Kristof to fellow Liberals: ‘We want to be inclusive of people who don’t look like us — so long as they think like us.’
The notion that American academia is a liberal bubble and echo chamber is nothing that Legal Insurrection hasn’t documented and decried a thousand times. But it is refreshing to hear that complaint coming from the lips . . . of a leading liberal journalist.
Today’s Morning Joe devoted a segment to self-described liberal Nicholas Kristof’s New York Times column, “The Dangers of Echo Chambers on Campus.” Key lines: “We liberals . . . too often, we embrace diversity of all kinds except for ideological . . . We champion tolerance, except for conservatives and evangelical Christians. We want to be inclusive of people who don’t look like us — so long as they think like us.”
Also encouraging was the panel’s consensus in praise of the column, including by Dems Mika Brzezinski and Harold Ford, Jr., and even from fellow Timesman Jeremy Peters.
Note: Morning Joe‘s opening segment was, in essence, a brief in support of the selection of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. It was repeatedly mentioned that Bob Gates, James Baker and Condi Rice have praised Tillerson to the Trump transition.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Nicholas Kristof writes in the New York Times “The Dangers of Echo Chambers on Campus. Part of it reads like this:
“After Donald Trump’s election, some universities echoed with primal howls. Faculty members canceled classes for weeping, —
JOE SCARBOROUGH [laughing off camera] I’m sorry, keep going.
MIKA: — let me get through it.
“terrified students who asked: How could this possibly be happening?
“I share apprehensions about President-elect Trump, but I also fear the reaction was evidence of how insular universities have become. When students inhabit liberal bubbles, they’re not learning much about their own country. To be fully educated, students should encounter not only Plato, but also Republicans.
“We liberals are adept at pointing out the hypocrisies of Trump, but we should also address our own hypocrisy in terrain we govern, such as most universities: Too often, we embrace diversity of all kinds except for ideological . . . We champion tolerance, except for conservatives and evangelical Christians. We want to be inclusive of people who don’t look like us — so long as they think like us.”
Ouch. Yes. That would be a big yes.
. . .
HAROLD FORD, JR.: It is embarrassing that every elite conservative or liberal kind of got this race wrong with the exception of a handful. One of the things the country has to do after every race is to raise the hood and understand, Democrats and Republicans. What happened? Why was there such disconnect? David Brooks had one of the better columns during the year when he said I’ve got to leave my office. You and Mika commented on this. Leave this tower I sit in and get out and try to understand what’s happening in the country. Universities: it has to start there. at universities. If kids don’t feel they can have honest conversations there —
JOE: It’s got to start —
FORD: — if the kids don’t feel comfortable having honest, vigorous debates there, or conversations there, it won’t lead from it.
JOE: The arguments are so closed off. I feel sorry for the kids there. I really do because they are so closed off. And this isn’t just Ivy League. Again, I went to the University of Alabama. A very conservative southern state school culturally.
I was a liberal arts major. I can’t remember a single conservative-to-moderate Republican professor I had. They were all obviously Democrats, which again is fine with me. Because I spent my entire life sharpening my arguments. But, again, everywhere you go, if people say you’re right, no matter how weak your argument is, it creates an intellectual laziness that allows you to see your party collapse and you wake up one day and you only have 11 or 12 governors nationwide.
JEREMY PETERS: And this notion that an opposing political view is not just wrong but it’s offensive. That you can’t possibly bear the thought of having to be exposed to the other side’s argument. It’s so corrosive.
RICK TYLER: It’s arrogant, too. If a speaker comes to your campus and you don’t want to listen to him, don’t go to the speech. But to say, I don’t anybody else to listen to him —
JOE: — to shut down.
TYLER: — that’s really remarkable.
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