A real education

Rebecca Hagelin

11/29/2005 5:05:00 AM - Rebecca Hagelin

Imagine having the chance to attend one of the best colleges in the world. I’m talking about a place where you could soak up the wise musings of some of the brightest minds around. GPAs don’t matter: All that’s required is an inquisitive mind. Forget scheduling conflicts -- these educators are ready when you’re ready. And it won’t cost you a thing.

Sounds too good to be true, but it exists. I’m talking about Townhall.com.

Seriously, where else can you find so many conservative minds gathered? From Brent Bozell to Walter Williams, it’s an all-star lineup that gives you more than the conservative point of view on a host of issues -- it gives you the solid reasoning behind it.

Take the recent riots in France. If you listened to the usual array of talking heads on television and radio, you may have concluded that they were caused mainly by unemployment among Muslim youth who face discrimination. But top-notch economist Thomas Sowell, who appears regularly on Townhall, took another look:

Let us go back a few generations in the United States. We need not speculate about racial discrimination because it was openly spelled out in laws in the Southern states, where most blacks lived, and was not unknown in the North.

Yet in the late 1940s, the unemployment rate among young black men was not only far lower than it is today but was not very different from unemployment rates among young whites the same ages. Every census from 1890 through 1930 showed labor force participation rates for blacks to be as high as, or higher than, labor force participation rates among whites.

Sowell goes on to spell out what really lay behind the riots, but I pulled out this nugget as an example of the kind of level-headed, fact-based analysis you get daily on Townhall.

What’s impressive, too, is the spectrum of issues you’ll find dissected on Townhall. Interested in the latest from the world of academia? David Horowitz and Mike Adams (among others) give you the lowdown on political correctness on campus and other debate-squashing tactics from lefties who say they love diversity. Want to hear from insiders with their fingers on the political pulse? There’s Cal Thomas, Ed Feulner and George Will. Like some humor with your commentary? Try Ann Coulter and Jonah Goldberg.

I wish I had the space to mention everybody. But in a way, that’s the point -- the list goes on and on.

An impressive roster of hard-hitting columnists would be more than enough to make Townhall indispensable, but the editors also work to make a real difference by inspiring people to action. You can follow discussions in up-to-the-minute fashion by going to the “C-Log” -- the conservative Web log. You can click on “Top Action Items” for recommendations, which range from writing to our troops during Thanksgiving Week to calling Congress to urge lawmakers to confirm Judge Sam Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court. There’s also “TownSquare,” designed to help you network with other conservatives in your area so that you can influence the public debate on local issues in a meaningful way.

Some readers, of course, are very familiar with these features, while others sign on simply to read a particular column or two. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I wouldn’t want you to think that’s all Townhall has to offer. If you haven’t taken the time to really explore the site before, I hope you do so soon and see
why Townhall is so effective and popular.

Let me suggest one other thing: Please consider making a donation to Townhall’s Fall Pledge Drive. Yes, as I mentioned before, Townhall charges you nothing. But that doesn’t mean it costs nothing to operate. Advertising helps, but so do donations from grateful readers. Large sums, small sums and in-between sums are gladly accepted. They all add up -- and they all help make the Townhall experience possible.

So far, the editors are about halfway to their goal of raising $250,000. So how about taking a minute to pledge something right now? That way, when Townhall is around years from now, bigger than ever and bringing the conservative viewpoint to countless future leaders, you can smile and think to yourself: “I helped make it possible.”