Phi Beta Cons

Party On

In Doublethink, James Kirchick presents his ode to the Yale Political Union and the Party of the Right:

Fellow Yalies are wont to paint the PU’s conservatives as bigots. Actually, these right-wingers happen to be some of the most tolerant people at Yale, especially when it comes to engaging ideas that they find disagreeable. What most sets them apart is identity politics. On a campus where racial, sexual, and religious identities seems to trump all other considerations, PU conservatives care about ideas more than anything else. That is why the right has dominated the political union on this generally liberal campus: The student left has abandoned the battlefield of ideas for the realm of activism and protest. Left-wingers deride the YPU as an irrelevant repository of a bizarre and reactionary fringe. This is a self-comforting caricature, a tonic for the left’s own lack of serious intellectual engagement.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.


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