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rush llimbaugh

The renowned intellectual leader of American conservatism has spoken out on a great topic of our time, the uselessness of studying the classics.  He said on his “show” of November 1, “Babe, you are wasting your time on a nothing major…  You’re gonna be qualified for jack excrement when you get outta here.”

Interesting, since he shills for Hillsdale College (for a good buck, I imagine), which has one of the most exciting classics programs in the country.

I know a little about the program, having been part of a little band of brothers who helped get classics back to Hillsdale in the mid-80s.  After World War II, Hillsdale, like most liberal arts colleges, was hurting financially.  In fact, in the early 50s a local businessman literally saved the college a number of times by paying the payroll out of his own pocket.  But to back up, one way the college decided to save money in 1946 was to scrap its classics department and sell off its considerable classics library.

In the early 80s it occurred to a number of us that a college that is serious about the liberal arts simply cannot be without a classics program. The Greeks, you know, invented the liberal arts.  It didn’t take much effort to convince then president George Roche, who had studied Latin in high school and at Regis College, of the merits of the idea.  After a modest start, the classics exploded at Hillsdale, and is one of the jewels in the crown of the best curriculum in the United States.

El Dolto needs to get a grip.  I wonder what, to the genius of radio land, is a “something” major?

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8 replies to this post
  1. Mister Wikipedia says of El Dolto: "Because of his parents' desire to see him attend college, he enrolled in Southeast Missouri State University but left the school after two semesters and one summer. According to his mother, "he flunked everything", and "he just didn't seem interested in anything except radio." Yes…well…quite. Not precisely Hillsdale, one should imagine.

    So he couldn't see the point of higher-education and now he cannot see the point of classics; maybe a small step in the right direction since he seems to have relaxed his opposition to learning overall. Another thought: you need not spell properly in order to work in radio. Last thought, I used to share a house with the fellow who wrote Limbaugh's first book; nice chap too. He didn't go to Hillsdale but he probably could have.

  2. Rush had and has a point. You don’t need to attend an overpriced university to read the classics. You don’t need to go into destitute poverty and debt to understand history or philosophy. For anyone who listens to Rush for very long, it becomes apparent that he doesn’t dismiss education per say, but formal modern education. He is right to do so, as our modern university system is abysmal.

    I agree with him on this point, which I think is a profound one. You don’t need a university degree to be a conservative. You need the knowledge that a classical university degree would have indicated you possessed, and the quickest way there is to stay clear of modern academia, grab some old books (50+ years at least), and read and note them vigorously.

  3. Limbaugh regularly engages in hyperbole in order to yank chains….yours got yanked. Limbaugh’s argument with college has to do with the overall liberal bent of modern academia, and he has a good point.

  4. Limbaugh flunked out of college, according to his mother, after two semesters. Before one can appreciate the classics one has to have read the classics. I doubt Limbaugh would know Plato or Aristotle if he was setting next to them at dinner.

  5. I remember listening to that particular show. (I remember because I was a Classics Major myself, and remember being momentarily stunned, exclaiming to myself and the radio that this is what Hillsdale College is all about.) Shortly after he took that call and made those comments, he related that he had been contacted by a journalist friend of his who was herself a Classics Major. She clarified for him to what sort of degree the caller was referring. I believe that Rush took the caller to mean that she had been a student of the typical throw-away fields of study, i.e. International Studies, African American Studies, Women’s Studies, etc. To the best of my recollection, Rush sort of corrected himself in the duration after receiving the clarification from his journalist friend.

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