The Coming Breakup of the United States

Americans right now are more sharply divided politically than at any time since the Civil War. Things have gotten so bad that we now have, perhaps for the first time since the antibellum era, different states openly feuding with each other on ideological grounds. Last year, for instance, Tennessee enacted a religious liberty law that allows mental health therapists to refuse gay clients. In response, California banned state employees from using public funds to travel to Tennessee. For similar reasons, California maintains equivalent travel bans against seven other states: Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota, and Texas. The latter four states were added to the list just last week.

In response, Tennessee adopted a resolution basically telling California to mind its own goddam business. The resolution even featured some pretty good trolling.

WHEREAS, California’s attempt to influence public policy in our state is akin to Tennessee expressing its disapproval of California’s exorbitant taxes, spiraling budget deficits, runaway social welfare programs, and rampant illegal immigration; and
WHEREAS, Tennessee is pleasantly surprised that California will not be sending its economic development teams to Tennessee to recruit our businesses, but we can still send our teams to recruit their businesses; and
WHEREAS, Tennessee is puzzled why California thinks it is a good idea to prohibit its state colleges and universities from participating in athletic competition in Tennessee (March Madness comes to Memphis this year via the South Regional)…

That’s just fairly harmless trash talk, but the Tennessee resolution also includes threats to impose economic sanctions of its own. It also says the following.

[W]e urge the other forty-eight states to refrain from imposing their unfounded moral judgment on their sister states as California has done in order to prevent escalating foolishness.

I really don’t recall any precedent for states openly calling each other out like this since the Civil War. Marc Thiessen, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush, says that America seems to be “on its way to divorce court” and offers a plaintive cry for unity.

This is not to suggest that there is no role for righteous anger in political discourse. Conservatives felt anger about many of Obama’s policies, and liberals have every right to be angry about Trump’s policies they find objectionable. And they have every right to fight like hell to stop them.

But it wasn’t so long ago that, despite bitter differences over policies, Republicans and Democrats still found ways to work together. President Bill Clinton and Republicans in Congress worked together to pass NAFTA and welfare reform. George W. Bush and congressional Democrats cooperated to pass tax cuts and education reform. Today, that kind of cooperation is unimaginable.

And the reason is simple: When anger transforms into contempt, permanent damage takes place. As American Enterprise Institute President Arthur C. Brooks points out, a marriage can recover from anger. But when couples become contemptuous of each other, they will almost certainly end up in divorce court. That is where our country is headed today.

Liberals need to understand: When they show contempt for Trump, they are expressing contempt for the millions of Americans who voted for him – including millions who twice voted for Obama. These Americans felt that the establishments of both parties were ignoring them and wanted to send Washington a message. The response they are receiving could not be clearer: We have contempt for the man you elected, and we have contempt for all of you who put him into office. They will never forget it.

We need to pull back from this spiral of contempt before it is too late. North Korea is our enemy. Our fellow Americans who disagree with us are not. It’s time we learn the difference – before someone gets killed.

The plea for civility and cooperation is noble and high-minded, but does nothing to address the very real differences dividing Americans. And those sources of division are not going away. Rather, the divisions will continue to widen to the point where a serious movement for secession might emerge.

Already in reaction to the last election, leftists in California tried to organize a ‘Calexit’ movement for independence. That’s another indication of how deep the differences now run. But when the time for the breakup finally arrives, I predict it will be the right filing for divorce from the left. One reason is that, in the ongoing culture war, it is the left that is the bully and the aggressor, and only a masochist submits indefinitely to bullying.

But more importantly, the demographic trends in America are working in favor of the political left and against the right. Once the right realizes that they can never win national elections anymore, they’ll see no point to continued participation. In 1860 the South essentially took the decision to secede because they similarly perceived national politics to be trending against their side.

I don’t know exactly how things will play out. As Mark Twain said, prediction is hard, especially about the future. But I wouldn’t be shocked if 20 years from now the United States as presently constituted no longer exists.

Is Veganism the New Morality?

People are inherently competitive and status conscious, and one of the traditional ways many people competed was in religious devotion. Being overtly religiously devout allowed one to at least pretend to occupy a relatively high moral plane. That’s one way to maintain a good public image, and to make one feel good about oneself. But in the post-Christian West, people need to find other ways to strike a pose of moral superiority. One option, apparently, is veganism.

Writing in The Guardian, Saskia Sarginson relates that her adult children, who by the way live at home, are tormenting her with their veganism. (Hat tip: Justin D.)

[A]s a goodwill gesture, I have switched from cow’s to goat’s butter, although I am probably kidding myself that goat’s butter is acquired in a kinder manner.

My offspring cannot forgive this weakness. Particularly the butter. When they berate me for eating it, I am in turns angry, defiant and depressed. I feel hounded in my own home, and when I’m cornered, I resort to lashing out. After one particularly heated argument, Ed and I escape to the pub to recover. Ed orders scampi fries. I eat one and feel like a rebellious teenager. I know my feelings do not make sense.

“Where did I go wrong?” I wonder bitterly. “Why do they think they can bully me? They ate meat all their lives until about five minutes ago, and now I’m not allowed a tiny bit of butter.”

I’m aware that I sound like a petulant child. But it feels good to moan. Ed nods. “We pay the food bills, we enable them to be vegan, and yet we end up looking like the bad guys.”

“Exactly. It’s easy for them to be perfect,” I say. “They don’t have to worry about council tax and mending the washing machine. They’re still protected in their bubble at home.”

“Yes,” says Ed sadly. “But they do have the moral high ground. I think that’s what’s so difficult to accept.”

This is the adult children’s way of assuaging their egos. They’re losers sponging off their parents, but at least they’ve attained that vegan moral high ground. “Mom may pay the bills, but unlike us she can’t will herself to go full vegan. Ha!”
It’s the ego protecting itself.

But in any event, is veganism really the moral high ground? Where does that come from? Even Sikhs are not vegan, just vegetarian. Did I miss the part in the Nicomachean Ethics where Aristotle endorsed veganism? And can veganism still define the moral high ground even when it’s associated with a strip joint?

That headline is from Portland, Oregon. Pretty much had to be either Portland or San Francisco.

Which reminds me of a joke.

An atheist, a crossfitter, and a vegan walk into a bar…
I only know because they told everybody within two minutes.

But seriously, have these oh-so-moral vegans fully considered the possible consequences of their actions?

The Arrogance of Campus Crybullies: Evergreen Edition

In a post below about George Bridges, the feckless president of Evergreen State College, I embedded a video report by Michael Moynihan of VICE News. The report has been getting a lot of attention, and for good reason–it offers a revealing look at the student protestors creating havoc on campus. The image put forward by the protestors is not a pretty one. They come across as intolerant, unreasoning, arrogant, and entitled to a degree that almost defies credulity. It really has to be seen to be believed, and is worth examining in some detail. Washington State taxpayers in particular should look closely at the chaos depicted in the video and ask themselves if their tax dollars are being well spent at Evergreen.

Evergreen State College Controversy (HBO)

The object of the protestors’ ire is Professor Bret Weinstein, a liberal, who quite reasonably objected to their attempt to ban people from campus, at least for a day, on the basis of race. Student protestors accosted him and disrupted his class. When Professor Weinstein tried calmly to reason with students and to engage them in debate, they responded only with insults and vulgarity.

The students have every right to disagree with Weinstein and to challenge his views. But Weinstein doesn’t deserve this sort of abuse. Frankly, he deserves an apology from everyone involved; the students, and the administrators who allowed this to happen. Some people are wondering if Evergreen will fire Weinstein. I’m wondering when he gets his apology.

The first protestor the video identifies by name (2:22) is “Hadley” a tatted girl I prefer to call Mademoiselle Defarge. She thinks that Weinstein should be fired for disagreeing with her.

The only evidence of uncivil and unprofessional behavior, however, has not come from Weinstein but from the students. Weinstein should go on offense and demand that the disruptive students be suspended or expelled.

Why bring up the professors sex, race, and sexuality? How is any of that relevant to the argument? Who would believe so, other than some kind of bigot?

Weinstein, who I believe is Jewish, has ‘validated Nazis’?

Huddled in their lair, the crybullies then argue that free speech should not protect death threats.

But this is a straw man, because nobody is arguing that death threats are free speech. In fact, anybody who knows anything about the relevant case law knows that the First Amendment does not protect threats of violence. So thanks for that profound insight, snowflakes.

Who appointed Mademoiselle Defarge Grande Inquisidora with the power to ‘weed people out’? The fact is that the college has a great many stakeholders–taxpayers, alumni, donors, faculty, staff–many of whom have been affiliated with the college a lot longer, and have contributed a lot more, than has Mlle. Defarge. Yet she acts like she owns the place. The arrogance is breathtaking.

The crybullies pose as victims, but they’re actually the victimizers. The real victim is Bret Weinstein, along with the serious students on campus who had their education interrupted when the crybullies shut down the campus.

If the crybullies succeed in getting Bret Weinstein fired, he should hire a junkyard dog lawyer and sue the college for wrongful termination and sue the crybullies for defamation.

University Presidents, Then and Now

1968: Far-left goons threaten to shut down San Francisco State, and President S. I. Hayakawa springs into action to stop them so that the majority of students can continue their education uninterrupted.

[Hayakawa] drew nationwide publicity when he climbed onto a sound truck from which protestors were shouting obscenities through a microphone, knocked a protestor to the ground who stood in his way (Hayakawa weighed only 145 pounds), and ripped out the wiring of the sound equipment, which the protestors were unable to repair. On another occasion Hayakawa brought a bullhorn to the protest, and shouted back at demonstrators. He also did not hesitate to call in police in large numbers to arrest protestors who disrupted classes. “In a democratic society,” Hayakawa said in justifying his recourse to the police, “the police are there for the protection of our liberties. It is in a totalitarian society that police take away our liberties.” He took activists at their word that their demands were “non-negotiable,” and refused to negotiate…. “We have a standing obligation to the 17,500 or more students—white, black, yellow, red and brown—who are not on strike and have every right to expect continuation of their education.”

2017: George Bridges, president of Evergreen State College, tries to appease a mob of far-left students, making concessions and ordering campus police to stand down. The resulting chaos shuts down the whole campus, interrupting the education of the 95% of students who are not protesting.

The funniest—and also the saddest—of the videos might be called the Homework Video, or perhaps the Gumbo Video. Viewed more than 86,000 times on YouTube, it recorded the events of a May 24 meeting with Bridges in his office, which the protesters had invaded and taken over, blocking the exits while some of them checked their phones and helped themselves to what appeared to be university-supplied pizza as they sat at the college president’s conference table. The 66-year-old Bridges, balding, pudgy, bespectacled, and given to sporting bow ties on dressy occasions, had the misfortune of visually calling to mind Bobby Trippe, the adipose city slicker raped by hillbillies in John Boorman’s 1972 backwoods horror flick Deliverance. Subconsciously—or perhaps archetypally, since none was alive when Deliverance was ringing up the cash registers during the early 1970s—the Evergreen protesters similarly seemed to smell blood with the eager-to-please and ultimately hapless Bridges. He had already had an encounter with them the day before, when they stormed his office at 4:30 in the afternoon not long after their successful disruption of Weinstein’s biology class. Their greeting, also captured in a video, had been: “F— you, George, we don’t want to hear a God-damned thing you have to say.” One protester had demanded that Bridges “disavow white supremacy.” Bridges had meekly agreed: “I will disavow white supremacy.”

The Evergreen State protesters at the May 24 meeting, munching their pizza slices while a jacketless, white-shirted Bridges stood abjectly before them holding a multipage list of their written demands, clearly regarded such solicitude for their sensibilities as so much contemptible weakness. The meeting opened with this exchange between a female protester and Bridges:

“All of us are students and have homework and projects and things due. Have you sent an email out to your faculty letting them know? What’s been done about that?”

“It’s the first thing I’ll do. I have not done it yet, I will do it right now.”

“So they need to be told that these assignments won’t be done on time, and we don’t need to be penalized for that.”

Jeers and general derision followed, as Bridges tried to shush them with his free hand and make himself heard.

“Y’all can’t keep doing these pointing fingers,” a female student reprimanded him, after he had apologized and meekly placed the offending hand in his pants pocket.

A few minutes later Bridges pleaded over the din to let him please adjourn the meeting so he could read the list of demands: “You have to give me some privacy, folks. . . . I have claustrophobia.”

The meeting ended with the Gumbo Potluck Demand. A male student standing behind Bridges informed him that if he didn’t respond to the occupying students’ list by 5 p.m. that Friday, May 26, “you need to pay for a potluck.”

Bridges was amenable to that order, too: “We’ll be paying for a potluck anyway,” he replied.

“We want gumbo!” another student shouted.

A knot of students on the other side of the table turned that into a chant: “We want gumbo!”

The opening sentence of Bridges’s statement in response to the students’ demands set the tone and the tenor for everything that followed:

“I’m George Bridges, I use he/him pronouns.”

What followed was Evergreen-predictable. Apologies to the Native Americans whose “land was stolen and on which the college stands”? Check. That “mandatory sensitivity and cultural competency training” for faculty? Check and check. “We commit to annual mandatory training for all faculty beginning in fall 2017,” Bridges said. And there was more: the creation of an “equity center.” A “Trans & Queer Center coordinator.” A “position that will support undocumented students.” And more free food, after the meeting adjourned at 6 p.m.

Why do Democrats Hate the Bill of Rights?

Right now, Americans are more divided politically than at anytime since the Civil War. The reason is that half the country–Democrats–have moved so far to the left that they no longer support the traditional and uniquely American freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights.

Democrats gave up on the Second Amendment decades ago. Thirty years ago, Democratic candidates often won the endorsement of the National Rifle Association. Now they rarely do.

Democrats are shakey at best on the Fourth Amendment, as evinced by their lack of concern over the government’s domestic spying. They think the Tenth Amendment is a joke. And now they are turning on the First Amendment. Here’s a former Chairman of the Democrat Party:

And here’s the same statement from the Democrat Mayor of Portland.

Hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Polls show that also the Democrat rank and file oppose free speech.

If the government is allowed to censor ‘hate speech’ then the government will be in the business of censoring speech, and the First Amendment will effectively become null and void. Anybody who claims some sort of ‘hate speech’ exception to the First Amendment has, as Reason‘s headline correctly states, abandoned the First Amendment.

If you require more evidence that the left opposes speech, just take a look at the college campuses. The universities are dominated by the political left. That’s where the left, more than anywhere else in America, gets to set the rules. And under the left’s rules, free speech is suppressed more than anywhere else in America. Speech is tightly regulated officially by speech codes, and unofficially by leftist mobs. Both faculty and students fear to speak their minds. The campuses offer a peek at what the left would do if it had the power. It would crush free speech.

Interestingly, the modern liberal’s hostility to free speech is a relatively recent development. Fifty years ago, Democrats were actually more strongly committed to free speech than were Republicans. James Burnham in his classic 1964 analysis of modern liberalism, The Suicide of the West, comments several times throughout the book on the modern liberal’s almost fanatical devotion to free speech. But that was following a period during the Cold War when attempts were made to censor the speech of communists. In those days, unlike today, liberals also liked Russia. They flipped on both Russia and speech for the same reason–both ceased to be communist causes.

American freedom is uniquely defined by the Bill of Rights, and in particular the First and Second Amendments. In the rest of the world, only a very few isolated places, such as San Marino, recognize anything like a citizen’s Second Amendment right to self defense. And essentially no place else in the world respects anything like a First Amendment right to free expression. Even in the English-speaking countries like the U.K. and its Commonwealth, which share a common legacy of political rights with the U.S., ‘hate speech’ is illegal and the state can and does persecute and prosecute citizens for their speech.

In their indifference (at best) or hostility (at worst) to the First and Second Amendments, Democrats are definitely in the majority, if not in the United States, then in the world. If Democrats had their way, the Bill of Rights would effectively whither away, and the United States would become a lot more like the rest of the world.

Becoming more like everyplace else might not sound so bad, but here’s the thing–the U.S. is supposed to be different. The U.S. was founded to be different, primarily in elevating the ordinary man. In America, unlike Europe and the rest of the world, the ordinary man was very big. He was a citizen, not a subject. But now when the ordinary man tries to exercise his uniquely American rights, Democrats condemn him for ‘clinging to guns and religion.’ Essentially Democrats have given up on America.

If Hillary Clinton had won the election, she would have appointed a Supreme Court majority hostile to both the First and Second Amendments, and a Court that also would have acceded to her administration’s inevitable lawlessness. This would mark the end of America as an oasis of ordered liberty.

If the Democrats succeed in destroying American freedom, then maybe it’s time for some of us to plan our escape. Brazil, for instance, starts to look relatively good. No Bill of Rights, but at least the food and weather are better.

Leftist Violence Proceeding as Expected

Just six days ago, I warned on this site that the political left was starting to embrace violence. And just yesterday, Mark Steyn in his video blog observed that “the seduction and the appeal and the glamorization of violence on the left is getting worse.” The obvious trend was obvious, and so it was only a matter of time before one the left’s dumbass shock troops would attempt a political mass murder, as happened this morning.

SteynPost #17: The Seduction of Violence

Something odd is going on here, something deeply disturbing. When a newspaper columnist is attacked in the street in broad daylight, when a man who gives a speech is deliberately poisoned in the restaurant afterwards, when a liberal professor in Vermont is beaten up and sent to hospital because she invited someone to give a speech to her students, take part in a debate…the left is moving closer and closer and closer to the reality of Kathy Griffin’s photoshoot, where you’re standing there with the severed head. This is not a healthy trend.

This trend in leftist violence didn’t come out of nowhere. It has been directly inspired by the hateful rhetoric of the leftist academic and political establishments, which for about 12 months now have waged a hysterical campaign to delegitimize and dehumanize Donald Trump and his supporters.

The United States has not quite yet descended into the political violence of the Civil War or even of the running street fights of the Wiemar Republic. But if it does, let history record that it was the left that started it.

The Administrative State is a Betrayal of American Values

The foundational promise of America was that the government would be accountable to the people. “Here, the people rule,” said President Gerald Ford. But that promise was broken one hundred years ago when the Progressive Era gave birth to the Administrative State. Since then, most of our laws have been enacted not by elected representatives accountable to the people, but by unaccountable bureaucrats. Law professor Glenn Reynolds summarizes the sorry state of affairs in today’s USA Today.

[Philip] Hamburger explains that the prerogative powers once exercised by English kings, until they were circumscribed after a resulting civil war, have now been reinvented and lodged in administrative agencies, even though the United States Constitution was drafted specifically to prevent just such abuses. But today, the laws that actually affect people and businesses are seldom written by Congress; instead they are created by administrative agencies through a process of “informal rulemaking,” a process whose chief virtue is that it’s easy for the rulers to engage in, and hard for the ruled to observe or influence. Non-judicial administrative courts decide cases, and impose penalties, without a jury or an actual judge. And the protections in the Constitution and Bill of Rights (like the requirement for a judge-issued search warrant before a search) are often inapplicable.

How did a system designed to provide government of, by, and for the people devolve into a system in which bureaucrats unaccountable to voters (though exquisitely accountable to political players and special interests) produce masses of law that was never voted on by an elected official? Simple: on purpose.

In the early days of the Republic, the franchise was limited. But as the mass of voters became larger, more diverse, and less elite, those who considered themselves the best and brightest looked to transform government into something run not by those deplorable unwashed voters but by a more congenial group. As Hamburger says, “They have gradually moved legislative power out of Congress and into administrative agencies — to be exercised, in more genteel ways, by persons like … themselves.”
It has been, in essence, a power grab by what Hamburger calls the “knowledge class,” or what others have called the New Class: A group of managers and intellectuals who, although they may not actually be especially knowledgeable or elite in practice, regard themselves as a knowledge elite.

The Administrative State stands as an affront to democratic values and violates both the spirit and letter of the Constitution on a daily basis. It’s really the biggest unknown scandal in America today. Unknown because hardly anybody ever mentions it.

Schoolchildren are taught, if anything, that laws are made by Congress with no mention of ‘informal rulemaking’ by bureaucrats. And the ongoing depredations of the bureaucrats are hardly ever reported by the news media. Turn on ‘conservative’ Fox News and they’re reporting on Washington’s latest pointless diversions like the ‘scandal’ of Donald Trump’s son-in-law maybe having spoken with some Russians, or the self-serving reminiscences of former bureaucratic operative James Comey. Sorry, but I can’t make myself care about any of that political theater while Americans are forced to live under the rule of unelected clowns in the bureaucracy. Priorities, you know?

Let me keep this simple for those playing at home. If Congress didn’t vote on it, and the president didn’t sign it, then it’s not a valid law, and Americans have no obligation to abide by it.

Generation Snowflake Discovers Violence

We’re seeing more and more instances of political violence being initiated by young leftists. This leftist violence started as a response to the political rise of Donald Trump, and reached a crescendo at Berkeley with a violent riot that shut down a talk by provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. In just the latest incident, Evergreen State College in Washington is reportedly being terrorized by a roving gang of social justice warriors carrying baseball bats.

Young leftists are being seduced by violence, probably because they have so little prior experience with it. They’ve grown up basically supervised by adults 24/7, both in school and after school, and the adults never let things get out of hand. Bullying, which always existed in the society of children, is now actively suppressed.

Back when I was a kid, however, we were free range. Since kids were left to their own devices, things sometimes got out of hand and fights would break out. I can recall as early as first grade, shortly before the morning school bell, a couple of my classmates brawling on the grass in front of school. Nobody was hurt, since six-year-olds can’t do very much damage. I’m not even sure the teachers noticed or even cared. The fight was just boys being boys, and part of the vibrant tapestry of life. The school bell rang, and everybody reported to class like nothing had happened. Nowadays, school administrators might call the police, and there could be a lawsuit.

While today it might seem hard to believe, getting in fights and learning how to defend oneself was once a normal part of growing up. Personally, the last time I got into a fight was during a pick-up hockey match when I was 15.

In How Green Was My Valley, Richard Llewellyn’s classic story of growing up in Welsh coal country, the boy protagonist, Huw, is being abused by a bully at school. In order to deal with the bully, Huw’s father has him take lessons from a former boxer. After fighting the bully, Huw’s teacher beats him savagely with a stick. The boxer then avenges Huw by KO’ing the teacher right in front of the class.

Llewellyn’s novel won the 1940 National Book Award, and John Ford’s film adaptation won the best picture Oscar for 1941, beating out now-classic films such as Citizen Kane and The Maltese Falcon. The story itself is set in Victorian times, but the action seems so far removed from our own era that it may as well be medieval.

In any event, fighting probably does teach kids some valuable lessons. For one thing, it teaches that if you start a fight, you can expect your opponent to fight back. And then you learn what it’s like to be on the receiving end of violence. Bullying and initiating violence has always been a human temptation, but knowing that you might get hurt when your target fights back serves as a potent deterrent.

As so like little child bullies who have never learned their lesson, Generation Snowflake, since they’ve never been in a fight, think it’s fun to go around initiating political violence. They’re so narcissistic and solipsistic that the thought that their opponent might fight back probably doesn’t even occur to them. Still less do they stop to consider that their opponent might be more proficient at violence than they are. After all, your typical social justice warrior has zero fighting experience, and never lifts anything heavier than an iPhone. But as predicted by the Dunning-Kruger Effect (the most ignorant are the most confident) they imagine they can kick ass with impunity. Maybe they watched too many of those ridiculous go-girl movies where the 120 pound female heroine goes around beating up 200 pound guys. Or maybe they just had too much smoke blown up their asses by their parents, teachers, and coaches constantly telling them how special they are.

Just this week, Andrew Bolt, a prominent Australian conservative, got suckered on the street by two leftist twerps. Bolt fought them both off, but the video reveals that neither Bolt nor the twerps know how to throw a punch properly. The leftists seem totally disoriented by the sheer fact that Bolt fought back.

Leftist Protesters get more than they bargain for when Andrew Bolt

I know that every generation has always been somewhat disdainful of the younger generation, but what are we to make of a generation that embraces the novel concept of a ‘microaggression’, while simultaneously believing that sucker punching your political opponents is cool?

It so happens that the vast majority of the people in this country who are most proficient with fighting as well as the use of weapons are actually on the political right. If the left wants to continue on the path of political violence, it won’t end well for them. Here, for instance, is an androgynous commie getting decked by a right winger at a protest in Portland.

ANTIFA Member Gets Knocked Out By Conservative in Portland

I suppose we can be thankful that these leftists are not more proficient at violence. Here, for instance, is a pic of the baseball bat gang from Evergreen State.

I don’t think they could use those bats to beat open a bag of Cheetos. They think they’re cool because they’re fighting ‘Nazis.’ They think the reason Hitler came to power was insufficient leftist violence. Of course, the real reason Hitler came to power was…too much leftist violence.

The Tyranny of ‘Hate Speech’ Laws

Instead of catching terrorists, police in the UK are busy making threats against citizens.

I would remind the Cheshire Police to think carefully about what they are saying before posting messages online. Although they may believe their message is acceptable, citizens who cherish liberty could find it extremely offensive, since it disrespects fundamental free speech rights. At some point, the people might notice that agents of the state are not protecting their rights and decide to take corrective action.

Note that this tweet is a literal expression of tyranny, not just for the obvious reason that it threatens punishment for speech, but because it deliberately seeks to create a chilling effect on speech by instilling fear. The tweet stokes fear by invoking the arbitrariness of Britain’s hate speech laws. The laws are vague and selectively enforced, so it’s difficult for the people to know what might or might not be a crime. The Cheshire Police deliberately exploit this uncertainty by reminding people ‘Hey, you think you’re OK, but you never know when you might be facing a large fine or up to two years in prison!’ That’s an attempt to intimidate the citizenry. In a word, tyranny.

Citizens should not have to face uncertainty about whether or not they’re on the right side of the law. A fundamental requirement of the Rule of Law is that the law should define a bright line. Britain’s ‘hate speech’ laws and the actions of the Cheshire Police therefore contradict the Rule of Law.

Notice also that the law, or at least the interpretation of it by the Cheshire Police, defines an illegal act according to the arbitrary reaction of others: “other people may take offence.” Since discerning in advance what might or might not offend someone can be difficult, leaving it up to others to determine what offends them creates further legal uncertainty that is inconsistent with the Rule of Law.

Memo to the Cheshire Police: When you’re on the wrong side of the Rule of Law, you’re on the side of lawlessness and tyranny.

The Demise of Higher Ed: Yale Gives Awards to Infamous Crybullies

As just the latest milestone in the ongoing devolution of higher education, the formerly-great Yale University has bestowed a graduation award on the infamous snowflake student mocked by The Simpsons. The episode satirizes the notorious 2015 confrontation at Yale between campus crybullies and college master Nicolas Christakis. At the time, video of that confrontation went viral online.

The videos that Tablet exclusively posted last year, which showed a further 25 minutes of what was ultimately an hours-long confrontation, depicted a procession of students berating Christakis. In one clip, a male student strides up to Christakis and, standing mere inches from his face, orders the professor to “look at me.” Assuming this position of physical intimidation, the student then proceeds to declare that Christakis is incapable of understanding what he and his classmates are feeling because Christakis is white, and, ipso facto, cannot be a victim of racism. In another clip, a female student accuses Christakis of “strip[ping] people of their humanity” and “creat[ing] a space for violence to happen”…

That line is quoted at the 0:55 mark of the Simpsons excerpt below.

The Simpsons – SJWs at Yale

Of Yale’s graduating class, it was these two students whom the Nakanishi Prize selection committee deemed most deserving of a prize for “enhancing race and/or ethnic relations” on campus. Hectoring bullies quick to throw baseless accusations of racism or worse; cosseted brats unscrupulous in their determination to smear the reputations of good people, these individuals in actuality represent the antithesis of everything this award is intended to honor. Yet, in the citation that was read to all the graduating seniors and their families on Class Day, Yale praised the latter student as “a fierce truthteller.”

This, for a hysterical liar who accused one of the university’s most distinguished academic minds of inciting “violence” upon his own students.

What Yale ought to have done, as I wrote back when the original conflagration surfaced in November 2015, was instruct its students to “grow up.” Because the university failed to do this, thereby offering its implicit endorsement of the scurrilous charges hurled against two well-regarded members of its faculty, Nicholas Christakis eventually resigned as Master of Silliman College and his wife quit teaching at Yale altogether. And now, to add insult to injury, Yale has decided to award their tormentors as paragons of communal healing. It is a fittingly disgraceful coda to one of the most disgusting chapters in Yale’s recent history.

At this point, most of so-called higher education is at best a huge waste of resources, and at worst, a hub of political power for the radical left that is poisoning and degrading America’s culture and polity. The political right, if it were smart, would leave academia free to indulge its worst instincts until in eventually implodes.