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Crazy things are happening at Missouri, Yale, and other colleges these days. And at the heart of the madness is a shocking rejection, even a condemnation, of the once-hallowed principle of free speech; the kind of speech that liberals used to at least pretend to believe in.

The Berkeley "free speech" movement of the 1960s thus comes full circle; now inverted to mean freedom not for, but from, speech, or at least speech that doesn't follow the ever-fluctuating party line. Once you conclude that speech you don't agree with is not just wrong but hurtful, perhaps even criminal, the next step is put those who have uttered it in the stocks, to be pelted by the frenzied mob.

But our campus social-justice warriors don't just want to restrict speech; they also want to restrict any speech criticizing their efforts to restrict speech. People shouldn't be free to believe in the wrong ideas, defined as any that makes the left look bad, including such heretical concepts as "truth," "facts" and "logic."

With this rejection of freedom of speech thus also comes, by definition, a broader rejection of the life of the mind itself, of the idea of reasoned discourse based on facts and logic and evidence in pursuit of elusive truths. Without the capacity to speak, to question and to reason together, we lose the very purpose of the intellectual life and revert to that condition of savagery and primitiveness in which our great, great ancestors knuckle-walked about.

Our precious campus snowflakes don't want to discuss ideas or attempt to use logic and facts to defend their demands; they just want everyone else to be made to shut up so they can talk about how much life hurts, about how having to hear ideas different from the nutty ones pinging about in their otherwise empty heads makes them feel bad.

An inverse relationship thus exists in which those who prattle on the most about "diversity" tend to be those most eager to suppress diversity of thought and ideas. The exaltation of diversity on campus now requires the squashing of the most important expression of it on the grounds that its toleration would prove too hurtful to young, exquisitely fragile sensibilities.

That this retreat into medieval superstition is now occurring on our college campuses, the swath of American society most dominated by leftism, should tell us something--it isn't the conservatives that the mob is going after (they were chased off long ago, in the quest for ideological uniformity); rather it is a case of the revolutionaries, in time-honored fashion, eating themselves.

The radical left is consuming the rest of the left not because they have been "insensitive" on matters of race and gender (let alone actually racist or sexist), but because they haven't been sufficiently offended by such insensitivity. They are being led to the chopping block because of lack of fervor in combatting what Jonah Goldberg calls "the 31 flavors of oppression."

As Goldberg so humorously put it in a column on the Missouri madness, "I almost feel sorry for those decent, sincere career liberals standing there in the quad as the little Maoists scream in their faces and strip off the suede elbow patches on their tweedy jackets like a lieutenant being busted down to a private. As the kids fit lifelong members of the ACLU with their duncecaps, the poor souls can hear the conservatives hooting and laughing off beyond the fence, throwing nerf footballs and telling jokes at the liberals' expense."

Indeed, one suspects that conservatives might be more sympathetic to the victims of the spreading madness if not for the fact that it was the same administrators and faculty who for so long tolerated and even fed the political correctness beast that has now slipped its leash and come back to bite them. And who thought it was all peachy-creamy when it was only conservatives who were on the receiving end of it.

Alas, it is now their turn, as they should have known it would be. Because that's the unavoidable nature of such things; once witch-hunts are unleashed and the accusations are flung, facts and logic become useless in defense. The only question is who gets purged next.

It must be terrifying for the craven progressives on campus these days. As progressivism destroys itself in an orgy of mob hysteria, how do they continually prove their ideological purity, and thereby forestall the day when it becomes their head on the block?

How difficult it must be to have to always be so careful what you say or write, lest you give offense without intending to. And to live in fear that your denunciation of a colleague accused of questioning the mandatory LGBT sensitivity training sessions might be perceived as lacking sufficient gusto. Or that you might even be a bit slow when queuing up in lock-step fashion for the latest demonstration against this or that, which probably wasn't even an offense the day before.

We are seeing the future of the left in all this--hysterical, illogical, and intolerant; in short, hostile to everything that liberalism once claimed to stand for.

And we also get to find out if there are any honest liberals still out there.


Freelance columnist Bradley R. Gitz, who lives and teaches in Batesville, received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Illinois.

Editorial on 11/23/2015

Print Headline: Salem comes to campus

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  • JakeTidmore
    November 23, 2015 at 8:15 a.m.

    Actually, there are quite a few honest liberals out there. Here is one opinion piece which is not only honest but goes to the trouble of actually explaining the issue far better than Gitz does:
    htt p://www .bloombergview.c om/articles/2015-11-11/policing-free-speech-at-the-university-of-missouri
    Of course, there is some hypocrisy to this article. Try to exercise your "free speech" right to hurl racial epithets here or use internet addresses or write some particularly nasty bit of profanity and the buil-in Salem-witch hunt mechanism for this blog kicks in and overrules you.
    Gitz, you're such a.....
    (Sorry, we can't post your comment because it contains banned words. In consideration of other commenters, posting foul language or hyperlinks is not permitted. The words "s--t" are not allowed here.)

  • Delta123
    November 23, 2015 at 12:02 p.m.

    Well stated Dr. Gitz. The best I've read to date describing the current state of affairs on college campuses.

  • JonathanPortis
    November 23, 2015 at 12:29 p.m.

    For once, I agree with Dr. Gitz. Free speech should be free speech everywhere. Perhaps he could turn his sights on Harding University, where EVERY speaker must pass a litmus test to comply with the school's rightwing ideology. Yes, Harding is a private school and can protect its precious campus snowflakes against anything that threatens the school's orthodoxy. As is Yale.

  • mrcharles
    November 23, 2015 at 12:44 p.m.

    Wouldnt you know it Delta just loves blacks being criticised.

    Remember Darrell Brown the first black razorback player. He went to UOA when there were good christian white Athletes and coaches and was treated like a real man, that is black man. But he was good and kept his mouth shut and didn't rock the boat even though he suffered big time- but could it be these people weren't really Christians though all probably indicated they were - you know political correctness and all

    Dulta I don't seem any reflection on the right wing going after moderate and liberal college professors that are accused of promoting socialism or communism [ heck even the Chinese are not communist any more] , they try to get these professors fired or removed from tenure. I guess what I am trying to say your ilk are sure one sided in your criticism.

    giltzzz is just upset that the south lost the treasonous war they started and women and blacks can now vote, and while their type are doing their best to try and stop some from voting they still like to keep segments of society in their place but are smart enough to use code words and be delicate to some of the moderates to basically tell people to shut their mouth and know their place- see past comments by the gang of 6 on the right.

    Jake i did see the mentioned banned word sneak through on one of the primates on the right comments - as usual the right wing media allows exceptions.

    I wish the right and their worry about political correctness would just say what is in their heart and use the racial epithets they think in their mind--- but it would take courage.

  • Delta123
    November 23, 2015 at 1:22 p.m.

    MrChuck, let me guess. Not a Yale grad? And may I also say that you're hateful speech is making me feel very unsafe. Whenever someone of your ilk disagrees with me I become so frightened. Please know that I will be contacting the ADG and demand that you (and your ilk) be silenced.

    November 23, 2015 at 1:33 p.m.


  • LR1955
    November 23, 2015 at 1:34 p.m.

    I'm glad I went to college back when the student message was "Let's ALL live in Peace", & don't bogart that jo_nt !

  • Delta123
    November 23, 2015 at 1:40 p.m.

    AMNAR, right? Like me you can't believe someone (mrcharles) used the term "ilk".

  • JakeTidmore
    November 23, 2015 at 2:21 p.m.

    The free speech in question is a racial epithet. Let's see if the DemGaz practices what it preaches and lets me print it:

    n.....(Sorry, we can't post your comment because it contains banned words. In consideration of other commenters, posting foul language or hyperlinks is not permitted. The words "n----r" are not allowed here.)
    See what I mean,Gitz? The game here is rigged also. You need to talk to these folks and tell them that you think racial epithets are needed on college campuses and in public newspapers. Don't want to be squashing no freedom of speech rights. Nosirree. We just want them equality rights being squashed or ignored, don't we?!

  • mrcharles
    November 23, 2015 at 2:28 p.m.

    delta , you can just contact bull malarkey2 he threatens those who if in person accuse him of certain beliefs, even females. of unknown harm, you might discover you two agree on discussions and being pickled out of the line up. Even Sea Bass with his clock never threatens.

    And as to the fear, being a righty , it is of course in your nature to be scared of the dark and such, science has proved it--- oh that's right the right is wary of science, you know saying man and dinosaurs did not coexist, but W said fish and man can coexist.

    would it be bragging to change Mr. to Dr if you got the right.?

    Absolutely correct no Yale. Just good old southern schools, Vanderbilt, Rice and UOA.
    Saigon U was kinda busy so avoided enrolling there.

    Also I was fixen to use another of them there words, but Delta , just believe you would not be offended by that. My mistake and I apologize, but wish to point out I did not call you stupid.

    Do you use Delta to reminisce about the good old days of the south when minorities could not back talk their white superiors? Or is it like one of those monikers like a "W" being a compassionate conservative-

    delta 1234 who is your pick to win the GOP bus ride to the top? I do think that the line up of bozo's are going to half to take the gloves off to bump out Trump and Carson. I pray I live long enough to see that bright and sunny day. See you can be a liberal and still ask how your day is going.