The Myth of the Persecuted Campus Conservative

Michael B?©rub?© has published a brilliant reconsideration of an early run-in he had with Dinesh D’Souza, on the occasion of D’Souza’s being hired as an analyst for CNN. The myth of the liberal media has been explored in some detail, several times, in fact, by better folks than me, and so the myth-busting implications of D’Souza’s hiring need not be rehashed here.

What I do find fascinating about the story, though, as B?©rub?© points out, is that it likewise puts the lie to the Horowitzian insistence that campus conservatives are marginalized and silenced. Not at a place like Dartmouth, clearly. And not here, either. I reiterate what I told my students in the midst of the the spring semester’s horrors: the dominant campus ideology, here at least, is not liberal, whatever one might take that to mean; it’s polite. If our campus conservatives are too intimidated to express their inmost opinions, it’s not because of the substance of their peers’ (or their professors’) potential disagreement, but because of the existence of disagreement at all. Campus conservatives who express their opinions might find those opinions publicly disputed, but they’re hardly punished for their expression — not when they’ve got God, the government, and CNN on their side.

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