Just Whose Thoughts Are They Policing?

 

Robby George recently chaired the now bi-annual meeting of the Harvard campus conservatives(1).

Yes, we do exist. We are much like the Christians in ancient Rome…except, the catacombs are nicer. And we don’t bury our dead in the walls. At least not yet.

The topic du jour, appropriately, was the thuggish liberal suppression of conservative ideas on college campuses, in the media, and even in corporate boardrooms – something that seems to have grown acute lately.

Robby opened the meeting by citing the now familiar cases of Ayaan Hirshi Ali’s dis-invitation to receive an honorary degree from Brandies and Brendan Eich’s firing from Mozilla. Similar snubs to Condoleezza Rice and Charles Murray were yet to come. And what Robby said was this (I am paraphrasing):

The problem is not that the left wants to keep people from talking about certain conservative ideas. The problem is that they want to keep people from thinking them.

And that’s really the whole nut, isn’t it?

Although there is already a lot of talk out there about this, I wanted to add my two cents. Because, forgive me, but this whole censorship thing is getting kind of depressing!

So here is my attempt to fight back.

First, a good way to start fighting any liberal idiocy is to take a look inside the liberal mind. At the very least it’s always good for a laugh.

Be it the Sunday morning bagel brunch gathering with the New York Times or the dinner with the department speaker after the colloquium, liberals really only talk to each other. They listen to NPR and watch MSNBC and parrot Paul Krugman and Rachel Madow.

It hurts them to hear conservative viewpoints, especially about gays, abortion, global warming, guns, and illegal aliens. The expression of these ideas is acutely embarrassing to them. It makes them want to run and hide their heads. Like when someone farts loudly at the brunch. It’s especially bad if someone farts…and then smiles…like they’re proud.

So imagine Fox News from their point of view.

Therefore, when liberals try to censor the expression of conservative ideas in society, they are not trying to prevent others from thinking those ideas. They are trying to prevent themselves from thinking those ideas.

Second, liberal ideology is rooted in the Ratchet Theory of History or (as I have written elsewhere):

…the idea that history is like a great ratcheted wheel that the enlightened must painstakingly turn, notch by notch, in order to haul the ignorant masses up out of brutality and chaos…

The paradigm for all liberalism is the civil rights movement and, psychologically, every struggle brings them back to Selma, Alabama.

I cannot emphasize how important it is that we take this seriously.

Because we all now believe that, for instance, slavery is unthinkable. (And please don’t equivocate about how it is the Republicans who freed the slaves. It makes no difference. The point is that social views evolve over historical times and some things that were formerly commonplace have become anathema to polite society).

Therefore, our job is to show how gay rights and rights for illegal aliens, etc. are not the same as freedom and rights for Black Americans.

And that brings me to the final point, which is this: I’m not actually worried at all about the attempted Gestapo behavior of the liberal intelligentsia toward the voicing of conservative opinions. Brendan Eich, Ayaan Hirshi Ali, Secretary of State Rice, Charles Murray, and a hundred more suppressed!

Irritating? Yes! Funny? Always! But seriously a worry? No.

And the reason why it doesn’t worry me is breathtakingly simple: because they, the liberals, are wrong. And hiding truth doesn’t make it untruth.

Do most people want their children to grow up to be gay? No. Will suppression of thought change that? No.

Are people who arrived in America by breaking our laws, packed in the backs of trucks, likely to make good citizens that we’d like to have as neighbors? … Whose kids will play with our kids? No. Will suppression of thought change that? No.

Is abortion a pretty thing? No. Are late-term abortions horrific? Yes.

Do the tenets of Islam as expressed in the Koran lead to the oppression of women all over the world even in relatively “liberal” Muslim nations? Yes.

Is government likely to run healthcare better than the private sector?

You get the idea.

Of course, I am just as infuriated by the brazen suppression of free speech lately as you are. And I intend to keep fighting it where I see it.

But I have often thought that one of the key differences between liberals and conservatives is that we conservatives have to play by the adult’s rules and liberals get to play by the kid’s rules. Of course, that’s as it should be. As adults – as conservatives – we take rules seriously.

And, of course, it’s a handicap. But it doesn’t come close to compensating for how big a handicap it is for them that the truth, by and large, is on our side.

 

(1) I am now a former member of the Harvard community. But the conservatives still invite me back for their events.

There are 16 comments.

  1. Arahant Member

    “I’ve got my eyes closed! I can’t see you, so you don’t exist!” Sweet, sweet, self-delusion of the left.

    • #1
    • May 8, 2014, at 6:21 AM PDT
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  2. Aaron Miller Member

    Political correctness forces sensible people to choose between truth and relationships. It’s driven by feelings. When truth hurts or upsets someone, whether that person is a loved one or a significant associate (coworker, customer, colleague, etc), you have to decide if that person’s feelings or the consequences of those feelings are worth suppressing the truth for. 

    When the consequences are mild, there are incentives to both lie and tell the truth. Who doesn’t tell white lies, afterall? If you can tell your wife her new haircut looks great while secretly thinking you liked the old one better, why not withhold a good joke or observation that might set off your liberal friends? On the other hand, those little interactions set a tone. White lies don’t seem important in the moment, but a lot of those moments can create a habit of lying and a general focus on feelings.

    That might be part of how we got to this present situation, in which those little lies are expected constantly and the consequences are no longer mild. The less tolerance (genuine tolerance) we demand, the less tolerance is offered. 

    The proper response to accusations of “micro-aggressions” is laughter; if that doesn’t work, scorn.

    • #2
    • May 8, 2014, at 6:57 AM PDT
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  3. Ontheleftcoast Inactive

    Chattel slavery is so 18th century. With current technology, the slave may not even know he’s been enslaved.

    • #3
    • May 8, 2014, at 7:02 AM PDT
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  4. PsychLynne Inactive

    The expression of these ideas is acutely embarrassing to them. It makes them want to run and hide their heads. Like when someone farts loudly at the brunch. It’s especially bad if someone farts…and then smiles…like they’re proud.

    This phrase exactly captures the feelings and reactions of my libereal co-workers.

    • #4
    • May 8, 2014, at 8:25 AM PDT
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  5. Eeyore Member

    Michael Stopa:

    … I’m not actually worried at all about the attempted Gestapo behavior of the liberal intelligentsia toward the voicing of conservative opinions….seriously a worry? No.

    …I have often thought that one of the key differences between liberals and conservatives is that we conservatives have to play by the adult’s rules and liberals get to play by the kid’s rules. 

    It might be worth remembering that the vast majority of the Khmer Rouge murderers were actual children – teenagers. I used to live in a progressive neighborhood. There were at least two people there who, had they the imprimatur of official sanction, would have been very happy to execute conservatives.
    Remember that Bill Ayers advocated the possible killing of 25 million Americans if necessary to achieve the desired society.
    Then take a look at Ted Cruz’s elaboration of the imperial Obama administration, and think what would happen if such an administration decided to act a little…more imperially.

    • #5
    • May 8, 2014, at 8:39 AM PDT
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  6. KC Mulville Inactive

    The premise of censorship, and political correctness, is that we can’t trust individuals to form their own opinions. 

    I find it revealing that liberals, who control the education system almost absolutely, simultaneously don’t trust their products to form opinions. Liberals trained us to think, but at the same time, they don’t trust what we think. Or in other words, the people who taught us to think don’t want us to do what they taught us. 

    It’s like a bad carpenter who refuses to sit on his own chairs. He knows he did a poor job, and he doesn’t want to suffer the consequences of his own ineptitude. So he insists that everyone stand.

    • #6
    • May 8, 2014, at 9:05 AM PDT
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  7. Merina Smith Inactive

    I mostly agree with you Michael. No as much with this though:

    Are people who arrived in America by breaking our laws, packed in the backs of trucks, likely to make good citizens that we’d like to have as neighbors? … Whose kids will play with our kids? No. Will suppression of thought change that? No.

    To that one I’d say–sometimes yes. I favor strict border controls, and the drug trafficking is sickening, but I think all kinds of good people have come to this country illegally just to make a better life for themselves. In fact, just last week in Sunday School one of the kids said that her mother, a good friend of mine, initially came here illegally. She’s now a proud citizen and a good mother raising some fine, intelligent, religious and (I’m doing my best to assist her in this) conservative kids.

    • #7
    • May 8, 2014, at 9:55 AM PDT
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  8. Profile Photo Member

    I understand what you are trying to say, but Obamacare should scare everyone. It is a huge leap into the abyss and needs to be repealed. This one has nothing to be blase about and the next two elections should focus like a laser on repealing it.

    • #8
    • May 8, 2014, at 11:01 AM PDT
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  9. Michael Stopa Podcaster
    Michael Stopa Post author

    Merina, no doubt there are noble, honest, hard-working illegal aliens here. It doesn’t matter. If we never find the national will to send people who are in this country illegally back to their home countries, then it makes no difference how big a fence we build on the border. We are sending an engraved invitation to the impoverished of the world that all you gotta do is get here. And there are businesses that will be set up (they exist already) to accomplish that for a fee. There is ultimately no choice but to send them home and to punish the unscrupulous employers who profit at their neighbors’ expense by hiring them.

    • #9
    • May 8, 2014, at 11:45 AM PDT
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  10. Merina Smith Inactive

    I know Michael. I am sympathetic to the problem, but realistically I don’t think we will ever find the national will to send home people who are well-established in communities and good citizens. I don’t think it is entirely discouraging though. We do have to build the fence then establish e-verify or something like that, which would greatly reduce the number who get it. Then we’d have to ship some people home, certainly, but find a pathway to citizenship for others. Then perhaps we need to be stricter about people who enter after a certain date. It’s a messy problem that involves many lives and families with citizen children born and raised here by illegal parents. Fixing the problem is also going to be messy, but it has to be humane. On the upside, many of these immigrants are good citizens and I think can become good conservatives. The ones I know are.

    • #10
    • May 8, 2014, at 12:34 PM PDT
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  11. Michael Stopa Podcaster
    Michael Stopa Post author

    Merina, the problem with humanity for some is that it often involves inhumanity for others – others who can’t speak for themselves…who stayed in their countries and waited in line and tried to do things the right way. We never see them so we can ignore them in the calculus of our benevolence.

    After all, what is so inhumane about saying to all illegal aliens that, look, you have benefited immensely from our country already? If you leave today you are still better off than if you had never been allowed to come here. We would like to provide you with a six month transition period to find a job in your home country, sell your property here, let your kids finish the school year. Maybe we can provide relocation assistance.

    I lived in Japan and Germany for a number of years. When it came time to move there were oceans of tears (with four young kids no less). People move on. They are not going to concentration camps.

    Maybe after everybody is back onside, and after employers who refused to go along with the program were punished, we could start selectively inviting people back for whom employers (or neighbors) would vouch for their character.

    That is really the only solution I see. Partial amnesty turns into total amnesty turns into utter chaos. How many billion people will be trying to come here next?

    • #11
    • May 8, 2014, at 1:31 PM PDT
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  12. Franco Member

    Be it the Sunday morning bagel brunch gathering with the New York Times or the dinner with the department speaker after the colloquium, liberals really only talk to each other. They listen to NPR and watch MSNBC and parrot Paul Krugman and Rachel Madow.

    It hurts them to hear conservative viewpoints, especially about gays, abortion, global warming, guns, and illegal aliens. The expression of these ideas is acutely embarrassing to them. It makes them want to run and hide their heads.

    You may know a different type of lefty than I, but they don’t “run and hide their heads” even if they want to. They act. What they do is de-legitimize people. They associate with good guys and shun bad guys. They like to dumb down the argument, and the easier it is to dismiss the person making the argument, then the battle is won. It’s a common tactic. Add to this the belief that these institutions grant legitimacy (as they think), how can they grant the imprimatur of their presige to such cretins? It’s not the ‘ideas’ they are so afraid of, because the ones I know are all too happy to engage and defend (and go ballistic once they are cornered) they want to marginalize and strip their opponents of ALL of it. The unspoken but very powerful message is message is, “This person is so far outside the mainstream, so extreme, so vile we won’t let him/her address us.”

    It works quite well and is a way to keep the sheep in line. Also note how they double-down when the offender is a former lefty (traitor) or a black, hispanic, woman, etc. (defying their narrative). It’s very important for them to stop these people from being heard.

    • #12
    • May 8, 2014, at 1:31 PM PDT
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  13. barbara lydick Coolidge

    First, a good way to start fighting any liberal idiocy is to take a look inside the liberal mind.

    Hello, hello. Anyone in there? (Only heard an echo…)

    • #13
    • May 8, 2014, at 2:21 PM PDT
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  14. Merina Smith Inactive

    I just think that trying to send home a bunch of people who have been here a long time–millions of people– would be a public relations nightmare. It’s true that it isn’t fair to those who wanted to come and didn’t, but on the other hand, our policy has been somewhat incoherent–periodic amnesty, little border security, etc., so their coming in light of that is somewhat understandable. I think we’re going to have to find a way to move on from where we are while at the same time instituting some more sensible policies wrt allowing in highly skilled workers, giving guest-worker passes to workers that farmers depend on, allowing a path to citizenship but a very long one, that type of thing. One thing for sure, whatever path we take it will be messy.

    • #14
    • May 8, 2014, at 4:22 PM PDT
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  15. Arahant Member

    Marina, it’s simple. Until this amnesty thing came up, a lot of illegals were self-deporting. All we have to do is finish ruining the economy and they’ll run away as fast as they can.

    • #15
    • May 8, 2014, at 8:14 PM PDT
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  16. Michael Stopa Podcaster
    Michael Stopa Post author

    Merina, I think the fact that there are 11 million cases is no argument. We shouldn’t do it because we can’t. If it were one person, not 11 million, then we would send someone from ICE, and proceed to sanction their employer for hiring them knowingly (and face it, all of the employers who hire illegal aliens know they are doing so…they are not stupid) and have them removed from the country. Americans have been screaming for 20 years for the government to just enforce the law. Let the illegal aliens stay and some people (like me) will refuse ever to accept them as fellow citizens. Ever.

    • #16
    • May 8, 2014, at 8:41 PM PDT
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