Multiple possible explanations exist, of course, including the hypothesis that parents have coddled a generation of youngsters to the point where students feel that they should not be exposed to anything harmful to their psyches or beliefs. Whether or not these psychological narratives are valid, there are, I believe, additional cultural, institutional, and societal explanations for what is going on. And the overarching theme is that today’s youngsters, beginning in preschool, are responding to living in a contrived culture of fear and distrust.
.. Counterintuitively, liberal students are more likely than conservative students to say the First Amendment is outdated.
.. Indeed, the distortion of fear pervades today’s students’ thinking—they tend to overestimate, for example, the probability of a terrorist attack affecting them. When this fear is combined with the rapid expansion of social media and the prevalence of government surveillance, students often dismiss concepts like “privacy” as old-fashioned values that are irrelevant to them
.. many students believe that the very idea of privacy is obsolete; most of my students don’t seem to mind this loss when it’s weighed against uncovering potential terrorists.
.. Many of the young adults at highly selective colleges and universities have been forced to follow a straight and narrow path, never deviating from it because of a passion unrelated to school work, and have not been allowed, therefore, to live what many would consider a normal childhood—to play, to learn by doing, to challenge their teachers, to make mistakes. Their families and their network of friends and social peers have placed extreme pressure on them to achieve, or win in a zero-sum game with their own friends.
.. While some educators and policymakers see college primarily as a place where students develop skills for high-demand jobs, the goal of a college education is for students to learn to think independently and skeptically and to learn how to make and defend their point of view. It is not to suppress ideas that they find opprobrious.
.. By design and by effect, it is the institution which creates discontent with the existing social arrangements and proposes new ones. In brief, a good university, like Socrates, will be upsetting.
So why are we served up 52 seconds of non-controversy dressed up as edgy controversy? My guess is that in today’s society, genuine controversy is near-certain to run afoul of the forces of political correctness and social-justice warriors. And HBO, home of Bill Maher, Lena Dunham’s Girls, and that agitprop Anita Hill docudrama, doesn’t want to deal with that headache.
.. You can’t have much of an edgy, brave, dangerous counterculture without a buttoned-down, proper dominant culture to rebel against, and that dominant culture started dying in the 1950s. What we have here is a desperate effort toemulate the 1960s rebellion against the old order by a bunch of powerful people who refuse to recognize they’re the new order. Who are they rebelling against?The president? Nah, they love him. The pope? Have you noticed the complete disappearance of edgy, provocative comedians mocking the pope since Francis became associated with activism for climate change, illegal-immigrant rights,and denouncing corporate greed?
.. Of course, there’s nothing edgy or brave about mocking Donald Trump from Manhattan or Los Angeles. Try making fun of Turkish President Erdogan in Germany; now that takes courage. Or try making fun of Islamists anywhere.
.. Washington Redskins fans who wanted to keep their team’s name were asked, without warning, to justify the name to angry Native Americans on camera. Are these really the Americans most deserving of nationally-televised on-camera rebuke and humiliation?
If Hillary wins, we’re going to see a further tightening of PC culture. But if Trump wins? If Trump wins, we will have a president that overwhelmingly rejects PC rhetoric. Even better, we will show that more than half the country rejects this insane PC regime. If Trump wins, I will personally feel a major burden relieved, and I will feel much more comfortable stating my more right-wing views without fearing total ostracism and shame. Because of this, no matter what Trump says or does, I will keep supporting him.
.. Having Trump in the White House would both give me more confidence to speak my own opinion and more of a shield from instantly being dismissed as a racist/xenophobe/Nazi (all three things I have been called personally).
.. For context, my right wing views include:
- Lower taxes for all, and with it a reduction of various benefits.
- Reduction or an end to affirmative action in favor of a pure merit-based system.
- Support for law and order, and an intense dislike of disruptive protests.
- A temporary ban on Muslim immigration.
- In favor of “melting pot” culture instead of multiculturalism.
.. I get frustrated by the dialogue of letting immigrants into the country without control, letting Black Lives Matter protest without consequence, watching qualified Asian and White students lose places in universities and companies in the name of diversity.
.. I’m intrigued that you voted libertarian in 2012, would sign up for a Gary Johnson presidency in 2016 if you thought it was a realistic electoral possibility, but also describe yourself as “slightly more authoritarian than the average person.” Can you tell me more about your respective thoughts on libertarianism and authoritarianism?
.. I think most of my opposition comes from what I feel is a loss of the patriotic American identity and the advancement of multiculturalism and political correctness. The rhetoric of today feels so different than where we were back in 2008, or even in 2012. One issue I have is that many of these illegal immigrants will go over to the Democratic Party. I feel that the Democrats have become a party that I am almost completely opposed to and I have no desire to give them any further political power.
.. Long term, illegal immigrants will have children who will compete against my children for university spots and job opportunities. It’s admittedly very selfish, but I do want to ensure the greatest advantages I can give them.
.. I don’t know how to describe it, exactly, but I feel in a lot of ways that my identity as a white man is shamed. I am in zero ways a white nationalist or supremacist, and I consider myself a feminist. I will likely sacrifice my career goals, either with fewer hours or relocation as needed, so that my fiancee can pursue her ambitions and goals. But I do not want to be shamed or held back or attacked for just being what I am.