We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
We Conservatives may be guilty of nurturing a "flattering consensus" in our own ways, insulated from rigorous debate. Thompson uses the neoneo piece we linked a while ago about the lack of intellectual diversity in the academy, and takes it a bit further, concluding:
If students and faculty are spared serious, thoughtful contact with opposing arguments, their own views can easily become lazy, reflexive and glib. One can simply feel one is right, or ought to be, and that may be the end of the process. This should matter irrespective of one’s political leanings. If a person wants to be right about a given issue, it helps to know why their ideas are sound, if indeed they are. And knowing why an idea is sound generally arises from that idea being tested, vigorously, by people who disagree.