To follow-up briefly on the recent discussion regarding intramural conservative debate, there’s an odd tendency among certain mainstream conservatives to unduly concern themselves with enforcing intellectual orthodoxy. Case in point is this hysterical blog post from National Review’s Cesar Conda, which implores the Hoover Institute to kick Professor Diane Ravitch off the payroll for suggesting a 90 percent income tax on people earning over 10 million dollars per year.
Now I think Ravitch’s idea is silly for many of the same reasons Conda provides, but is it really necessary to write someone out of the movement for throwing out a provocative idea in a forum designed for free-flowing debate? Ravitch’s academic credentials are impeccable. A brief survey of her work reveals a book decrying the rise of PC culture in schools, not to mention numerous articles criticizing No Child Left Behind, attacking Obama’s education policy, and defending requirements for presenting a photo ID before voting. These are not, as they say, the liberals you’re looking for. So why bother expending so much energy to kick them out of the movement?