The student protest at the University of Missouri began as a response to a serious problem -- outbursts of vile racism on campus -- and quickly devolved into an expression of a renewed left-wing hostility to freedom of expression. At the protest on Missouri’s campus yesterday, on a space that is expressly open to free expression, protesters barred journalists from covering the demonstrations....Chait cites several events in addition to what's going on in Missouri. He talks about "jeering student mobs" not just in Missouri but at Yale, where there was anger at a college master whose wife advised students that if they see an offensive Halloween costume, they should just look away. I don't see a mob in the Yale video that made this a cause celebre -- I see one student who's very upset and a lot of people mostly looking on. The master still has his job.
Political correctness is a system of thought that denies the legitimacy of political pluralism on issues of race and gender....
The upsurge of political correctness is ... the expression of a political culture with consistent norms, and philosophical premises that happen to be incompatible with liberalism....
The continuous stream of small-scale outrages it generates is a testament to an illiberalism that runs deep down to its core....
It does upset me that a campus newspaper at Wesleyan has lost a large chunk of its funding because the student government was offended by a wrongheaded but earnest right-wing op-ed about Black Lives Matter. This is the worst of Chait's horror stories, and it's getting very little attention (presumably because there's no video).
Are the kids intolerant of dissenting opinions these days? Some of them seem to be -- but, really, why would they be otherwise? We tout the value of our system, but when in their lifetimes have they seen our system work well?
When have they seen a government in Washington that functions well and in the public interest? How many issues have they seen on which grown-ups -- the people lecturing them now -- have essentially shut down one side of the debate? We can't take serious action on guns because on guns the NRA has the final say. We can't take serious action on climate change because energy interests have persuaded one of our two major political parties to stand athwart history yelling "Stop!" The 1% control our tax policy and have put severe limits on how much of the economic recovery can reach the 99%. When was the last time we raised the federal minimum wage? Is there any realistic chance that we'll be able to raise it in the next few years?
Outside electoral politics, rapists act with impunity. Men's rights advocates threaten violence and ruin lives of those who offend them.
And, of course, cops with itchy trigger fingers still shoot too many unarmed citizens.
Some good fights are fought and won -- well, okay, one: gay marriage. But even that was won mostly in the courts. Government legislative bodies, which are supposed to embody the values of free speech and open debate, largely dropped the ball on this issue.
JFK famously said, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." In our times, those who make liberal democracy futile are making illiberal political protest inevitable.