Dennis Campbell
November 19, 2003
Liberalism and lobotomies
By Dennis Campbell

Perhaps you missed the item about the professor at New York's Wells College who sent a faculty e-mail demanding that all Republicans be lobotomized. Yes, this actually happened.

A lobotomy, of course, is what was done to actor Jack Nicholson in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" when the front portion of his brain was removed, reducing him to a near-vegetative state (there has been no confirmation of the rumor that the same procedure was performed on Sen. Teddy Kennedy).

According to, Wells Professor Tom Vawter was incensed that campus Republicans released a study showing a 10-1 ratio of liberals to conservatives at the college. He called Republicans "stupid" and said "Lobotomies for Republicans: It's not just a good idea; it's the law."

My, academics are so articulate and elegant in their writings.

Stupid is one of the slanders that liberals — Democrats, greenies, socialists, environmental terrorists, Marxists, Naderites, radical feminists and the assorted other buffoons and ruffians who populate the left side of the political spectrum — love to hurl at conservatives. Conservatives, of course, think liberals are stupid, and that debate ain't ending soon, Bubba.

Now, I will admit conservatives can seem a bit stodgy. After all, they absolutely refuse to let go of such anachronisms as a passionate belief in our constitutional republic; stable, two-parent families; high moral standards; strong national defense; personal responsibility; meritocracy; equality of all men and women; freedom — how irritating is all that to a "progressive" whose idea of change for the better is to automatically discard the traditional for the new, no matter how destructive?

I admit conservatives can be boring — if showing up at a campus debate in a suit and tie, neatly groomed and ready to calmly (but forcefully) argue the issues is boring. That has little appeal to a grungy campus liberal whose primary debate tactic is to shriek "racist!" and "hater!" at those he debates, and if that fails, to move on to banging pots and pans and shouting down the other side, and finally to physical intimidation.

But stupid? If conservatives are the stupid ones, why do they routinely reduce their liberal opponents to sputtering and spitting and spewing invective during debates?

It is conservative economics, epitomized by President Ronald Reagan's tax cuts, that spurred one of history's greatest economic recoveries. It was the stupidity of liberal politicians who insisted on spending more money than the government took in that caused a recession.

It was that brilliant liberal, Sen. Dennis Kucinich, who proposed legislation banning mind control warfare.

It was that model of intellectualism, Sen. Kennedy, who called minority judicial nominees "Neanderthals."

It was Rhodes scholar and presidential candidate Gen. Wesley Clark who changed positions so often he had to ask a campaign aide what his latest one was during a press conference.

It was our smartest President ever, Bill Clinton, who conducted his war on terrorism by blowing up foreign aspirin factories and empty terrorist training camps, while turning down an offer from the Sudanese to hand over Osama bin Laden.

It was liberal special interest groups such as the misnamed People for the American Way and the hypocritical National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) who were quoted in a memo to liberal Sen. Dick Durbin as describing judicial nominee Miguel Estrada as "…especially dangerous, because he has a minimal paper trail [and] he is Latino…."

And on top of all their other achievements, liberals have managed to reduce the science and math test scores of American students until they are below those of Slovenians and Hungarians.

And yet, to a liberal like Prof. Vawter of Wells College, Republicans are stupid, and should be lobotomized because it is a "good idea."

Well, I think the professor has a hidden motive.

It is not enough for him that Democrats and other representatives of the left outnumber conservatives by about 10-1 at Wells College (and almost every other college campus) — he surely must want every Republican to become a Democrat, because if his desire to lobotomize all Republicans were actually fulfilled, there no longer would be any conservatives left at Wells College and the faculty would be 100% liberal. One can only assume this is the professor's goal: Lobotomize Republicans so they will become Democrats.

If my assumption is correct, this is a refreshing, if unintended, bit of honesty. He has confessed that the only way a conservative will become liberal is if a portion of his brain is removed.

Any conservative could have told him that.

© Dennis Campbell


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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