Political Correctness and Creeping Totalitarianism Could Destroy Higher Education


In a recent interview with the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, the former President of Harvard, Larry Summers, argued that there is a “great deal of absurd political correctness” permeating our college campuses today.

It seems to me that there is a sort of creeping totalitarianism in terms of what kinds of ideas are acceptable and debatable on college campuses, and I think that is hugely unfortunate. I think the answer to bad speech is different speech. The answer to bad speech is not shutting down speech, whether it’s climate deniers, and I yield to no one in my degree of confidence that the scientific evidence points to overwhelming evidence that there is a serious global climate change problem, but atmospheric scientists who disagree with that conclusion should be able to have their say.

I was proud to write a brief as president of Harvard in support of affirmative action, and I think that’s the right position and I hope the Supreme Court will uphold it, but those who feel differently should be able to have their say. And the idea that for example as took place in recent years, a serious suggestion is put forward that the law of rape not be covered at Harvard Law School because it would be a painful experience for some law students, is one that it seems to me administrators should be denouncing, rather than sympathizing with.

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The idea that somehow microaggressions in the form of a racist statement contained in a novel, should be treated in parallel with violence, or actual sexual assault, seems to me to be crazy.

It’s important to remember that Larry Summers is an academic liberal and not one who generally sides with those of us on the right. This is a big part of the Donald Trump phenomenon. Most Americans see what is happening on our college campuses and in our major metropolitan areas, and they are disgusted. Americans want nothing to do with the overbearing fascist weight of constantly policed, politically correct speech, so they’ve responded by offering their support to the most politically incorrect candidate they could find. Is it an over-correction? Maybe, but I’d argue that political correctness and its “creeping totalitarianism” is a greater threat to our nation than is Donald Trump.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com

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