheer laziness to signify my opposition to the state’s coercive power)

    As a progressive, I’m delighted with your voting strategy. Sounds like a winning plan to me. I hope other conservatives follow your example, and maybe we can get some much-needed housework done around here.Report

    • Will in reply to zic says:

      Ha. Given the state of the Republican Party, I venture that quite a few conservatives are doing the same thing.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Will says:

        Boston Tea! Or Green! Or Prohibition! Just vote third party!

        Show up and say “None of the Above” (or the next best thing). If you didn’t show up at all, maybe it was because you were drunk or busy or whatever. But if you show up to say “Earl Dodge Was Right!!!”, that sends a (very) slightly louder message than none at all.Report

  2. greginak says:

    I think part of the discomfort is due to social conservatives belief that their values are not considered acceptable or popular in the mainstream. So they would prefer to use coded language or not admit what they are driving at.

    I haven’t followed this closely, but he could just come out and say “wow those beliefs, words, ideas were wrong. I have changed my ideas and here is proof (insert proof) of that”.Report

  3. Jaybird says:

    In 1983, James Watt (yes, *THAT* James Watt) banned the Beach Boys from playing at the National Mall for the 4th of July saying that rock concerts drew “an undesirable element.”

    The 80’s were nuts, man. They were positively nuts.Report

  4. Dan Summers says:

    Wait, what? Nobody told me that “homosexual” wasn’t being used anymore. Why wasn’t I informed? At our last “Overthrow the Family” pow-wow, my fellow gay agenda partisans totally failed to mention this to me. (I suspect all the effort it takes to convince people that Lady Gaga is a “singer” took up too much of their attention.) Can someone tell me what I’m supposed to call myself now?

    In all seriousness, I’m not so taken aback by the social conservatism espoused in the thesis as how recent it was. I know it was two decades ago, and all, but to be that stridently anti-working woman by the end of the 80s? Weird. I mean, did he learn nothing from “9 to 5”?Report

    • Will in reply to Dan Summers says:

      Nicely put, Dan. But hasn’t “homosexual” largely been replaced by “gay,” at least in popular culture?

      Maybe that wasn’t the best example, but this thesis is replete with terms – fornicator, cohabitators etc. – that really seem awkward and anachronistic.

      As for your point about working women in the ’80s, I suspect social conservatives are a decade a two behind every major cultural upheaval.Report

  5. Michael Drew says:

    I don’t think an old thesis reveals McDonnell’s secret theocratic tendencies.

    I don’t know what it reveals about his views on theocracy, but I think it quite plainly represents his tendencies, which are no longer secret. As Yglesias pointed out yesterday, he was 34 when he handed this thing in. That’s plenty old enough to be fully reflective about the meaning of your views. I don’t dismiss the idea that he’s ha changes of view, but given that such changes are pretty much necessary for him to hqve a political career, there is every reason to be extremely skeptical about the sincerity of the changes. At the very least, he should be asked detailed questions about the process, reasons, and timing of the changes. And as to his personal life belying his previously stated views, since when do we assume that politicians don’t routinely go through life espousing and even believing in particular public political or social ideas but leading private lives complete;y out f keeping with those?Report

    • Being as I am actually 34 right now, I reserve the right to totally disavow every single one of my beliefs if it becomes expedient in the future to do so.

      I am also somewhat relieved that my current age is still young enough that inconvenient views can apparently be ascribed to youthful indiscretion.

      *crushes beer can on forehead*Report

  6. Trumwill says:

    I seriously doubt my views will stop evolving when I hit 34.

    Though oddly enough, I really thought that they were done evolving at 28.

    Goes to show what I know.Report