You know what, Robert. There’s something that you and Bari Weiss and I all have in common, despite my disagreement with how both of you have interpreted the outcomes of movements. If I may explain what I am talking about. You are concerned that what feels to you like a mob is going to be able to us large group power in ways that turn malicious. Despite her elementary, inaccurate analysis of college politics, poor journalistic integrity, and no doubt inability to understand the sarcasm of my Medium profile description, Bari Weiss has kernels of truth in her corrected New York Times article from yesterday, We Are All Fascists, Now.
There were two concerns she expressed that actually have merit. A crowd is always a dangerous swarm. Good intentions can turn ugly. The football game can become the riot. The witch hunt can become Salem. Crowds can be manipulated.
As I thought about it, I came back to your article. I wanted to concede to you that I do think there was a victim of the MeToo movement. Al Franken. And I think the two processes above were the mechanisms. Dangerous swarms and crowd manipulation. Sometimes, it is just crowd misinformation, intentional or unintentional. So, you see people reacting to siren that was supposed to be called off.
Both you and Bari Weiss went to the same place. We have to be concerned about women reporting men and rape. We have to open up the campus to charlatans because they say they are conservatives despite the fact that campus resources (especially speaking promotions, rooms, etc.) are precious. Social justice warriors are taking over campus.
No. Just no. On both counts. There needs to be a continued flow of consequences for sexual misconduct. We need to continue to listen to and give credence to women’s stories. But like the public must oversee government, and government must oversee business, everything needs brakes. Regulation done right would actually improve life all around. You regulate the movement. You have standards for evidence. Did she tell other people at the time to serve as witnesses? Does the behavior rise to the level of actual harassment?
As for Bari Weiss, as a former college professor, I know about the conservative assault on higher education. It was probably planned during the 50s and 60s during the conservative movement described in Suburban Warriors by Lisa McGirr. Regardless, I was there for it from my freshman year when Charles Murray was almost the reason I dropped out of college to my first year of teaching college when a conservative student hauled me in front of the dean for biased teaching against Christians for teaching the Puritan work ethic makes Americans dislike welfare. Her immaturity showed on Morning Joe yesterday as she defended her article. She doesn’t know what has been happening on campus. She got suckered by a bot into citing it for her article.
The only danger is that in fighting back against an assault of ignorance, lies, flows of corporate cash, and pseudoscience, people defined as liberals on campus will swarm innocent conservatives. Just like with innocent men, it can be hard to be sympathetic when they tolerate the behavior of the people within their group.