I regard myself as socially liberal, but more conservative fiscally. I normally defend liberal issues in these forums. However, I think it's good sometimes to show a bit of non-partisanship, so I thought I'd offer up a couple of recent examples of liberal stupidity that drive me nuts. I hate to see this sort of stuff and don't defend it. In fact, I'm opposed to it. These two recent examples definitely got my blood boiling:
1. The NY Times pictures comparing the Patriots when visiting Obama vs. visiting Trump. The Times was obviously trying to make the point about how Trump is divisive and fewer Patriots players visited him than Obama. Their sole purpose with this photo was to embarrass the President. Further, that sort of thing isn't news. Who cares? It's apples vs. oranges. Even if it was true, who cares? There could be tons of other reasons some of the players didn't go and unless this is a full-scale investigation of those reasons, a suggestive photo is pointless. However, the photos didn't compare the same thing. One was just players while the other was players and staff. This is supposed to be the NY Times! Yet they allowed something to happen that an intern at a college newspaper would try to pull. It's insulting and brings into question the integrity of the entire operation.
2. The cancellation of Anne Coulter's talk at Cal-Berkeley. I'm a believer in free speech. That is absolute. Whether you're a nazi or a communist, you have the right to express your views. The cancellation of this speech is appalling. So what if the Milo speech resulted in protests? He had a right to speak too. While I don't agree with either one of these people, they have a right to present their views. If opponents of their positions didn't like it, they can organize their own speeches. They can listen to the speech and challenge the speaker. They can protest. Cancelling the speech is the wrong answer.
I think the powers that be understand the stupidity of the general voter who is taken to reacting to the latest crisis drummed up to occupy their appetite for idle chatter. The chatter unfortunately becomes the point be it however distorted it is meant to seem.
I'd argue #2 as there was literally just a full scale riot there. Why bring in a speaker to talk about similar issues, likely ensuring another full scale riot on your campus?
I pretty much classify myself the same - socially liberal and fiscally conservative. And I see the same sad thing happening to the liberal party.
I used to watch one or more of the major networks for national news, notably NBC. Unfortunately it has become the norm for them to spend the first half of the show telling what horrible things our horrible president has done, to the point that I seldom turn it on any more. Last night was a real shocker when the lead in story was the shooting in Paris - Bad, bad President Trump was delegated to the third story, and it wasn't even slanted as normal. I will add that there is very little the NYT has to say at all that I'm interested in because I know it will be spun and slanted to put Trump in a bad light whether he had any part in the story or not.
College kids - this is becoming such nonsense as to give rise to a feeling that all college students are stupid, irrational, and unable to control themselves to any reasonable degree. Unfair, but when that's all we see, it's inevitable that we get the feeling. And it doesn't help when the college itself capitulates to the very nonsense that they take stands against!
College is the place where revolutions start. That's a good thing. It's a place to hear new voices and maybe, just maybe, change your mind about something. Too many colleges today are so afraid of offending someone, they've forgotten what one of their fundamental purposes is. If you get a college degree and never change the way you think about even one thing, in my opinion, you've wasted your time and money. At the very least, college should teach you just how much you do not know.
I abhor every word that comes out of Coulter's mouth. But colleges is where she should be heard just to make 18-year-olds today hear a point of view other than their own.
As far as embarrassing Trump goes - he doesn't need any help doing that himself.
Have you thought about from the perspective of a young person at college in 2017 though?
Nowadays, young people can engage anyone with opposing views at any time, 365 days a year, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, in the same way we are engaging now.
So perhaps young people are saying they don't need college to be a place to hear new voices. They have that already. They've grown up with it.
Perhaps they are saying they'd rather college be a refuge. A place where they can breathe. A place away from all the opposing voices. A place they can feel safe while they learn, before they head out into the world.
Perhaps they're not saying Ann Coulter has no right to speak. Perhaps they're just saying that Ann Coulter is not welcome to speak in their space. Perhaps they are just asserting their right to choose who comes into their space.
I am proud of young, liberal-minded people asserting themselves in this way, not only in the face of criticism from bigots, but also older generations of liberals, who perhaps don't fully appreciate what they are trying to do and why.
If so, they are also saying that the entire college campus is their space - that no one with differing opinions or desires need to be accommodated or given voice. In the case of Coulter, the students that would wish to hear her are of no consequence because they don't have "space" at the campus.
This is not an attitude that we should be encouraging or even accommodating and the universities that do so are doing a great disservice not only to the general public but to those students that think the campus is their space and theirs alone.
It's their choice. Not yours or mine. They are asserting that choice.
Coulter's "voice" has not been taken away. Some students have said they don't want to hear her because she talks BS, is all. She's still free to speak at any venue willing to host her.
You miss the point - who is is that demands Coulter not be there? The ones screaming in the street that the entire campus is "their" space? Or the ones that want to hear her?
Either way, though, until those screaming that they have a right to "their" space, that no one they don't approve of can speak - until they have purchased the campus instead of renting a single chair for a few hours per week they very simply do not have the right to deny other students what they want.
No single person or small group of people have the right to decide what is permissible in public places. It requires the entire public to do that, and as far as I've heard there was no public vote whether Coulter could speak at that particular public college. I reject the notion that it belongs to a group of vocal students denying the right of freedom of speech no matter how loud they get.
Coulter doesn't have a "right" to speak at Berkeley. The college can invite her to speak, and disinvite her if it chooses, or ask to reschedule. That isn't taking away her "freedom of speech".
I have no idea how much weight it puts on student views when it makes those decisions, or who is calling for Coulter not to speak. Given Coulters views, I assume it is mostly liberal students who find her views to be toxic.
Those students have every right to claim that space, just as conservative students have the right to claim that space also. Which claims are valid, which claims will be respected by the college administration etc. remains to be seen. Regardless, these students have the right to try to influence their little corner of the world as much as they can.
I think when a student on a large university campus decides to attempt to ensure that there is no place on that campus where a person with an opposing view can share it then they are not seeking to maintain a 'refuge'. They aren't attempting to have a place to breathe. What they are doing is attempting to choke out any and all opposing views.
I'm sorry. I can't appreciate a bunch of kids who think they know it all, so much, that no one else should have the opportunity to speak. I didn't raise my kids to think they, and they alone, had the right to decide what would be said anywhere and everywhere. If you don't want to hear someone else exercising their right to free speech then get out of ear shot. Others will give you the same room and respect.
I don't know if wanting a refuge is what's on these young people's minds. I'm not a spokesperson for them. That's just my reading.
Either way, they are saying they don't want anything to do with Coulter. That doesn't "choke out" Coulter's view. She's free to talk elsewhere if she wants, and others are free to listen elsewhere if they want.
I don't think they're saying they have the right to decide what gets said "anywhere and everywhere". Again, they seem to be simply claiming and asserting the right to decide what gets said in their "space".
The entire college campus is not 'their space'. They don't even own any piece of any portion of that space. They pay to attend classes. It seems (to me) arrogant and childish to churlishly demand that anyone they do not like not be allowed to speak on the campus.
This isn't the same as me boycotting a Food Lion because they wouldn't hire homosexuals. (Which they do, that is just an example). This is more akin to renting an apartment from me and saying that since you rent an apartment then the guy in the complex around the corner can't have a friend over because you (the girl in the center building on the second floor) might be offended.
Ann Coulter is not someone I'd pay good money to hear speak. She isn't someone I'd go to a free admission talk. However, I will defend her right to speak. To say that a safe venue could not be assured is tantamount to saying that we are allowing people who pay to attend university hold free speech hostage on their whim. We are saying that our universities have absolutely no regard for free speech and should not be held accountable when they quash it.
Someone commented that revolutions start in university. This isn't an example of a revolution anyone should be proud of. This is an example of selfish and demanding behavior that is completely alien to what we should be attempting to teach our young adults. If they cannot learn consideration for alternative views in our institutes of higher learning where, exactly, do you think they might learn it?
At a Trump rally when they are bounced out on their behind for trying to drown out a private gathering where they were not invited?
It's rather sad that our institutions of higher learning have become such a bastion of liberal thinking without any real opposition, but when what little opposition is there is intentionally shut down and refused the opportunity that liberals have to speak their mind it goes beyond sad.
While Don may have a point in what is behind this nonsense, they...haven't...the...right to shut down opposing views because they don't want such thinking anywhere on their campus.
I think it is even sadder when adults who appear to believe they can think in an unbiased manner appear to applaud this type of behavior from students. They are applauding that which they agree with simply because they agree with it. Were a college campus to deny a liberal speaker a similar venue, with the excuse that a safe space couldn't be assured then you would see the exact same people put forth a completely different argument.
Have we become so polarized that we cannot see the double standards?
Maybe they think the campus is one corner of the world they can exert some element of control over. I don't know. Whatever the reasoning, they are claiming the space as theirs, and saying they don't want Coulter spewing her toxic views in it.
It's not surprising. The resurgence of a militant far-right, which accompanied Trump's success in the election, was bound to lead to a more vocal and radical left. This is what happens when centrists on both sides are drowned out by the radicals on both sides.
What "right" does Coulter have to speak at Berkeley? She can speak there if the college says she can. It's up to the college. Whether their decision is influenced more by those who want her to speak, or by those who don't, it will have negative consequences.
The one thing I disagree with is any use of violence. I can't condone that. But if students want to turn up and be vocal about their disapproval of Coulter, and if they want to try to claim the campus as their own "space" and assert the right to choose who comes into it, then good for them for standing up for what they believe in.
Sorry. Forcing one's opinion in a manner which quashes free speech is not something I think should be condoned. I hold that you only approve because they agree with your views. I disapprove no matter whether I agree with the views or not because it is fundamentally wrong and alien to the values of free speech and tolerance. Being tolerant only of those you agree with doesn't count as tolerant.
People have a right to try to influence their world. Whether I agree/ disagree with their views is irrelevant.
I don't think this is about free speech at all. I think it's about some young people throwing a stake in the ground, making a claim on their little corner of the world, and showing they are willing to defend it. Hopefully that doesn't extend to violence, but I'm glad to see some liberal-minded students doing something to shape their world. Good to see not all young people have been lost to apathy.
Sounds like the gay bashers, some of whom murder gays. Sounds like the abortion foes, some of whom murder doctors. Sounds like the KKK, or the skinheads. Sounds like a lot of people that have tried hard over the years to enforce their beliefs on everyone around them under the theory that they, and only they, can determine what is right and what is wrong.
If tolerance and acceptance of differences is apathy, I'll take it every time.
There is no moral, legal or political equivalence between people who "murder gays" etc, and students exercising their right to protest against someone speaking on their campus.
Tolerance and acceptance of social inequality, is apathy. These students seem to be actively rejecting views they believe perpetuate that inequality.
Like I said. The double standard you are displaying is so shockingly apparent to any with eyes to see.
Unless you'd like to add some comments where you applaud groups such as the Westboro Baptist for their activism.
People have the right to protest, within the limits of the law. That right does not depend on my acceptance, understanding or approval of their views. And I don't have to "applaud" what someone does, to acknowledge their right to do it.
If someone doesn't like the way a group is exercising their right to protest, they have have the right to try to exert influence, within the limits of the law, to change that.
This is how free society works.
Don, would your perspective still hold if the vocal protesters were a minority of the student population, yet loud enough to influence a possibly over-cautious administration?
The "space" you speak of would have to be symbolic, since the size of most campuses is not so small and confined as to leave those students no choice of free space. So if the "space" is symbolic, what are the implications that a possibly small, but very vocal protest group will define the "space" of all students?
To legitimize your explanation, wouldn't the next logical step be to restrict admission acceptance by ideology - to forestall the possibly that a vocal minority with an opposing ideology might invade the space of the majority of students?
Do you think that instances such as this topic could be pointing to a societal change away from integration and towards segregation? Tribalism is a natural human behavior of groups, one that advanced folks claim to have outgrown.
I think young people have the right to try to influence their world. Whether I agree/disagree with their particular politics is irrelevant. These students apparently don't want (or need) yours or my acceptance, understanding or permission to try to do that.
I don't think this indicates a move towards a more segregated society. I think this is very specifically about liberal-minded students reacting to the resurgence of the right, by drawing a line in the sand, and defending it. And I think it's part of a wider reaction to having Trump in the White House, which is galvanizing those on the left into a much more radical "resistance" type movement. Signs of the times.
If the purpose of higher education is to open your mind (liberal or conservative) to ideas you have not before considered, then these liberal students are the very ones who should most hear someone like Coulter. I've heard several very popular comedians say recently that they no longer play colleges, because college students today are so easily offended that they virtually have no sense of humor. And these students were not dropped onto the planet by aliens. They've been raised that way. A college is not "their space" to be coddled and protected intellectually. It is just the opposite.
Who says these students haven't considered Coulter's views already? Perhaps they have considered them and that's why they are actively rejecting them. That seems more likely than the possibility they are blindly protesting against someone whose views they have never heard.
And who says college is still the main channel through which young people are exposed to new political ideas? It's likely that most of these people have grown up with channels of communication that give them 24/7 immediate access to every political view imaginable. They have access to more information through their phones, than previous generations may have had their entire lives. And perhaps it is the plethora of hateful narratives they have been exposed to, that's causing them to resist those who want to bring those narratives onto campus.
In my opinion, failing to acknowledge any of that, or make any effort to see things from their perspective, is akin to people in the 60s failing to acknowledge or understand the perspective of students then, which resulted in criticism also. I think at least some of that criticism, both then and now (from left and right) is born of the different experiences and cultural frames of reference between different generations. That reminds me of some Bowie lyrics:
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what they're going through
Anyone replying to this thread actually work on a college campus?
Berkeley just had a riot. In terms of enrollment, that's not something that parents look at and say, 'that sounds like a safe place to send my kid to college.'
Ann Coulter was sure to bring out to divisive crowds with the potential for a similar scenario. In terms of campus safety, the prudent things was to postpone her visit due to recent events.
In terms of campus safety the prudent thing seems to let her talk and arrest and prosecute anyone that opposes violently or illegally. Do it a few times and the campus will once more be safe as those that propose or use violence to promote their cause will be gone.
What drives me up the wall is that the protestors are playing right into the hands of the people they are protesting. Coulter and Milo thrive on this type of protest and benefit from it. It's the very foundation of a lot of what they do that liberals are intolerant of views other than their own. Both emerged from the toxic environment of political correctness. Preventing somebody from expressing their views because you don't like them is the very negative essence of political correctness.
The best thing to do, if you don't like Ann Coulter's views, is to ignore her.
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