Writing in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Mary Grabar points out that it’s hard to teach students who have been indoctrinated to think that any position at variance with the leftist mania for equality must be due to racism or some other evil characteristic. In particular, she finds that when she brings up opposition to civil-rights legislation based on the U.S. Constitution (such as that of Barry Goldwater), students automatically say that anyone against civil-rights legislation must have been a racist.
A few years ago my friend Mike Munger, who chairs the political science department at Duke, said that leftist teachers who dismiss arguments against state interventionism just by labeling them with some unpleasant term do their students a great disservice. “It’s like teaching a youngster that all you need to know in chess is that white should open with pawn to e4,” he said. There is much more to chess than the opening move and there is much more to learning about public-policy disputes than imputing bad motives to anyone who disagrees with you.