by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
It’s hard to overemphasize the importance of academic leftism to Democratic discourse. Academic leftism seeps into progressive corporations, it dominates leftist writing, and it inevitably merges with pop culture. What starts on campus moves to television, to music, to books, and to law with astonishing speed.
And academic leftism has become extraordinarily poisonous and extraordinarily ignorant. As Lilla put it in an interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education, it has lost its sense of proportion. “Our campuses are not Aleppo,” he says, and there is a reason why “people use the word ‘academic’ not to mean scholarly, but to mean totally detached from reality.”
But don’t tell that to radical students and their radical teachers. At every turn professors and administrators are whispering in the ears of black and brown students, telling them, “Your country hates you. Your country has always hated you.” At every turn it whispers in the ears of its LGBT students, “Your nation hates you. Christians hate you.” It tells white students, “You’re despicable, and you’ll remain despicable unless you ally with us, unless you join our crusade.”
It’s impossible to converse with this form of leftism. Denials of racism are proof of racism. Even your “unconscious” self is guilty of bigotry. Disagreement is oppression.
There will always be radicals among us, but they don’t have to be so powerful. They don’t have to carry so much cultural and intellectual weight within the much larger and more moderate mainstream liberal public, and to that public I have a simple New Year’s plea.
Learn more. Understand that while we all live in our bubbles, your bubble’s walls are stronger and thicker than most. Do you realize that your urban strongholds are often less politically diverse than an Evangelical church? White Evangelicals gave 81 percent of their vote to Donald Trump. Fully 86 percent of Manhattan residents voted for Hillary Clinton. Conservatives who send their kids to public school, listen to pop music, or go to the movies imbibe liberal values and ideas. When do you ever hear conservatives speak?