Michael Barone admires the liberal establishment’s recent efforts to marginalize dissent.
I would submit that the president’s call for an end to “bickering” and the charges of racism by some of his supporters are the natural reflex of people who are not used to hearing people disagree with them and who are determined to shut them up.
This comes naturally to liberals educated in our great colleges and universities, so many of which have speech codes whose primary aim is to prevent the expression of certain conservative ideas and which are commonly deployed for that purpose. (For examples, see the Website of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which defends students of all political stripes.) Once the haven of free inquiry and expression, academia has become a swamp of stifling political correctness.
Similarly, the “mainstream media” — the old-line broadcast networks, The New York Times, etc. — present a politically correct picture of the world. The result is that liberals can live in a cocoon, an America in which seldom is heard a discouraging word. Conservatives, in contrast, find themselves constantly pummeled with liberal criticism, on campus, in news media, and in Hollywood TV and movies. They don’t like it, but they’ve gotten used to it. Liberals aren’t used to it and increasingly try to stamp it out.
Read the whole thing.
If we study the vocabulary of the American elite, we find that strange things have happened to the English language. Slavish conformity of thought, readiness to bow to conventional opinion, credulous acceptance of popular alarms, willingness to embrace crude simplifications, and firm refusal to question supposed authority and pretended expertise are continually cited as evidencing sound judgment and good education. Skepticism and questioning the authority of media culture is, on the other hand, extremist, polarizing, and ignorant. Our contemporary political culture basically turns language inside out. The most craven conformist mouthing empty platitudes (Albert Gore) is praised for wisdom and bravery, and anyone attempting to subject a received prescription to scrutiny or analysis (Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh) is intrinsically unintelligent.