The Corner

Culture

Heather Mac Donald, Claremont, and Civilization

The Claremont Colleges are that consortium of institutions in southern California. I have never been to Claremont — but I’ve always imagined those connected campuses as ideal. Groves of learning in southern California? How can you beat it?

Plus, Claremont has always been dear to conservative, and libertarian, hearts, because of an academic pedigree that includes Harry Jaffa and Charles Kesler.

I’ll see the place for myself on Wednesday evening when I give a talk, at the Athenaeum (!), at 5:30. Have a link. My talk is “Politics on Campus: Yes and No.” (Mainly, I say No.)

I was shocked to hear of mob action against Heather Mac Donald at Claremont last Thursday. Heather has written up the experience here. Bennington, Reed, or Brown, I might expect. Claremont? Has the curse of illiberalism spread that far?

Heather Mac (as some of us affectionately know her) is an extraordinary person. She thinks through the hard issues — such as immigration and policing. She arrives at conclusions, whether they are popular or not. She states them clearly. And then she holds her ground, fearlessly. This kind of integrity is rare.

In a world that goes with the flow — a habit of both Right and Left — she does not.

When I think of a mob attack on her, I am sickened. A mob attack on anyone is wrong, of course, and sickening. But hear me out: Heather is a woman steeped in civilization — in music, literature, public policy, etc. An attack on her is something like an attack on civilization. I’m serious.

Plus, she is a petite woman, a slip of a girl — but with a lion’s heart and a titanium spine.

People who go to school in Claremont are so unbelievably lucky. They have hit the jackpot of life. Millions of people around the world would give anything to trade places with them. And if you don’t like a guest speaker — or don’t think you will — you don’t have to go hear him, you know. You can study your Homer, play a game of tennis, have a milkshake with your sweetheart, or whatever.

Viva la différence, and la liberté.

One of the reasons I joined the conservatives, way back, is that they were the only ones defending liberalism.

Most Popular

Film & TV

Trolling America in HBO’s Euphoria

Of HBO’s new series Euphoria, its creator and writer Sam Levinson says, “There are going to be parents who are going to be totally f***ing freaked out.” There is no “but” coming. The freak-out is the point, at least if the premiere episode is to be believed. HBO needs a zeitgeist-capturing successor to ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Kamala Harris’s Dreadful DA Record

In 2005, the sharp-elbowed, ambitious district attorney of San Francisco had the opportunity to correct an all-too-common prosecutorial violation of duty that the leading expert on prosecutorial misconduct found “accounts for more miscarriages of justice than any other type of malpractice.” Rather than seize ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Case against Reparations

Editor’s Note: This piece was originally published on May 24, 2014. Ta-Nehisi Coates has done a public service with his essay “The Case for Reparations,” and the service he has done is to show that there is not much of a case for reparations. Mr. Coates’s beautifully written monograph is intelligent ... Read More
Film & TV

In Toy Story 4, the Franchise Shows Its Age

For a film franchise, 24 years is middle-aged, bordering on elderly. Nearly a quarter-century after the first Toy Story, the fourth installment, which hits theaters later this week, feels a bit tired. If earlier films in the franchise were about loss and abandonment and saying goodbye to childhood, this one is ... Read More
World

The China-Iran-Border Matrix

President Trump and Secretary Pompeo have worked the U.S. into an advantageous position with a consistent policy toward bad actors. We are now at a point that even left and right agree that China’s rogue trajectory had to be altered. And while progressive critics of Beijing now are coming out of the woodwork ... Read More