NYT: More young people are now attending 'conservative boot camps'
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Sunday July 30, 2006
More young people are attending "conservative boot camps," according to an article slated for Monday's edition of The New York Times.
"Headed for what she called 'conservative boot camp,' Christina Pajak grabbed the essentials: dress sandals, her Bible and The Politics of Prudence by Russell Kirk, the celebrated writer who a half-century ago gave the conservative movement its name," reports Jason DeParle.
"If she had not found Kirk, he would have found her," DeParle writes. "At a monthlong retreat for college conservatives here, he was both required reading and a source of after-hours debate among students excited to hear him called 'one of Ronald Reagan's favorite philosophers.'"
Excerpts from the Times article:
Young people with old books is a common sight on the conservative circuit, and perhaps a growing one. Everywhere young conservatives turn there are conferences, seminars and reading lists that promote figures from the movement's formative years. Along with Kirk, they include such canonical names from the '40s and '50s as Friedrich A. Hayek, Frank S. Meyer, Milton Friedman and William F. Buckley Jr.
Pajak, 18, who was home-schooled in Andover, Minn., will be a freshman this fall at Wheaton College, an evangelical school in Wheaton, Ill. While her conservatism springs from her upbringing, she said, the literature "helps me explain what I already believe. I don't want to just say, 'Oh, it's because I was raised this way."'
Every political movement has its texts. But James W. Ceaser, a professor of politics at the University of Virginia, argues that the conservative focus on core thinkers has no exact parallel among liberals.
"It doesn't mean they're not interested in ideas," Ceaser said. "It means their approach to politics doesn't rest on theory in the same way."
FULL TIMES ARTICLE AT THIS LINK