Monday, March 25, 2019

Trump aligns with the Intellectual Dark Web

Jerry Coyne was all ready to jump on the New Yorker article about the Southern Poverty Law Center but somehow missed the New Yorker article that demonstrates Trump's alignment with the Intellectual Dark Web as well as the free speech grifters called Trump’s Free-Speech Executive Order and the Right’s Fixation on Campus Politics.
Exactly a year ago, at a forum for millennial Republicans at the White House, President Trump was asked by Charlie Kirk, the founder of the conservative youth group Turning Point USA, what he made of recent controversies involving the free-speech rights of conservatives on college campuses. “You go to the real campuses, and you go all over the country, you go out to the Middle West, you go out even to the coast in many cases, we have tremendous support,” he replied breezily, brushing off the purported crisis.“I would say we have majority support. I think it’s highly overblown. Highly overblown.” 
He has since been better at sticking to the script. In a White House ceremony on Thursday afternoon, Trump signed an executive order barring colleges that are deemed unduly restrictive of free speech from receiving federal funds—a move that was previewed in the President’s speech to this year’s cpac conference, earlier this month, and in a tweet that he posted in early 2017, in response to protests that had broken out at U.C. Berkeley over a scheduled appearance by the right-wing agitator Milo Yiannopoulos: “If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view - no federal funds?”
You better believe Quillette immediately jumped in to praise Trump.
It will be interesting to see if the Trump administration takes a reactive or a proactive approach to restricting funding, warning offending colleges of their intent to strip funding unless something changes. Either way, the Executive Order is a step in the right direction. The requirement that colleges adhere to a transparent speech code which protects academic debate in return for federal dollars is both reasonable and measured. It empowers the Federal Government to be better stewards of public funds, while upholding the rights of its student citizens.
Funny how the American Enterprise Institute, like Charlie Kirk, also changed its mind - from the New Yorker article:
In October, 2017, the American Enterprise Institute published a report recommending that federal funding for schools thought to be insufficiently protective of free speech be withheld either by legislation, at the discretion of grant-making agencies, or, as Trump has now done, by executive action. Interestingly, just months earlier, A.E.I. had issued another report, based on survey data, that challenged the panic over free speech and expression on campuses. “Recent protests against speakers at different colleges have raised questions about free speech on campus, with some critics characterizing universities as increasingly intolerant,” the report’s summary read. “Polls of college students and young people show little evidence of such a trend, although responses differ depending on the nature of the speech in question.”
And as the article points out, this free speech tactic has long been a favorite of the right:
The right’s fixation on campus politics has never had much to do with realities on the ground, of course. William F. Buckley’s jeremiad against the power and influence of leftists in the academy, “God and Man at Yale,” was published in 1951, a time when leftists were being hounded out of their jobs at American universities and elsewhere by a Second Red Scare. The victimization narrative has changed little since then, even as the conservative movement has come to wield an extraordinary amount of power in American politics and life—so much so that they’ve managed to enlist a President of the United States as an ally in their undergraduate squabbles.
So of course the IDW and Quillette are doing it too - because Quillette also leans right, per the web site AllSides. Even though Claire Lehmann claims it's centrist.
In an interview, Quillette founder Claire Lehmann told The Australian that her publication is "independent, not polemical, not writing on behalf of vested interests and reasonably centrist." 

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