Yes, the latest Michigan Review is out, and I know you’re itching to read it’s hard-hitting and clear eyed reporting. Yes, in this week’s exciting issue, you can thrill to the verbal styling of Dan Levi, whose column “Just Stay Home,” is subtitled “Low Voter Turnout is Not Necessarily Bad for America”; or perhaps more to your liking is the polemic launched by Karl Sowislo against what he terms “Liberal Action Groups,” opining “the people who support such radical agendas almost never have common sense.” Yes, but what about when they do? In my opinion, any political position can be defended rationally or irrationally, and to criticize one for lacking “common sense” or “reason” is almost irrelevant – what about their ideas?
Meanwhile, Sowislo characterizes Ann Arbor as a “socialist epicenter,” leading me to ask, if this is such a “socialist” city, where are the socialists? Liberal, perhaps, but certainly not much more. No, a few cranky Trotskyites running the show over at BAM-N don’t count, neither do the few people who set up a table at South University and East University when the weather is nice. In fact, in my experience not only are the authentically radical faculty few and reserved about their politics, the Michigan Daily is increasingly lurching to the right, now barely toeing an extremely moderate if outright centrist politics, whose editors are either registered republicans or thoroughly skeptical “objective” journalists content to parrot the administration’s line. Meanwhile the “socialist” city council has an anemic affordable housing program, and recently replaced their homeless shelter (run as a non-profit – wouldn’t want any tax money helping them out!) with a new one – although precisely the same size as the old one. Yes, all of this in combination with a relatively low-key activist scene makes me think the review shouldn’t have much to make them feel uncomfortable.