My new article at Ordinary Times, challenging the gotcha political activism of the Left and Right online. Here is a bit:
What does Campus Reform want from “exposing” Chanda’s public comments? Much like their strategic brethren on the left side of the political isle, they implicitly want figures like her to lose their jobs for stating an opinion. In their worldview, academia is filled to the brim with radicals who are using public funds to brainwash America’s youth and discriminate against traditional citizens through state institutions. This is a puerile belief, but one widely held.
One could defend Chanda on purely free-speech grounds (as many have done via the hashtag #StandWithChanda). There is a fine argument to be made there, but I feel they actually miss the real reason we should want radicals to feel at ease stating their opinions in public. I go further than merely accepting her right to disseminate unpopular ideas: I want those ideas to reach as many minds as possible. The blandness of modern political life is nauseating. Online activists are working tirelessly to create a uniform culture where all diversity is accepted, except in the realm of ideas. We are not living in a more just world, just one with fewer real viewpoints and notions. Other than the few online activists that get their jollies from taking down random figures for perceived intolerance, does anyone actually want to live in the world they are devising for us?