In last night’s debate, was there a positive case for Hillary being fit for the White House? Are there Trump policies that are gonna turn this mother around? Of course not. What were you even thinking.
Let’s pretend for a moment that the biggest headlines out of Sunday night’s presidential debate had nothing to do with sexual assault allegations, or non-handshakes, or threats to jail political oponents—but instead were about policy.
In that bizarre alternative universe, what could we actually learn? Last night we learned that the two exhausted political parties have nothing much left to offer except critiques about how lousy the other one is.Hosted by Matt Welch; camera and editing by Jim Epstein.
“The vocal minority of students who actually want censorship—who want to be protected from ideas they don’t like—they’ve always existed,” says Reason associate editor Robby Soave. “But in the last five years they have gained institutional power on these campuses.”
From microaggressions and trigger warnings, to the shouting down and assault of controversial speakers, the climate on American college campuses have shifted sharply away from the classical understanding of free speech and inquiry that were once the bedrock of higher education.
Soave, who reports on political correctness and on college campuses for Reason, sat down with Reason magazine Editor-in-Chief Matt Welch at Reason Weekend, the annual event hosted by the Reason Foundation, to talk about the state of free speech on American colleges and universities.
Edited by Alex Manning. Camera by Paul Detrick and Todd Kranin
Burn Her! She Would Act Like a Witch in a Situation That Will Never Come Up!
Matt Welch writes: Someone please tell me if my progression here is inaccurate in any way:
1) Family owners of small-town Indiana pizzeria spend zero time or energy commenting on gay issues.
2) TV reporter from South Bend walks inside the pizzeria to ask the owners what they think of the controversial Religious Restoration Freedom Act. Owner Crystal O’Connor responds, “If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no….We are a Christian establishment.” O’Connor also says—actually promises is the characterization here—that the establishment will continue to serve any gay or non-Christian person that walks through their door.
3) The Internet explodes with insults directed at the O’Connor family and its business, including a high school girls golf coach in Indiana who tweets “Who’s going to Walkerton, IN to burn down #memoriespizza w me?” Many of the enraged critics assert, inaccurately, that Memories Pizza discriminates against gay customers.
4) In the face of the backlash, the O’Connors close the pizzeria temporarily, and say they may never reopen, and in fact might leave the state. “I don’t know if we will reopen, or if we can, if it’s safe to reopen,” Crystal O’Connor tells The Blaze. “I’m just a little guy who had a little business that I probably don’t have anymore,” Kevin O’Connor tells the L.A. Times.
Rod Dreher titles his useful post on this grotesque affair “Into the Christian Closet,” and it’s apt considering the progression above. If only these non-activist restaurateurs had simply kept their views to themselves when asked by a reporter, April Fool’s would have been like any other day for them.
But as it stands, they’re now being trashed not just by social-justice mobs from afar, but by powerful politicians where they live and work. Democratic State Sen. Jim Arnold represents the O’Connors’s district. This is what he said about his constituents:
“The vast majority of people in this country are not going to stand by and watch that kind of activity unfold,” he said. “If that’s their stand I hope they enjoy eating their pizza because I don’t think anyone else is going to.”
Sen. Arnold says he’s upset by the news because of the negative attention it’s bringing to a town he says is a great community.
He said this kind of thinking has no place in this town. And the Religious Freedom Restoration Law is not an excuse for them to discriminate.
“This is America and if people say they’re not going to serve them and they feel this is some kind of defense, which by the way doesn’t take effect until July 1, but if they feel it’s some kind of defense, I think they’re sadly mistaken[.]“
Almost every word out of Sen. Arnold’s mouth was wrong, horrifying, or both.
1) The O’Connors did not say “they’re not going to serve them,” they in fact stressed the opposite. Read the rest of this entry »
The long, ugly journey from the Free Speech Movement to professors assaulting protesters
For Reason, Matt Welch writes: On March 4, in a designated “free-speech zone” at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), associate professor of feminist studies Mireille Miller-Young walked over to a 16-year-old anti-abortion protester named Thrin Short and demanded that Short take down a graphic sign showing pictures of aborted fetuses. When Short refused, Miller-Young forcibly snatched the sign out of the smaller girl’s hands, then handed it to her students and walked away triumphantly. The rattled teen accurately accused Miller-Young of being a “thief,” to which the professor implausibly retorted: “I may be a thief, but you’re a terrorist!” Adding injury to insult, Miller-Young then shoved the protester and barred her from entering a campus elevator. Moments later, the professor and her students cut the stolen poster to shreds.
The story gets worse. According to the ensuing police report, Miller-Young maintained that she had set a good example for her students by acting like a “conscientious objector” to offensive hate speech that had “triggered” her emotions and violated her “personal right to go to work and not be in harm.” Many students, too, remained defiant about the assault long after tempers cooled.
“We, as students of UCSB, are in solidarity with Professor Miller-Young and urge our student body, staff, faculty, and community members to provide as much support as possible,” reads a petition submitted by “UCSB Microaggressions” that as of press time had received more than 2,000 signatures, dwarfing a rival petition asking for the professor’s ouster. “We do not condone the hate speech and media attention she has been actively receiving.” Read the rest of this entry »
How the once-transgressive left tries to criminalize fun
For Reason.com, Matt Welch writes: When I first started hearing people on the political left describe themselves with some frequency as progressive back in the 1990s, the term did not seem tethered to the epoch-defining, early-20th-century spasm of moral crusading and government centralization that helped give us everything from trust busting to Prohibition to the Federal Reserve. As articulated by champions like Ralph Nader and Molly Ivins, the progressive label was both a way to get out from under the generation-old baggage of liberal-a term Ronald Reagan and others had turned into an epithet-and to differentiate lefties from seemingly apologetic triangulators like Bill Clinton and that now-vanished tribe known as the New Democrats.
From a libertarian perspective, ’90s progressives were good on issues the New Democrats stunk up (particularly criminal justice and the drug war) and bad on those that made the Clintonites worthwhile, such as lowering trade barriers and restraining federal budget growth. At their best, such as at the “shadow conventions” organized by Arianna Huffington in 2000, progressives of the era challenged both parties to address long-neglected issues and reverse government policies that actively damaged people’s lives.
Since many of the people who self-identified that way came of political age in the ’60s and ’70s, progressives on the whole clearly belonged to the longhaired side of the culture war. They were the ones mocking the squares, pushing the envelope on free expression, and taking up arms in the sexual revolution. The more progressive the publication, the kinkier the sex classifieds in the back.
“In part, I owe my current happiness to Barack Obama,” continues the 72-year-old Will, who “so thoroughly concentrates all of the American progressive tradition and the academic culture that goes with it, that he’s really put the spring in my step”. Read the rest of this entry »
Did you find yourself thinking, while watching last night’s presidential debate, that some of Barack Obama’s talking points sounded eerily familiar? That’s maybe because they were.
2012: I also want to close those loopholes that are giving incentives for companies that are shipping jobs overseas. I want to provide tax breaks for companies that are investing here in the United States.
2008: Let’s just be clear. What I do is I close corporate loopholes, stop providing tax cuts to corporations that are shipping jobs overseas so that we’re giving tax breaks to companies that are investing here in the United States.
2012: And so the question here tonight is not where we’ve been but where we’re going. Governor Romney has a perspective that says if we cut taxes, skewed towards the wealthy, and roll back regulations that we’ll be better off. […]
Are we going to double down on the top-down economic policies that helped to get us into this mess, or do we embrace a new economic patriotism that says, America does best when the middle class does best? And I’m looking forward to having that debate.
2008: Now, we also have to recognize that this is a final verdict on eight years of failed economic policies promoted by George Bush, supported by Senator McCain, a theory that basically says that we can shred regulations and consumer protections and give more and more to the most, and somehow prosperity will trickle down.
It hasn’t worked. And I think that the fundamentals of the economy have to be measured by whether or not the middle class is getting a fair shake. That’s why I’m running for president, and that’s what I hope we’re going to be talking about tonight…
More >> via Reason
- Obama Plagiarizes Own Debate Promises From 2008 (txwclp.org)
- Fact Check: Tax break for shipping jobs overseas? Well, sort of “No idea what you’re talking about.” (ronsworldview.wordpress.com)
- Mitt Romney Is Absolutely Destroying Obama In Tonight’s Presidential Debate (businessinsider.com)
- The Talking Points Debate (mikestreetstation.wordpress.com)
- Obama plays catch-up after TV debate (bigpondnews.com)