In the Wall Street Journal last week, two influential billionaires — former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, a very moderate Republican, and Charles Koch, the libertarian chairman and CEO of Koch Industries — wrote an op-ed piece decrying the suppression of free speech taking place at almost every American college and university.
You have to salute their good intentions. But as well-intentioned and accurate as their critique is, the Bloomberg-Koch column is largely useless.
Why? Because it assiduously avoids identifying who or what is causing our universities to mimic fascist institutions — ruining dissenters’ careers, penalizing dissenting students, not hiring dissenting professors, disinviting some among the few invited speakers with whom the majority differs, shouting down dissenting speakers, allowing students and faculty to take over and forcibly occupy college administrators’ offices, etc.
The Bloomberg-Koch column is like going to your doctor and getting back a fully accurate report that you are dying — without hinting at why you are.
Why do Bloomberg and Koch not mention the word “Left” (or “Progressive” or “liberal”) even once? The entire deterioration of the American university (and the high school and elementary school) is the result of leftist influence. How could they not mention it?
One hint at an explanation is the one example Bloomberg and Koch give of shutting down a speaker at a campus — that of former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, a liberal. The ratio of left to right speakers invited to American campuses is about a hundred to one. And of the thousands of liberal-left speakers, you would be hard-pressed to come up with five examples of them being shouted down and driven from the microphone. Yet the authors’ one example of a silenced speaker at a university was of one of the few liberals ever shut down.
So why did they choose this outlier as their example? Lest, God forbid, a reader infer that the suppression of free speech on American college campuses is overwhelmingly the Left suppressing the Right.
The suppression of free speech on American college campuses is overwhelmingly the Left suppressing the Right.
The Left is destroying the foundational values of this country — including, but hardly limited to, free speech. The Los Angeles Times actually announced that it will not publish a letter to the editor — presumably no matter how pre-eminent the scientist who wrote the letter — that challenges the anthropocentric-global-warming-leading-to-worldwide-destruction hypothesis. Likewise, Popular Science announced it would not even allow such opinions in the comments section on its website.
Yet, with all the damage it does — including, of course, its destructive impact on universities — the Left is almost never mentioned by name. Not just by Bloomberg and Koch, but by all Republicans and conservatives.
#share#Republicans and conservatives have spent seven years attacking Barack Obama. For good reason, to be sure: The case can and should be made that he has done more harm to America than any president in American history. But all the harm he has done — massively increasing the national debt, weakening the American military, withdrawing from a pacified Iraq and enabling ISIS to replace America there, worsening race relations, alienating American allies, aiding America’s enemies such as Iran and Cuba, and much more — is a function of his being a man of the Left. No more, no less. Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and virtually any Democratic senator would have tried to do similar damage to America.
But Republicans focus their ire on individuals — Barack Obama, and now Hillary Clinton — as if they individually, not the Left and leftism, are the problem.
Think, for example, about how much conservatives attack Political Correctness. They are, of course, right to do so. But all these attacks are almost meaningless, since they never mention the source of Political Correctness — the Left. In fact, the very definition of “politically correct” is “that which is acceptable to the Left”; and the definition of “politically incorrect” is “that which is unacceptable to the Left.”
#related#In other words, virtually no one — from Bloomberg and Koch to the entire conservative and Republican worlds — connects the dots. If Donald Trump becomes, as is expected, the Republican nominee, he will probably never mention the Left. He may not even know that it is a factor, let alone the factor, in America’s decline from the greatness he wishes to restore.
Our colleges have been ruined, free speech is increasingly suppressed, the economy is stagnant and the debt doubling, young Americans no longer see America as in any way exceptional — all because of the Left. But almost no one dares mention the word. Why?
— Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code, was published by Regnery. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com. © 2016 Creators.com