I’m not someone who necessarily believes in “political correctness” or altering my choice of words just because someone might be offended. I have come to believe that it is polite to address someone by the gender they identify with, just like I was taught that you should address your elders as “Sir” or “Ma’am” – because that’s how we do things down South.
Too much political correctness is an issue, but it’s also incredibly overly exaggerated by the conservative media which has a thing against higher education. I saw a perfect example of this recently from National Review blogger Jonah Goldberg who laments what he calls bigotry and prejudice against conservatives on America’s college campuses.
You see, there is precious little bigotry and prejudice on college campuses. But the bulk of what does exist is aimed almost entirely at the guys and gals chilling at the tailgate party. Pro-life Christians, Israel-supporting Jews, libertarian professors, conservative scholars, climate-change skeptics, traditionalists of every stripe including classical liberals, and, of course, people who can take a joke: These make up the bulk of the victims of campus bigotry and prejudice. I can’t tell you how many professors I’ve met who have to keep their conservatism secret, at least until tenure, if not forever. I’ve never met or heard of a faculty member who had to keep her Marxism on the down-low. (Source)
It’s not just Jonah Goldberg and National Review making these accusations; Breitbart and the entire conservative media has jumped on the protests at college campuses across the country to lament what they claim is political correctness run amuck.
Of course, some liberals can be equally as abusive and rude as the conservatives they mock. During the last few years, I’ve encountered a number of liberal trolls who think it’s acceptable to make fun of children with developmental disabilities (as long as their parents are prominent Republicans), or make transphobic remarks about Ann Coulter.
It’s important to point out that these people are a minority; meanwhile, all you have to do to witness this on a regular basis from conservatives is head over to the comments section at places like National Review or Breitbart.
So why the hatred from Jonah Goldberg and the right about Yale or the University of Missouri? It’s because higher education often leads to a more progressive mindset. Learning about different cultures and different religions can cause people like myself who come from a conservative background to change the way we see the world.
If you are a conservative and you don’t want your children exposed to the real world, there are plenty of ultra-conservative colleges and universities across the United States that you can send your kids to. I know this because the two siblings that I have that remained right-wing conservatives both attended private Catholic colleges that kept the beliefs they were taught intact.
Jonah Goldberg’s argument against liberalism on college campuses is incredibly disingenuous, and it is par for the course coming from conservative media. He paints the conservatives and libertarians he portrays as victims, when they’re a minority on college campuses for a good reason. People who don’t believe in climate change aren’t usually professors in higher education because 97% of climate scientists agree that humans have a hand in climate change.
In Jonah Goldberg’s world, higher education should give equal to time to conservative opinions, rather than facts. He and the conservative media wants you to think that college students are a bunch of easily-offended wusses who have been coddled and brainwashed into intolerance for the antiquated ideas of the right-wing.
The truth is that the last couple of generations have rejected the rhetoric of Fox News and the conservative media. The tide has changed, and Jonah Goldberg is yet another pundit asking an aging Republican demographic to join him in demanding that those kids get off his damn lawn.
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