The Corner

Tearing Your Own Political Movement to Shreds Is not a Sign of Strength

In response to Man Tries Self-Crucifixion

Jim, I’m completely tracking your analysis of the Left’s “campus meltdown.” When the hard Left is comparing fellow liberals to ISIS, then it’s not exactly building its coalition. It’s not purging conservatives from campus (that happened generations ago), it’s purging its own friends and allies and then setting up their replacements for abject failure. After all, not even the most perfectly pedigreed lefty administrator can stop drunken slurs, “microaggressions,” or poop swastikas — especially in the subsection of Millennial culture that thrives on trolling and online provocation.

Earlier this month, I wrote a piece arguing that political correctness had peaked — it was no longer expanding its influence. Conservatives are shrugging it off, so the social justice warriors are mainly effective at attacking their own allies, further purifying the enclaves they already control:

Increasingly, Social Justice Warriors seem to win only on the turf they already control. And so they’ve begun to turn to the behavior best calculated to end their cultural dominance, behavior that makes even their fellow liberals miserable. Liberal comedians won’t perform on college campuses, liberals disrupt liberal campaign events, liberals insult movies by liberal directors for failing to comply with impossible-to-meet liberal gender standards, and liberal professors now live in fear of their liberal students.

It’s somewhat amusing to see Millennial radicals vent their fury on their administrators — the radicals from my generation. Let’s not forget that many of these adults put in their own time marching through the quad, shouting down dissenters, and demonstrating for speech codes. But leftist utopia is not only unobtainable, its definition seems to change yearly. So, out with the old, in with the new. But today’s student radical is tomorrow’s dean-oppressor, and the cycle will repeat until the higher education bubble truly bursts.

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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