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I just published this post about progressive fascism in Minnesota, which is a good start on what’s wrong with public debate in Minnesota but that doesn’t go far enough in talking about what’s the heart of the problem.

What’s wrong is illustrated with this disgusting depiction of progressive fascism:

It was an experience I will remember a long time. Especially seeing the backs of the state troopers–as they lined up shoulder to shoulder to keep the crowd from touching us. And the screaming, “Shame! Shame!” at us. Doesn’t really go with earlier in the evening when they were singing Amazing Grace, and shouting “No Hate”. Of course, they seemed to think it was perfectly loving to scream “Bigot” 10 inches from my face and spit on one of the other reps. (By the way, he has MS, walks with a cane and is a little slower. No hate, right?

This video highlights what’s at the heart of the problem:

What caught my attention is Prof. Rauch’s statement that “Minorities aren’t delicate flowers” that need protection. Later, his statement that an attitude of “Bring it on” is what changes people’s minds. Pluralism, not purism, he said, is the way to change people’s minds. He’s exactly right.

What’s interesting is that Prof. Rauch isn’t a hardline conservative. He’s a gay rights activist and proud liberal. He isn’t interested in shutting down debate. He’s advocating for passionate, respectful debate.

The gay rights activists that spat on Rep. Hamilton weren’t interested in passionate, respectful debate. Their shouting down people they disagree with is the opposite of debate. That might win elections but it doesn’t win mandates. It simply says that one side did a better job of turning out voters than the other side.

This review of Greg Lukianoff’s book hits at the heart of what’s wrong with progressive fascism:

Lukianoff tells me of a recent survey conducted by the American Association of Colleges and Universities: ‘Out of 24,000 students who were asked the question, “Is it safe to hold unpopular positions on campus?”, only 35 per cent of students strongly agreed. But, when broken down, the stat indicates something even worse. Forty per cent of freshmen strongly agreed, but only 30 per cent of seniors.’ In other words, students unlearn freedom of speech during their studies.

It’s troubling to think that dissent is discouraged on college campuses. What’s worse is that students aren’t the only people who are told that they shouldn’t express dissent:

‘Even worse, only 16 per cent of university faculty strongly agreed with this statement. It’s not even a particularly strong statement, and if we’ve reached a point where only 16 per cent of faculty strongly agree with it, then we’re doing something wrong.’

When the vast majority of faculty say that holding unpopular positions” is dangerous for them, then something’s seriously wrong with university administrators.

It’s time for debate-loving people of all political persuasions to join together in fighting the latest version of fascism.

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2 Responses to “The First Amendment isn’t just a theory”

  • eric z says:

    Sinclair Lewis explained, when Fascism comes to America it will be carrying a Bible and be wrapped in a flag.

    W.

    That’s W. That’s the great Kiffmeyer. ALEC.

    Gary, it got here with Truman, Eisenhower, and the Dulles brothers. But why would a Republican not say so?

  • Gary Gross says:

    Sinclair Lewis was wrong. Badly wrong. So are you. All ALEC says is “we know the issues you legislators are working on. We’ve written sample legislation that might you might be interested in. If you like it, use it. If you can do better, have at it.”

    That isn’t fascism. Calling legislators they don’t know BIGOTS & spitting on people they don’t agree with. Here’s the definition of fascism:

    a governmental system…that forcibly supresses opposition or criticism.

    Spitting on people you disagree with has one intention, namely intimidating people into silence.

    If you want to associate yourself with those type of people, that’s your right but I won’t haven’t anything to do with people like that.

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