I was briefly distracted by concern over the “safe space” movement and the apparently increasing inability of (partially) college-educated students to tolerate dissenting opinions.
Then I realized we have a presidential candidate leading the polls of a major party who has advocated for the following things:
- Making certain citizens and residents of the US carry documents that identify their religion.
- Closing down places of worship based on their religious affiliation.
- Vigilante violence at his campaign events.
- Closing the borders to all visitors to the US based on their religion.
- Imposing restrictions on (and/or a complete shutdown of) Internet access to indeterminate people and places in the US under the rubric of safety, without any regard to First Amendment concerns.
- Open to considering internment of Americans akin to the Japanese Internment camps of World War II.
It is increasingly difficult to give much priority of thought to things like a student journalist forced to leave a public protest area or Yale professors caught up in a dispute over Halloween costume sensitivities.
Don’t get me wrong, these issues matter, and if allowed to expand don’t bode well for future political discourse. But that danger is for the future, and anyway, student activists tend to moderate their views as they experience adulthood.
Meanwhile, in the present, we have a billionaire reality show huckster stirring up the worst traditions of populism and nativism who has formed a group of increasingly violent supporters who stroll willingly down the path to outright fascism.