by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Hate is universally awful, isn’t it? Well, no, as Jonah Goldberg reminds us in the latest print edition of National Review.
No one complains about someone who hates racism. Those who hate poverty or animal cruelty face no scorn.
Hatred is particularly popular among young people, which should not surprise anyone, since the principal currency of youth is passion and commitment. …
… Which brings me to my contender for the most unfairly maligned emotional state: apathy. It gets all the grief hate does, but none of the respect. No one says of the apathetic, “At least he cares” — because the whole point of being apathetic is that you don’t, in fact, care. Worse, more often than not, the people raging against apathy are actually enraged by disagreement with their position. Not one college president, provost, or professor in a thousand who routinely rages against apathy would be delighted to discover his students had, en masse, been converted into passionate Republicans. The real agenda behind jeremiads against hate and apathy alike is conformity. Most of the kids who are labeled apathetic are actually quite passionate, just about the wrong things.
If I don’t care about global warming, my true transgression isn’t apathy, it’s failure to lend support to one side of the argument. As I say in Liberal Fascism, the most fascistic thing said every day on college campuses is “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”