The criminalization of everything: At The Atlantic, Caitlin Flanagan offers a fascinating piece about the alleged decline, and vulnerability, of "leftism."
It's built around the experiences and world view of her (now) twenty-something son.
According to Flanagan, her son, and all his friends, were "progressive Democrats, with the full range of social positions you would expect of adolescents growing up in liberal households in blue-bubble Los Angeles." Here's what happened next:
FLANAGAN (8/9/18): The boys graduated from high school and went off to colleges where they were exposed to the kind of policed discourse that dominates American campuses. They did not make waves; they did not confront the students who were raging about cultural appropriation and violent speech; in fact, they forged close friendships with many of them. They studied and wrote essays and—in their dorm rooms, on the bus to away games, while they were working out—began listening to more and more podcasts and lectures by this man, Jordan Peterson.We recommend Flanagan's essay. Before she's done, she discusses the flap surrounding 30-year-old Sarah Jeong, who was recently named to the New York Times editorial board.
We'll probably discuss the hiring of Jeong at some future date. For today, we'll only say this:
The "policed speech" to which Flanagan refers may be part of the "criminalization of everything" to which we referred this morning. We have no particular knowledge or experience concerning what is currently happening on campuses, but we'll note that while many people discussed Jeong's alleged racism, no one has discussed her possible dumbness, and no one has asked why the relentlessly brain-dead New York Times seems to be assembling such a youthful and inexperienced editorial board.
Could "policed speech" really be part of "the criminalization of everything?" Our liberal tribe has been exceedingly dumb over the past (let's say) thirty years. Sadly but inevitably, we may be too self-impressed as a group to be able to see this.