You really need to read the blog posts–there are several; start here–that Professor William Cronon of the University of Wisconsin has written on his blog, Scholar as Citizen, about what has happened since he published a post called Who’s Really Behind Recent Republican Legislation in Wisconsin and Elsewhere? (Hint: It Didn’t Start Here), which deals with The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the role it has played in American politics since its founding in 1973. ALEC is a conservative organization, and Cronon is up front about the fact that he is not conservative, but Cronon’s post about ALEC does not read to me as politically partisan. Indeed, in all the posts I have read on the blog, he seems to be going out of his way to write as a historian and a scholar, by which I mean not that his political perspective can’t be gleaned from what he writes, but rather that he tries to be fair to different perspectives, especially those that differ from his. Even if he were more obviously partisan in his posts than he is, though, the Republican Party’s tactics are, while entirely legal, pretty deplorable, and they should give us all pause, especially those of us who research and publish in higher education.
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