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The Only Way to Save America is Total Ignorance

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Of course Republicans now actively see higher education as destroying America.

In September 2015, 54 percent of Republicans told Pew that they had a positive stance on college and universities, while 37 percent felt negatively toward them.

Today, their attitude seems to have taken a complete U-turn, with 58 percent of Republicans saying that colleges and universities had a “negative effect on the way things are going in the country.” Only 36 percent maintained that they’re good for the country.

On June 20, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) held a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on free speech on college campuses titled “Free Speech 101: The Assault on the First Amendment on College Campuses.”

According to the Washington Post, Grassley charged that free speech “appears to be sacrificed at the altar of political correctness.”

Also present was Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who lamented, “It’s tragic what is happening at so many American universities where college administrators and faculties have become complicit in functioning essentially as speech police.”

I’m glad to be doing my part in destroying America.

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  • reattmore

    Whatever are they talking about?

    • efgoldman

      Whatever are they talking about?

      They don’t know, why should we?

      I wonder how close that approval number tracks football success.

  • Brownian

    What a shitty artist. You can’t even see the heel spur that kept that millennial from fighting for freedom in Vietnam.

    • Erik Loomis

      I laughed out loud when I found this absurdity

      • JKTH

        It’s a parody right? It has to be.

        • Lost Left Coaster

          You don’t read a lot of right-wing cartoons, do you? They are always this bad. No cleverness at all.

          • Judas Peckerwood

            C’mon, you have to admit that the hammer & sickle, man-bun, ear plugs and pink backpack were subtle touches.

            • Lost Left Coaster

              Ha ha, oh yes, as subtle as a hammer blow to the head.

      • DN Nation

        “Worst wingnut cartoonist” changes daily, but AF Branco is the leader on a lot of days.

        http://i.imgur.com/gS91Mr6.jpg

        (no, this is not parody.)

        • tsam100

          I think over the long haul, he’s the worst. These cartoons are nothing but pure vindictive hate.

          • Have you not a smidgen of regard for Mallard Fillmore? Pure vindictive hate in the form of a cartoon duck.

            • tsam100

              I always picked up a clumsy attempt at being clever with that jackass. This one just comes right out and says it–which is …NOT… what political cartoons were supposed to be. This is a crazy uncle Facebook post in the form of a poorly drawn cartoon.

              Where clever means the failure mode of it, but nonetheless at least some attempt at allegory.

            • Bill Altreuter

              Prickly city deserves a shoutout too

              • It’s a rip-off of Non Sequitur, which is itself a rip-off of Calvin and Hobbes.

            • Hogan

              Chris Muir. Day by Day. That is all.

          • Matty

            My friend, have you heard the good bad word of Ben Garrison?

          • JMP

            I don’t know, it’s hard to get worst than Glenn McCoy’s frequent overt racism, particularly since Obama’s first election.

        • CP

          I love “Al Jazeera,” “Al Qaeda,” and “Big Arab Oil” being conflated into one thing. Not that they’re racist and think all hajjis look alike, of course, but…

        • PotemkinMetropolitanRegion

          What waste; I see some empty space on Gore’s suit the artist could have used to stick more heavy-handed descriptive labels. Does this guy even know what a cartoon is?

    • royko

      Yeah, that’s not even high school notebook doodle level quality.

  • Timurid

    Nice trigger discipline from the guy on the right…

    • wjts

      Are you saying the military should use trigger warnings?

      • Hogan

        Maybe. The police? Definitely.

    • tsam100

      That’s a thing now. Pose with the booger hook on the bang switch and make a librul snoflake mad as hell.

      • Drew

        Firearm safety is for liberal f****ts.

    • Lost Left Coaster

      Ha ha, good catch. Now if a liberal drew a cartoon like that, the NRA would be screaming about how liberals don’t know anything about guns or gun handling and thus should be blasted on a rocket to the sun.

    • PorlockJunior

      Took lessons from DIck Cheney.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      I don’t know when trigger discipline got to its current state, but I’m glad it did. Sometime in the early 21st century is my guess? What’s crazy is how long it took to get there. (i.e., how many bodies it took before somebody thought, hey… why don’t we…)

      Was looking up a radio the other day when I saw this trigger finger in a picture, from the before time:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AN/PRC-77_Portable_Transceiver#/media/File:BEST_OF_THE_MARINE_CORPS_-_May_2006_-_Defense_Visual_Information_Center_(5354367147).jpg

  • MariedeGournay

    Christ, it’s like that parody cartoonist at the Onion. All it needs is a weeping Statue of Liberty.

    • Erik Loomis

      Parody is so far past dead at this point

      • Linnaeus

        Jeet Heer might be on to something when he argues that Trump is a postmodern president for our postmodern age.

        • Erik Loomis

          Yeah, but the first postmodern president was George W. Bush

          • ASV

            If Bush qualifies it seems like Reagan would as well.

        • DAS

          What would Jeet Heer have to say about the Frankfurt School?

        • wjts

          Sounds like the bit in Grant Morrison’s Arkham Asylum where one of the shrinks argues that the Joker’s behavior is actually “super-sanity” brought about by the crazy modern world of 1989.

          • tsam100

            Common comics trope from the villains–“we’re better than humans, we’ve evolved.”, “Ahead of the curve”…
            I can see a guy like Trump thinking of himself that way.

      • CP

        It’s a sort of extra-concentrated ghost.

      • keta

        Sometimes I think that a parody of democracy could be more dangerous than a blatant dictatorship, because that gives people an opportunity to avoid doing anything about it.

        Aung San Suu Kyi

    • Murc

      Ward Sutton (the guy behind “Stan Kelly,” the Onion’s political cartoonist) is one of our most underrated cartoonists.

      He just published a collection of his work. It’s good.

  • sanjait

    I find plenty of reason, hypothetically, to legitimately complain about the encroachment on free speech by out of control PC.

    But the complaints thereof seen in real life look to be facile or mendacious, such that effectively none of them are legitimate. And it is tragicomically hypocritical that the conservative movement rallied behind a whining proto-fascist for President, and then complains about safe zones and threats to free speech.

    So, here we are.

    • CP

      I find plenty of reason, hypothetically, to legitimately complain about the encroachment on free speech by out of control PC.

      The problem is that when it comes to “PC,” “safe spaces” and the like, the most ardent practitioners and beneficiaries of it by far are American conservatives. The entire right wing media is a conservative safe space, created because their feelings were hurt every time they turned on the mainstream one. Every “Christian” academy that’s popped up since desegregation in the name of an alternative education to our commie universities is a conservative safe space. Etc. And those things never even appear in the debate over safe spaces and political correctness; it’s simply assumed, as a matter of course, that white conservatives are entitled to these safe spaces, and other people aren’t.

      • Abigail Nussbaum

        As I said in my own comment, the ultimate goal of screaming about PC isn’t to make university campuses places where there can be a full and frank exchange of ideas. It’s to deligitimize those campuses, and anywhere else where left-wing ideas might be freely expressed. This is about quashing free speech, and painting one entire side of the political map as traitors.

        • CP

          Building off of that, this applies more broadly across the entire, oft-mentioned phenomenon of “it’s always projection with the wingnuts.” The reason they “project” something onto their opponents (in this case, suppression of free speech) is so that they can justify what they’re about to do. The voters who lean their way think “well, Those People are doing it first, so we’d better get in on it too, we can’t fight with one hand tied behind our back,” the twits in the center say “both sides do it!” and there you go. In this case, the fact that we allegedly did it first means they’re fully justified, or at least no worse than we are, in quashing free speech.

          See also “voter fraud,” see also “Obama used the IRS to target conservative groups,” see also “liberals are plotting with foreigners to undermine our government.”

          • Linnaeus

            The reason they “project” something onto their opponents (in this case,
            suppression of free speech) is so that they can justify what they’re
            about to do.

            There’s a term for this (well, not quite the same thing as you describe, but close): “accusation in a mirror”, in which you accuse your enemy of doing the same thing you’re going to do in order to justify doing it.

            • CP

              I had never heard that term before, but that sounds like pretty much exactly it, so thanks.

              • Linnaeus

                You’re welcome. A historical example, by the way, was during the Rwandan genocide. Hate radio programming on RTLM, for example, did a lot of this – saying that Tutsis were getting ready to kill Hutus.

                • Origami Isopod

                  Pravda was also known for this tactic.

            • Origami Isopod

              DARVO: Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender.

        • majeff

          It’s also a distortion of “full and frank exchange of ideas.” Creationism isn’t excluded from university curricula and the like for a fear of debate; creationism lost the debate. There’s no reason to invite its advocates back or to include them in any way. Creationists may be an interesting object of study, but creationism has no value in biology or other sciences. Why should it be welcomed?

          • CP

            So much this. Much of the conservative demand for “free speech” is simply a demand that they be given a seat at every table… no matter what they bring to the table and how unsuited they are for it. It’s the equivalent of whining that a pacifist should’ve been allowed to weigh in on the plans for the Normandy invasion, despite the fact that he’s clearly unsuited for the job at the most basic level and that it’s no violation of his free speech rights not to let him.

            And in the meantime, every time a conservative is given a seat at the table, other people who actually *do* have worthwhile things to say are excluded from the debate. Which is of course the point.

      • uykhvasdrvtjyku

        “Every “Christian” academy that’s popped up since desegregation in the name of an alternative education to our commie universities is a conservative safe space.”

        As I like to say every time some conservative whines about the supposed lack of free speech on college campuses, I’ll take them seriously once they start applying the same standards to their own institutions. At Liberty University, students are not allowed to hold protests or gatherings at all without permission of the administration. Professors are not granted tenure because they might start teaching evolution. A group of students wanting to start a Democratic political club were denied because the admin thinks Democrats are the devil. Then there was that professor fired from Wheaton because she dared say that Christians and Muslims worship the same god (which is true, but saying anything nice about Muslims is verboten). And so on.

        To the best of my knowledge, no conservative has ever criticized these practices, even though they are vastly more repressive than “safe spaces” or whatever they think goes on at regular college campuses.

        • majeff

          At Liberty University, students are not allowed to hold protests or gatherings at all without permission of the administration. Professors are not granted tenure because they might start teaching evolution. A group of students wanting to start a Democratic political club were denied because the admin thinks Democrats are the devil.

          Less than a decade ago, when I was in grad school at Boston College, the university finally recognized the right of a queer student group to exist, so long as they didn’t, you know, be gay. So, time came to host a dance, and the College refused to allow it, because queers sponsoring a dance isn’t keeping with Catholic tradition. It was allowed once the College Democrats and Hillel sponsored it, because then it wasn’t homo-exclusive or something…and because Hillel is so in keeping with Catholic tradition.

          It was also an open secret that faculty doing queer research wouldn’t get tenured.

          • Hogan

            That was, of course, after the Mary Daly years. Jesuits used to be allowed to think you started with people where they are, even if you ran the risk of learning something from them.

            It’ll take centuries to clean up the damage JP2 and B16 did to Catholic higher education in the US, assuming any of that matters after the oceans rise.

            • after the Mary Daly years

              I was inordinately pleased to learn that Mary Daly had been a previous resident of the Old Fogies Home; alas, some years before my time here began.

            • majeff

              Oh, yes. I was around when she was forced out.

              • Origami Isopod

                Her legacy is very mixed, given how rabidly transphobic she was.

          • BiloSagdiyev

            Hey, at least nobody was upset that people were dancing. That’s some other little spots in the country.

      • Lost Left Coaster

        Exactly. I mean, all you need to do to test right-wing support for free speech is dunk a crucifix in some urine and put it in a museum. Then you get to see just how badly the right-wingers need their safe spaces.

        • I mean, all you need to do to test right-wing support for free speech is dunk a crucifix in some urine and put it in a museum.

          You just have to say it’s urine; I don’t think anyone ever tested the fluid for genuineness (I have no particular reason to believe, or disbelieve, Serrano’s claims; but if it had been me, I’d have been overjoyed to épater two entirely disjoint subsets of the bourgeoisie at the same time).

          • BiloSagdiyev

            I’m surprised they didn’t test it for drugs.

      • The synonym for conservative political correctness is “conservatism”. Political correctness is the fundamental core essence of conservatism. Without it conservatism would cease to exist.

        • Captain_Subtext

          I have been wondering how to explain the conservative viewpoint to my kids and this is just about perfect. It is religious/authoritarian in nature, is absolute, and allows no dissent. It is the power of the state as described in 1984’s newspeak.

    • uykhvasdrvtjyku

      “But the complaints thereof seen in real life look to be facile or mendacious, such that effectively none of them are legitimate.”

      I think this needs to be emphasized more. There are occasions where college students do illiberal things that, at least on the margin, might be detrimental to free expression. Legitimate examples are comparatively rare, but they exist.

      The problem is, about 99% of the time when the conservative outrage machine complains about some act of campus PC, they grossly misrepresent what happened. Or they exaggerate the shit out it. Or the issue at hand is utterly trivial. Or they’re outraged that students were simply protesting, thus missing the whole point of free speech.

      After seeing this happen for the fiftieth or sixtieth time, you start to realize that conservatives aren’t trying to right any wrong. They’re just trying to inflict a wrong.

  • King Goat

    The institutions conservatives like, the military, corporations and churches, are free speech havens welcoming dissent, right?

    • Hogan

      I once heard about an officer who said, “When I want to hear the men’s opinion, I’ll issue it to them.”

    • uykhvasdrvtjyku

      As I mentioned elsewhere, you don’t even need to go as far as churches or the military. Conservatives have their own religious colleges, and these are almost comical in their repression of free speech.

  • Hogan

    Was Steven Salaita invited to testify at that hearing?

  • JKTH

    I look forward to Grassley’s examination of Liberty and Bob Jones.

  • FlipYrWhig

    Shorter contemporary right: speech police suck! Oh, also, you’d better say “Merry Christmas” or we’re gonna boycott.

    • Linnaeus

      As I’ve said before, political correctness has been around for a very long time.

  • DAS

    Which colleges and universities are garnering the ire of the cartoonist? Public or private? If irony weren’t so long past being dead, it would be ironic if a cartoonist with “Americans for Limited Government” were peeved at what happens at a PRIVATE college or university while celebrating the military, which is part of the government.

    • DAS

      Also … I wonder if the cartoonist is aware that some people join the military after college and that some vets attend college?

      • Thlayli

        ROTC is still a thing, isn’t it?

      • Thom

        Not just some. Many, especially the latter category.

        • WeWantPie

          Oh, but the brave manly vets who attend college only study STEM courses, they’d never take a class in something faggoty, like history or literature or philosophy!

          Seriously, though, a good number of wingnuts don’t really have a problem with post-secondary education in general – they just hate it when it’s treated as a valuable end in itself, as opposed to necessary job-credentialing/training.

          What wingnuts DEFINITELY don’t want to encourage is the idea that anyone other than a scion of the .001% has any business at all cultivating the life of the mind for its own sake. The daughters (not the sons, for obvious reasons – they all go into finance) of billionaires can and should get masters’ degrees in art history, the better to run designer art galleries in Paris and New York, but the hoi polloi should stick to studying very narrow engineering fields geared to specific employment goals, or nursing school, or pursuing “marketing” degrees (what field of study is that, exactly?).

          • CP

            Seriously, though, a good number of wingnuts don’t really have a problem with post-secondary education in general – they just hate it when it’s treated as a valuable end in itself, as opposed to necessary job-credentialing/training.

            I was more connected to the conservative college scene than most, and in retrospect, the literary phrase that comes to mind more and more when thinking of them – especially many of the ROTC cadets – is “competent, industrious, and even intelligent within narrow limits.” They weren’t dumb, they were just tunnel-vision focused on, at worst, simply getting a degree, and at most, their one particular field. Otherwise, they pretty much stayed in their own safe spaces, surrounded by like-minded people, commiserating with each other about how horrifying it was that they were surrounded by liberals, and how oppressed they felt by it. They were, frankly, the prototypical stereotype of the “safe space” and “political correctness” sheltered cocooned college student.

            (DAS and Thlayli are correct that ROTC is still a thing, but in my experience, most of them would love that cartoon. It’s exactly their worldview. Poor little me, working SO hard and selflessly for America, while surrounded by whiny, lazy, cowering, ungrateful wretches who could never do what I do).

            It doesn’t always work: interestingly, some of the red staters I know who really blossomed in college were from the most stereotypically red state cocoons, like the couple of friends from Appalachian redneck family backgrounds, or the one friend who was a homeschooled evangelical kid. But the majority of college conservatives I know are people who came to college with a pre-formed worldview; who were determined not to deviate from it no matter what they experienced; who resented the hell out of having to share a space with so many people who didn’t agree with it; who were determined to hunker down and make it through college with the minimum amount of violation of their minds by new thoughts and new ideas possible; and who pretty steadily spent four years refusing to avail themselves of the zillion different windows into the human experience available to them in college.

            That was also a pretty good primer for understanding the existence (in fact, the proliferation) of people like Ben Carson in our society. They’re not dumb – they just literally only know One Thing. But they reserve the right to speak as an authority on every other thing, because the fact that they’ve mastered the One Thing proves that they’re comprehensively brilliant people who should always be heeded. It’s what happens when you go to college to get a degree, i.e. a mark of status, rather than an education, which goes back to your point.

            • Origami Isopod

              They’re not dumb – they just literally only know One Thing.

              Ah, yes. “Hedgehogs.” Lionized, as Ronnie Raygun was.

              • Captain_Subtext

                The real-life manifestation of the Dunning-Kruger effect as it affects highly-educated or trained people.

  • AlexSaltzberg

    It’s probably a coincidence that this happened at the same time that Fox News was desperately looking for “national” news stories to run instead of Trump’s failures or Congressional health care reform.

  • keta

    Somewhere Rick Santorum is taking a moment from his in-depth study of canine-human marriage consummation techniques and saying to himself, “Gee willikers, I really was a man ahead of the times.”

  • Abigail Nussbaum

    I’m sure I’m not saying anything that people here don’t know, but this is something to worry about. That conservative politicians and think-tanks hate universities and the intelligentsia is par for the course. That they manage to convince the populace to feel the same is a very bad sign. I’m seeing this right now in Israel, where the vilification of the left seems to extend to a new group each week – the press, universities, artists, anything so as not to have to treat people with different political stances as members of society rather than traitors.

    • CP

      In the American case, I’m honestly surprised that the number of Republicans who were okay with colleges was 50% at any point in the last several decades, let alone so recently as 2015.

      The statistic I’ve always thought was the biggest flashing neon sign reading “we’re screwed” is that about half of the population refuses to “believe in” darwinian evolution (of any kind). The soil here’s been fertile for anti-intellectual, anti-rational looniness for a long time.

      The fact that the looniness is spreading in so many different places is definitely another reason to be disheartened.

      • aab84

        Darwinian evolution directly conflicts with certain popular strains of Christianity. Higher education doesn’t, and hadn’t been a major focus of conservative media since at least the Iraq War protests. Combine that with the aspirational aspects of college, and I don’t know if it’s that shocking. Most people want to be a part of the elite, even as they sneer at them.

        Also too, some of the people in prior years may have been thinking “bible college” when responding. Now they’re primed to think “Berkeley.”

        • CP

          There’s pretty much a direct line from the Darwin thing to the critique of higher education, though – higher education is bad because higher education teaches heretical and sinful concepts like this. The point of the anti-college hysteria – and anti-public-school hysteria for that matter – is to undermine concepts like (among many others) basic science that question your cult leaders’ teachings.

          • Linnaeus

            It’s even older than that, e.g., the condemnations of the University of Paris in the 13th century, Yale being founded because Harvard was getting too “liberal”, etc.

            • Origami Isopod

              It’s probably rooted in the even more ancient city vs. country tensions. Kid goes to the university in the big city, kid’s mind is opened – can’t have that.

      • Deborah Bender

        IIRC, in the 1950s, educated left-of-center people were denigrated as “pointy-headed intellectuals.” In those days, “longhair” was a mild term of derision; it meant someone who appreciated and was knowledgeable about high culture.

        While attacks on the left often take this form, I think we should remember that receptivity to these attacks is partly, perhaps largely, based on class resentment. The cure for that is to improve public schools and provide cheap or free college education to everyone who is academically prepared for it. Maybe something like a civilian GI Bill, so adults who are already in the workforce can go to school without running up debt. People who have actually experienced going to college and were successful there are much less likely to believe tall tales about what goes on in colleges and universities.

        • Except, of course, that people who think college is bad are not going to go, even if it’s free. Perhaps *especially* not if it’s free, because “government education” is not to be trusted. So their opinions won’t change.

          Free college education is a good policy in its own right, of course. But don’t expect it to change these peoples opinions. Quite the reverse.

      • BiloSagdiyev

        Sure, they’re increasily angry, and believe a bunch of loony shit that just isn’t so, and they’ve been buying assault rifles and stockpiling ammo, but I don’t know if it’s anything to worry about.

    • wengler

      Republicans have shown their hatred already by defunding colleges and universities nationwide. This has had two side effects that they apparently weren’t expecting: a massive increase in full-tuition paying foreign students mostly from China, and a whole generation of young people that absolutely hate Republicans.

      • Deborah Bender

        What has happened to the California Master Plan since the 1960s-70s is horrible. The amount of money wasted on perks for administrators and the upper class Board of Regents doesn’t help with getting some of the funding restored.

    • Unemployed_Northeastern

      The irony being that just about every last employee of those conservative think tanks graduated from an Ivy-caliber school.

      • Graduated from, sure, and no doubt with suitable honors. Got (truly) educated there? Not so much.

  • aab84

    I know everyone talks about it all the time, but we as a society still massively underestimate the extent to which Fox News shapes the views of at least 30% of the adult population of this country.

    • DAS

      More pernicious is the effect of the Wall Street Journal. “Reasonable liberals” don’t watch Fox. But they may very well read the WSJ, if they are in the FIRE sector.

      • CP

        That, plus the distorting effect of the entire “mainstream media” (New York Times, CNN, wev). My complaint about conservative safe spaces above doesn’t even touch on the number of ways these people bend over backwards to avoid hurting the fee-fees of right wing nutjobs. (For all the good it does them).

        One of the worst pernicious aspects of the media landscape is simply the fact that it’s labeled “liberally biased” in the first place.

        • Drew

          Yeah. Basically all of society with limited exceptions is a conservative “safe space.”

          • CP

            That’s exactly it. Well said.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      These are… the 28% who hold America hostage.

  • dbk

    A minor but not entirely negligible aside: at the rate public university systems are being de-funded by cash-strapped and conservative state legislators and governors, free speech may be a moot point at many such institutions in the not-too-distant future–they’ll have ceased to exist.

    • Unemployed_Northeastern

      Virtually every public flagship university in the country now has federal dollars (via student loans, R&D grants, Pell, etc) comprise more of its revenue than state-level appropriations.

      • The Republicans will be taking care of that soon enough; not to worry.

        • LosGatosCA

          Yeah, why should those blue state cities with world class universities be creating more jobs than Neshoba County, Mississippi?

          Fuck that. After all, on a per capita basis what place in America has done more to uphold ‘traditional American values’ than Neshoba County? Which is why Reagan kicked off his ‘pilgrimage to greatness’ from there.

          • BiloSagdiyev

            Yer killin’ me!

  • ThresherK

    “Americans for Ltd Govt” has an editorial cartoonist. Or, “someone’s gotta give the next Mallard Fillmore a place to develop”.

    This is your regular reminder to follow the Tumblr site “AGoodCartoon”.

    • Jeff R.

      That guy’s a better artist than Tinsley and it makes more sense than the average Mallard Filmore cartoon.

      I used to read a blog called “Duck and Cover” that tried to rebut every MF strip. It must have gotten so soul crushing that he just posted a weekly thread to let his commenters have at it, and then monthly, and finally he gave up entirely.

      • ThresherK

        How many different rebuttals does one need to counter EVERY Mallard Fillmore? About ten or twelve?

    • Lost Left Coaster

      Wow there are a lot of Mallard Fillmore in there. And my god they are just terrible. Conservative cartoons are fine in theory but I have never seen a good one because they simply are not clever in any way. The punch line is always “ha ha liberals are stupid amirite?”

      • LosGatosCA

        Hard to think, never mind draw, while you’re goose stepping around your Mom’s basement or fondling your favorite gun until bedtime, or worrying about the sex lives of the Japanese who don’t even have a chunky Reese Witherspoon to humiliate in their dreams, while they fondle their guns, after hours of goose stepping sapping their creative energy and draining their bodily fluids.

        And after you’ve come up with Al Gore is fat, how can that even be topped?

  • Murc

    You know, I’m prepared to admit there are some leftist college activists, and illiberal leftist activitst in general, that really grind my gears.

    That being said, those guys have been around since, what, the sixties? If not before? And they don’t appear to be getting much traction. If there have ever been prominent left-wing politicians running on explicit platforms of abolishing the Bill of Rights as a collection of bourgeoisie claptrap, I’ve not noticed that.

    So while I’m happy to get into dustups with other leftists over both the relative and normative merits of the 1st Amendment, it just doesn’t really loom large on my list of things I’m worried about.

    Which is kind of the point. The lefts looney-tunes illiberal folks are a tiny fringe that hasn’t been able to get any traction on their stuff for a long, long time.

    Whereas the rights looney-tunes illiberal folks currently occupy the White House and many, many seats in Congress.

    • Linnaeus

      Don’t tell Conor Friedersdorf.

    • LosGatosCA

      I don’t think any party or ideology has the market cornered on obnoxious, arrogant, assholes.

      But the difference is only the libertarian, conservative, Republican obnoxious, arrogant, assholes are actively working to diminish the life expectancy of other people.

    • BloodyGranuaile

      One thing that gets glossed over in a lot of panics about overzealous college leftist is that college students are usually between 18 and 22, i.e., a bunch of them are still teenagers. It shouldn’t be remotely surprising that a lot of them have more passion than knowledge of what they’re talking about, and more energy than sense.

      For the majority of them, their views will get a little more nuanced as time goes by and they grow up and add more experience and reading and other bits of knowledge into the mix in their brainpans.

      I’m probably a bit further left than I was in college, which seems to be a pattern for those of us who graduated into the recession, but I’m also better informed and somewhat better at having conversations, so I hope I’m a bit less insufferable than I was when I was 18.

  • JMP

    It’s ironic that the far right always claims to be supporting free speech when they’re proposing censorship; that’s the whole point of their rants against imaginary “PC culture” and “social justice warriors”, that they want to prevent anyone from saying “that’s racist” or “that’s sexist” in response to a bigoted statement or action, no matter how racist or misogynist it actually is.

    • LosGatosCA

      It’s the German Democratic Republic all over again.

      Anyone that thinks they can escape using some fucked up PC logic deserves to get shot trying to scale the wall.

      The conservative Republican cult, as has been well documented by themselves, is beyond parody.

      And no, I don’t think they are just some insecure, pathetic, paranoid morans who just can’t stand for other people to just be happy, free to follow their dreams, and be treated with minimum respect and dignity – I KNOW they are too insecure, etc, to not feel defeated by other people’s ability to escape the oppression of the cult.

  • Sumac

    Did anyone see the NYT article on the University of Missouri? Students just don’t wanna go there — nothing about changing demographics or the state’s defunding…

  • Justin Runia

    That garbage lettering is triggering me

  • Porkman

    Warning, people will not like what I’m about to write. I am on the left, this is all coming from a place of love and a place of exasperation.

    The idea of the progressive stack is persuasive. It’s like that lady that was kicked out of pride for having a star of david on her flag. She was lucky that Jews are counted as being oppressed and she recieved an apology. The cops who were kicked out of a Canadian pride parade by BLM activists never got that benefit.

    The perception is that the modern left isn’t willing to call a spade a spade any more and that’s too the left’s detriment. It also turns off young people. It’s the 1984 quote about being allowed to believe that 2 + 2 = 4. For example, your basic 15 year old knows that being morbidly obese is unattractive. That’s somewhat socially constructed, but there’s a core component of basic biology to it.

    Same thing with the march of transgender and the cis-het narrative. We know that the rate of homosexuality in men is somewhere between 5-10% and for women it’s 2-4%. People who are transgender are even rarer, less than 1%. The insistence that cisgender, heterosexual people are not the “default” flies in the face of every person’s experience. This isn’t an argument for the oppression of non cis, non hetero people, just that the left makes itself look ridiculous by pretending that the basic biology of a mark 1 human doesn’t default towards cisgender, heterosexual.

    Or to take another example, the idea that men and women have equal interest/aptitude for all fields on a population level. It’s downright insane to believe that, in the absence of any sort of sexism, that every occupation would be 50% men, and 50% women. I imagine things would be closer to 50-50 than they are now, but, again, they probably wouldn’t be equal.

    All of these are just examples of ideas that go against a person’s basic common sense and thus they look like the left is trying to convince people that 2 + 2 = 5.

    • Lost Left Coaster

      Good ol’ “common sense” — i.e., whatever you believe is correct, everyone else is wrong, don’t need no stinkin’ evidence, it’s just good common sense!

      You’re right, that is not going to be super popular here — that is the core essence of the reactionary right — go with your gut feeling and then try to rationalize it afterward. And what do you know, your “common sense” simply conforms with your prejudices against larger people, or LGBT people, or women.

      • Porkman

        It’s not prejudices. There no bias against LGBTQ people in my comment. The comment was saying that LGBTQ people are always going to be in the minority because of basic biology of humans. Sexuality is socially modified but it has a biological base.

        That’s not a justification for treating people in said minority badly. A default human is also much more likely to be Chinese than say… Azerbaijani. That doesn’t mean that it’s ok to oppress people from Azerbaijan.

        Similarly, this isn’t an argument for treating larger people badly or for gender segregating professions or any other such nonsense.

        • Lost Left Coaster

          Okay, fine, but I really don’t see the point of your comment then.

          • Veleda_k

            I think the point is “Teh gayz are ruining leftism!”

        • Has anybody ever argued that LBGT comprised more than a minority.

    • Murc

      It’s like that lady that was kicked out of pride for having a star of

      david on her flag. She was lucky that Jews are counted as being
      oppressed and she recieved an apology.

      I am sure that all sorts of Jewish people would agree with you about how “lucky” they are to have been subjected to centuries of virulent anti-semitism.

      The cops who were kicked out of a Canadian pride parade by BLM activists never got that benefit.

      No, instead they get the benefit of being able to hunt black people (and really poor people, but mostly black people) for sport. Gosh, I wonder which they’d rather have?

      The perception is that the modern left isn’t willing to call a spade a spade any more and that’s too the left’s detriment.

      Fuck “perception.” I live in the reality-based community. I care about what’s actually the case. If you want to argue that the left has an image problem, fine. But don’t drop some passive-aggressive “oh noes, we’re perceived badly” bullshit if you want to make a substance argument, which you clearly do.

      For example, your basic 15 year old knows that being morbidly obese is unattractive.

      Even if this is true, so what? The actual number of people who are morbidly obese is tiny, and none of them deserve to be shamed for their appearance as a default attitude.

      That’s somewhat socially constructed, but there’s a core component of basic biology to it.

      This, however, is simply straight-up wrong, unless you’re trying to make the argument that all attraction has a degree of biological determinism to it. Which isn’t something that I think you’ll find many on the left contradicting.

      Same thing with the march of transgender and the cis-het narrative.

      What narrative would this be, perchance? That transgender people exist? That would seem to be the very essence of calling a spade a spade.

      The insistence that cisgender, heterosexual people are not the “default” flies in the face of every person’s experience.

      Who is making this argument? I have never seen it.

      I have seen numerous arguments that “default” shouldn’t be the same thing as “assumed” or “privileged.” That’s rather different. For example, people who insist on disclosure of pronouns aren’t making the case that most folks won’t use the pronouns that match the gender they present as; they’re arguing that those folks shouldn’t get the privilege of never, ever needing to disclose just because they fall within the commonly perceived default range. This seems reasonable and equitable.

      Or to take another example, the idea that men and women have equal interest/aptitude for all fields on a population level.

      Again, who is pushing this idea? Because I’ve not ever seen it.

      • Porkman

        Jews collectively and throughout history have been oppressed for being Jewish. This particular woman… had not.

        Second, Canadian cops, not American ones, but, even if they were just as bad as American cops, that should have no bearing on a Pride parade. It was symptomatic of the larger problem of not being able to take yes for an answer. Finally, if we’re going to faux outraged about stuff… How dare you assume that LGBTQ Canadian cops came to a pride parade and presumably want to show their Pride in their sexual orientation value that less than “hunting black people for sport.”

        It’s not that the morbidly obese deserve to be shamed, it’s that it destroys credibility when the narrative is that morbidly obese woman are beautiful. Everyone has the right to feel their own way about their own appearance. What hurts credibility is when there’s proscriptions about how one should feel about the appearance of others… or other’s personalities… or their fashion sense… or anything else.

        “Don’t be shallow,” “Don’t judge,” “look beyond X, Y, Z” are all fine. But if the message is that “Tess Holiday is as beautiful as Rihanna,” that destroys credibility. Because people know it’s not true. 2 + 2 does not equal 5.

        “For example, people who insist on disclosure of pronouns aren’t making the case that most folks won’t use the pronouns that match the gender they present as; they’re arguing that those folks shouldn’t get the privilege of never, ever needing to disclose just because they fall within the commonly perceived default range. This seems reasonable and equitable.”

        I think I’m missing the meaning here. Is the idea that people who’s assigned sex match their gender identity should be disclosing the same way trans people do? That’s fine but usually redundant.

        “Again, who is pushing this idea? Because I’ve not ever seen it.”

        Larry Summers was pushed out of his position because he said that men and women on a population level might have different aptitudes for math. Essentially, not that women were bad at math, just that for a given population you might get 40 women who are interested in math as a career for every 100 men with the same interest.

        The actual numbers don’t matter. He was excoriated because he had the gall to suggest that part of the reason there were fewer women in math was because fewer women were interested.

        The thing about childcare was stupid. But the basic premise, which was that women and men might not be equally interested in some career fields and thus could be a part of the explanation for unequal representation was not well received.

        Therefore the implicit argument is that, absent discrimination, men and women would have equal representation in every field. Which is ridiculous.

        • Veleda_k

          You’re right, dude. If we don’t remind the fatties that they’re hideous, the left has no future in America.

          And the idea that men and women just “happen” to have different interests and that’s it not about sexism, no sir, is a transparent prop for patriarchy, and good on people for having seen through it. You want me to take that argument seriously? Run a study. With a control group, a group of men and women who have never received any gendered messaging. Oh, you can’t find any? No shit.

        • Murc

          Jews collectively and throughout history have been oppressed for being Jewish. This particular woman… had not.

          Well, yes, she had been, because the organizers were stupid enough not to know that the Star of David and flag of Israel are two entirely separate things. Kicking someone out of your even for displaying the second is a display of disapproval for the political entity in question; kicking someone out for displaying the former is a form of anti-semitism.

          Second, Canadian cops, not American ones, but, even if they were just as
          bad as American cops, that should have no bearing on a Pride parade.

          It’s called solidarity. Maybe you should look into it.

          How dare you assume that LGBTQ Canadian cops came to a pride parade and
          presumably want to show their Pride in their sexual orientation value
          that less than “hunting black people for sport.”

          They could easily have marched in Pride if they’d taken their uniforms off and showed up as ordinary citizens. They decided, instead, that their identities as cops were more important.

          It’s not that the morbidly obese deserve to be shamed, it’s that it
          destroys credibility when the narrative is that morbidly obese woman are
          beautiful.

          People can say that they think anyone they fucking want is beautiful. You don’t get to tell them they’re wrong.

          I think I’m missing the meaning here.

          The meaning is that I don’t think you can actually produce evidence that there are serious and widepsread elements on the left arguing that cisgender, cishet people aren’t the majority of people and likely to remain so.

          Larry Summers was pushed out of his position because he said that men
          and women on a population level might have different aptitudes for math. Essentially, not that women were bad at math, just that for a given
          population you might get 40 women who are interested in math as a career
          for every 100 men with the same interest.

          Wait, hold on.

          Which did he do? Did he say men and women might have different aptitudes for math, or that they might have different interests in math? Those are two wildly different things and the first one both isn’t provable and is usually nakedly misogynistic. Did he do the first, the second, or both?

          He was excoriated because he had the gall to suggest that part of the
          reason there were fewer women in math was because fewer women were
          interested.

          Even if this were true, the actual reason for why fewer women might be interested in certain career fields, and fewer men might be interested in others, is worth examining, because that reason likely doesn’t occur in a vacuum and is likely not tied to any innate aspect of female biology but rather to cultural and social dynamics in play, some of which may very well be pernicious.

          Therefore the implicit argument is that, absent discrimination, men and women would have equal representation in every field.

          This is not the implicit argument.

    • Dr. Acula

      “I am on the left”

      Sure you are, uh huh.

      • He may well be. There are lots of racist and sexist socialists, after all. He’s just another “we need to abandon minority rights in order to achieve Socialist Revolution” shithead. Bernie’s candidacy brought them out of the woodwork in massive numbers.

        • Origami Isopod

          Yeah, this. These are the people who call those of us who give a shit about anything other than class the regressive left.

    • BloodyGranuaile

      Apart from the bit where all of this is hot garbage, what does it have to do with progressive stack?

      • Porkman

        The “progressive stack” is sort of a statement about intersectionality, but done wrong. Intersectionality is the idea that different forms of oppression mix and interact and people can be privileged in one aspect, but not privileged in others.

        The progressive stack as per this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_stack was an Occupy Wall St idea that people from historically disadvantaged groups be allowed to go first in the order of speakers. The flipside of this is that it unfortunately implies a hierarchy of whose oppression is more real.

        In the case of this woman at the parade, her identity as Jewish was ranked lower than the perceived offense that some parade goers took at a Star of David. The two competing narratives were weighed and the six pointed star lost. Being Jewish isn’t ranked very high on the stack.

        • BloodyGranuaile

          I am fully aware of what progressive stack is, which is why I was so lost as to why you brought it up when literally not one word in your entire rambling-ass comment had a single thing to do with discussion facilitation.

          Progressive stack is not a “statement about intersectionality,” it is a discussion facilitation method. It is a discussion facilitation method based on the observed and well-documented fact that white dudes talk more than everyone else put together, but barring someone from a parade still isn’t progressive stack, because barring someone from a parade isn’t a particular method of queueing commenters in a meeting.

          If your problem is with ways in which intersectional theory is applied in progressive spaces, then talk about your problems with the ways in which intersectional theory is applied in progressive spaces. But progressive stack is only one extremely specific practice influenced by intersectional theory, so it only makes sense to bring up progressive stack if you’re talking about the practice of progressive stack.

          Otherwise you’re just substituting “lookee me, I know lefty buzzwords” for having an argument, and condescending to other people by assuming that they don’t know all the lefty buzzwords (they probably do) if they can’t find the argument that you did not make (in this example, that would be the argument against progressive stack that you did not make in your original comment).

    • Origami Isopod

      Blah blah blah poor oppressed cops blah blah blah fat chicks make my boner sad blah blah blah evolutionary psychiatry blah blah blah “homosexuality” blah blah blah “basic biology” blah blah blah more evolutionary psychology blah blah blah.

  • MikeG

    Given their vehement support for “free speech”, you’d expect Republican-dominated institutions like Liberty University, Regent University and Bob Jones U. to be bastions of intellectual diversity, free thought and personal self-expression.

    Those entire institutions are created as “safe spaces” for fearful bible-thumpers to send their sheltered veal calves so they don’t experience secular American life and minimize the risk of them dating minorities.

  • osceola

    How can I turn my students into Marxists when they don’t do the fucking reading?

    • Instructional video games?

    • Origami Isopod

      Google “Marxist porn.”

  • TheBrett

    I follow a couple of conservative bloggers, and that’s pretty much what they think – that higher education has become a hostile space for conservative ideas and people, and that it needs to be reined in or defunded to root out the PC Police Crowd.

    Of course, that also conveniently lines up with the agenda of the anti-tax and privatization people in the party too. I remember the economist Scott Sumner outright saying that he understood why Wisconsin was cutting funding to higher education – why bother building and paying for a world-class college system if all the graduates are just going to leave the state to go work in the big coastal cities anyways?

    • Lurking Canadian

      Megan McArdle is convinced (I think because nobody would hire the douchebag she married) that higher education is biased against conservatives. Just look at all the polls showing 95% of non-business faculty are Democrats. As a result, she thinks the nation’s universities need affirmative action for Republicans to redress this historic injustice.

      • Linnaeus

        The market has decided. Too bad for them.

      • Murc

        Megan McArdle is convinced (I think because nobody would hire the
        douchebag she married) that higher education is biased against
        conservatives.

        She’s right, and this is one of higher educations saving graces; that they recognize blithering idiocy when they see it, at least in some cases, and reject it.

      • Jonathan Roth

        That was inevitable once conservatives made creationism and climate denial a core of their political identity.

  • AGoodQuestion

    The guy on the right is hostile to the First Amendment and is wearing old Soviet swag so he’d like the ex head of the KGB. That said, it’s an awful likeness of Trump.

  • If only we had never had the Enlightenment.

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