Sunday, May 31, 2015

George F. Will: A Summer Break From Campus Muzzling

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   As I've said before, in my youth I thought of GFW as the loyal opposition--I seldom agreed with him, but I usually thought he deserved a hearing. In his old age, however, I think he's become a hard-right crank. So my current view is that he's typically only right if liberals screw up bad and give him a big opening. Which they have. In this piece, Will is basically right. And he's right because liberals--especially academic and web-liberals--have tolerated the growth of far-left nuttiness.
   I haven't noticed an expansion of far-left crackpottery on my own campus...but our students are a pretty mainstream lot. If we have a campus left at all, I've never noticed it... So,how widespread is the problem? I have no idea. But that's a question we can separate off. The views are nuts--we can agree about that and resolve to push back against them without knowing how big a threat they are.
   Oh, god, and the comments on that Will piece...what an embarrassment...  My favorite I think was roughly: Will is full of it because he doesn't mention right-wing threats to free speech, e.g. climate-change gag orders. So much facepalm... D'ya think these folks object to stories about laws discouraging discussion of climate change because they don't mention SJW / neo-PC thought police on campuses? What a lame criticism...
   Anyway: GFW is right about this one. And if liberals are going to keep giving him slow pitches down the middle, they'd better get used to him hitting it out of the park...

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