Who is Professor Kruze: We don’t think we’ve ever done two different series at one time.
This week, we’re going to shatter that precedent; we're going to produce two serials! That’s how fascinating—and sad—this new op-ed column is.
The piece was written by Professor Kruze, a youngish history professor from the leafy groves of Princeton.
We liberals are going to mail Kruze's column around. We are going to be thrilled to our souls by its powerful wisdom.
We liberals are going to mail it around. But the piece is just pure perfect crap.
Professor Kruze seems to be about 40 years old. He’s been at Princeton since 2000, the same year he reeled in his doctorate. Despite his tender years, he is already skilled at the mandated forms of perfect ignorance which are acceptable to the mainstream press and prevalent in the liberal world.
Professor Kruze is writing today about the death or decline of truth. That said, everyone is suddenly writing this column, prompted by the howling misstatements emitted by Candidate Romney.
As we mentioned, Professor Kruze is a professor of history—or so his CV says. But good God! Read his account of political lying over the past sixty years.
Do parents really pay tens of thousands of dollars per year to subject their children to that?
In his column, Professor presents a list of Greatest Misstatements from the past sixty years—greatest misstatements by politicians. Helping to serve his pasteurized theme, he omits the most consequential and best-known political lies of this misstatement-strewn period.
After that, the professor lists four reasons why lying is on the rise today—lying by politicians. This list is rather comical too, thus suitable for the medium.
As he closes, the professor leans on a rather inept mainstream organ for his news of the current campaign. But the key to his denatured work is found in this early passage:
PROFESSOR KRUZE (11/6/12): Venomous personal attacks and accusations of adultery, miscegenation and even bestiality are as old as the Republic. Aaron Burr was the sitting vice president when he killed Alexander Hamilton.For starters, might we beg the nation’s editors to stop printing that requisite tale about Hamilton getting killed by Burr? How many thousands of times will professors force us to read it?
But while the line between fact and fiction in politics has always been fuzzy, a confluence of factors has strained our civic discourse, if it can still be called that, to the breaking point.
The economic boom and middle-class expansion of the postwar era encouraged relative deference for officials, journalists and scholars. It’s true that reporters and politicians had far cozier relationships, but the slower news cycle allowed more time for verification and analysis.
Candidates accordingly believed that being caught in an outright lie could damage their careers. (As Daniel Patrick Moynihan reportedly said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”) They tended only to bend the truth, not break it.
That said, this professor’s pasteurized tale is built from those last two highlighted statements. In context, his meaning is clear:
All through this highly sanitized piece, this professor writes as if all political misstatements and lies come from “candidates”—from politicians. In this passage, you see his fundamental construction:
It’s the candidates who misstate and lie. It’s the journalists who correct these misstatements, or who perhaps fail to do so.
It never enters this pigeon’s head that the rise in lying in our politics could have come from the press corps itself. In this way, this professor’s sanitized framework is suitable for publication.
We liberals are going to mail this around. Because it says our downfall Came From Romney, it makes us feel tribally good.
As we mail this column around, we’ll be proving a very key point: We’re just tremendously soft in the head—tremendously easy to script.
Tomorrow: The lists of Mercer County