Mark Tapscott writes in praise of a liberal:

This may come as a shock to some but a liberal college professor was among the most influential people in this conservative's life. In fact, I often wonder whatever happened to liberals like Dr. Jerry Polinard.

Polinard was my constitutional law professor at Oklahoma State University - I know, shocker, I didn't go to an Ivy League school like the really smart people - and I loved his class more than any other, even though he and I passionately disagreed on just about everything.

He was an inspiring teacher who clearly loved the teachable moments made possible in the humorous and constructive repartee between teacher and student in the college classroom. More important, he always made a persuasive case for genuine American liberalism, while also taking seriously the conservative critique of that view.

His was the liberalism of counterpoised power on behalf of individual freedoms. He argued that concentrations of power often develop in certain sectors of capitalist economies with large corporations. And our decentralized, federal system sometimes lets local and state governments abuse individual rights or groups of people who are powerless to defend themselves, such as the Jim Crow era for Blacks in the rural South and urban North.
Let me join him in celebrating a friend and teacher, surely the best I ever had, who was a man of the Left. He was, in fact, a self-described Socialist. Yet he taught me much about economics and war -- he was my first introduction to Clausewitz -- and I loved him for it.

Agreement is not the main thing. It is not, in fact, particularly important. What matters is the life of inquiry, more than the conclusions drawn. Break lances gladly, with a joyous heart:

"The hour when death is like a light and blood is like a rose, --
You never loved your friends, my friends, as I shall love my foes."

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