In a BBC Radio 4 series, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks is looking at morality in the 21st century. This episode, Is Society a Myth? is an excellent examination of the American academy and its destruction by the Left (my words, not the Rabbi’s).
In this episode, the destructive nature of identity politics and the attack on free speech is compared to the witch-hunts and ‘purity laws’ of old. Although both the Left and Right can be guilty of carrying out witch-hunts, today, because the American academy is so dominated by the Left and so thoroughly homogeneous, any dissent is persecuted.
Should a professor ‘overstep the line’ just once, he or she can expect to be fired once the mob gets whipped up. And it does not take much for the mob to be whipped up these days on the American campus.
In fact the American academy comes with its own compulsory indoctrination course, as explained here in City Journal.
John Tierney joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss the First-Year Experience (FYE), a widely adopted programme that indoctrinates college freshmen in radicalism, identity politics and victimology.
In a similar vein, Greg Lukianoff has written a book, The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure. The generation of kids brought up by the helicopters is coming of age and according to Lukianoff, the results are not pretty.
All of this, students as toddlers, attacks on free speech, obsession with identity politics, we can see come together in the reaction to the election of President Trump and in particular in this week’s Senate hearing on the Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
When Trump was elected, students on campus were not just angry, they were emotionally devastated and their professors brought out the puppies and toys to comfort them. I am not being metaphorical here – they literally brought out the puppies and toys to comfort adults who were so upset when their political party lost an election.
Now the Democrats are attempting to destroy the constitutional process of appointing Brett Kavanagh to the Supreme Court as they realise they will not be able to impose their radical Leftist policy changes on 325million Americans across 50 states, solely by five votes.
Instead they will have to do the hard work of actually persuading the voters to adopt these policy changes, state by state, something that is much harder to do than turning the unelected Supreme Court into an authoritarian policy maker for all of the US.
The reason we are seeing such ‘divisive politics’ in the US is that for years the Left got their way on the academy, in the courts, in the media, in culture and in government. Now there has been some democratic push back and the Left have gone out of their minds. They run around wearing red cloaks and white bonnets, or indeed masks and carrying baseball bats, while calling anyone who disagrees with them a fascist.
Expect this circus to continue for some time.