The good news? You’ve got people on the left defending free speech on campus, and defending it well, as Charles C. Cooke notes in the National Review about a piece in New York Magazine by Jesse Singal:.
But there’s still a bit of fact-checking to do, as Cooke notes – in this case, quoting Singal:
“The existence of white nationalist Richard Spencer, and other bigoted far-right figures like him, poses a genuine challenge to public universities. Conservative student groups invite these sorts of figures to speak fairly often, and the courts have consistently held that public universities can’t really interfere with such events.”
There’s just one thing wrong:
Having read this, you could be forgiven for thinking that “conservative student groups” have invited ”white nationalist Richard Spencer” to speak on campus, and that they have done so “fairly often.” This isn’t correct. Richard Spencer has indeed spoken on college campuses recently. But, invariably, he has invited himself.
After which the conservative groups do what they do – defend actual free speech, including the stuff that everyone hates, which is indeed why we need “Free Speech” in the Constitution in the first place.
So there’s that.
But there’s one other problem: Singal refers to Spencer et al as “bigoted far-right figures”. And he’s far from alone.
Thing is, as Michael Knowles points out in this superb Prager U video, the “Alt-Right” is not right. It repudiates, in fact, much of what American conservatism believes:
To sum up, the “Alt-Right” – or “Alternative to the Right” – believes in:
- Relentless identity politics, just like Big Left does, only in its case the identity is “White”.
- Atheistic. Christianity important to the alt-right only as a motivator for Western European civilizzation – but rejects faith as a moral, ethical or spiritual force.
- A disdain for the value of the individual in favor of the primacy of the group.
Conservatism is focused on the individual, and the presence of a stable, higher order (even conservative atheists – they exist – generally believe in some sort of higher moral order).
I know, I know – they christened themselves “Alt-Right”, sparing the media the trouble of doing it for them.