Wow. Joe Biden eking out a White House win with the outrageous help of a biased news media and the intervention of a pandemic has certainly inspired progressives who wish isolation, violence and punishment on those who dare to disagree with them to out themselves with wild abandon! Three particularly ugly examples, and what to do about them:
I. The Teacher
At Drake University, Associate English Professor Beth Younger has continued that stream of hateful tweets that included one on October 26, 2020 that said, “I was just pondering how much hatred I feel towards all the republican assholes. They need to suffer.” This month, she has added tweets saying “men are trash,” insulting Senator Josh Hawley with “fuck of you piece of shit,” calling Mike Pompeo a “fucking moron and a traitor,” and one referring to Melania Trump as a “terrible human.”
Marty Martin, the President of Drake, sent an email to faculty, staff and students last week, reading,
The Drake University Statement of Principles declares that freedom of thought and freedom of expression are central to our educational mission. We therefore carefully refrain from restricting the exchange of ideas or regulating the content of speech. We recognize that the frank and open discussion of social, cultural, artistic, religious, moral, scientific, and political issues may be disturbing and even hurtful for some individuals, but the principle of free exchange and inquiry takes precedence because of its fundamental role in our educational enterprise. We seek to create through this robust exchange of ideas a community in which shared purpose transcends difference and respect for human dignity transcends conflict.As presented in our Statement of Principles, an essential feature to achieving a community that transcends difference and respects human dignity is that each of us carry the responsibility to be thoughtful in our speech. That all of us recognize that our words have consequences, and thus, refrain from speaking in demeaning and discriminatory ways. Any individual who uses vicious speech betrays the ideal of mutual respect and goodwill toward all members of our university community.
Our Statement of Principles states that anyone who violates the practices and values expressed therein ‘may expect strong and public censure by the administration, faculty and students.’ Indeed, the statement acknowledges that ‘to rebuke a speaker for … the odious nature of their expression is part of the robust and vigorous public debate that is the central purpose of the university.’ This is not about placing prior restraints on speech, as that would be an anathema to our embrace of freedom of thought and freedom of expression. It is about acknowledging when particular instances of speech undermine our goals of civility and mutual respect.
The social media posts from a Drake faculty member that have been widely shared over the past week are in conflict with values articulated in our Statement of Principles. The odious nature of the expression in those posts can be, and has been, interpreted by some Drake students as expressing hostility towards them because of their political persuasion. That is unacceptable. We expect and indeed promote and celebrate vigorous political debate on our campus and across our community. However, when that debate takes the form of demeaning speech, the speaker must hear and understand that such behavior is not welcome at Drake University.
This institution is not a political entity. It has values as expressed in our Mission and Inspiration Statements and Statement of Principles, among other declarations, and we will defend those values when necessary. But, our core purpose is education not indoctrination. We are here to help our students become disciplined and informed thinkers. We are not here to tell them what they must think or to convert them to any particular political philosophy or party. All of my Drake colleagues must be ever vigilant to avoid alienating any of our students through speech that conveys to them, ‘you are not welcome here.’
We all have a choice to make. Are we going to pour more fuel on our national political fire or are we going to help find a way to become a more unified people? The goal of unity does not mean foregoing accountability for that conduct which has placed us in this perilous space. Indeed, meaningful and lasting unity is not possible without appropriate accountability. Nevertheless, we must find a way to lower the temperature in our body politic and start working together to solve the array of problems that confront us. We all must strive to find a shared purpose that transcends difference and embrace a reverence for human dignity that transcends conflict.
Many free speech advocates, including Professor Turley, praised the university’s response. Not me. It says all the right things, but reality indicates that Drake’s leader is neither sincere nor serious about to ameliorating the problem. What does “unacceptable” mean, if the university continues to accept it? Professor Younger has established a pattern of intolerant, hateful and divisive speech. How can she be welcome on the campus if her conduct is not? If Drake is not a political institution, why is it overwhelming dominated by academics on one side of the political spectrum? In 2019, Drake students refused to allow a student conservative group to organize on campus, and the university did nothing. If “meaningful and lasting unity is not possible without appropriate accountability,” where is the accountability for Professor Younger? Indeed, where is Drake’s accountability for hiring someone who is a destructive role model for students, and who announces open bias against students who are male or Republican?
And, of course, there is no doubt in my mind that if Younger were a white male who made similar comments about blacks, women, and LGBT individuals, the Drake president’s words would have a much different thrust.
Professors and teachers who publicly model bigotry and hate are not qualified to teach anyone, because they are irresponsible and untrustworthy. Colleges and universities that hire and continue to employ such unethical professionals should be shunned by faculty, students, parents and employers until they stop enabling and rationalizing their words and behavior.
II. The PAC
The left-wing political action committee Meidas Touch released a video yesterday declaring that the Republican Party consisted of traitors, insurrectionists, and terrorists, and comparing the party to ISIS. As the PAC leader speaks, the video shows pictures of Republicans Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Marjorie Taylor Greene with the word “TRAITOR” superimposed on their heads.
“It is not a conservative decision to support QAnon, which this Republican Party does but its members are basically drawn from QAnon. It is not conservative to support insurrection and terrorist attacks against the United States of America,” the narrator says. “It is not a conservative decision when you claim to support life but allow more than 400,000 Americans to needlessly die from COVID-19.”
Significantly, this absurd rant has not been removed by Twitter for misinformation or for inciting violence. It should not be necessary to point the lies out, but who knows, some gullible and deranged might be reading:
- Republicans and the Republican Party don’t support the nutty QAnon paranoia. Some Republicans, like the inexcusable Rep. Greene, do, but PAC’s accusation is approximately as unfair and dishonest as saying Democrats want to defund the police.
- There was no “insurrection” or terrorism, and the single planned riot the AUC has decided to falsely label an insurrection was immediately condemned by virtually all Republicans.
- Right, Republicans were responsible for 400,000 pandemic deaths. There haven’t even been 400,000 pandemic deaths.
What can you do about virulent hatemongers and liars like this? Just keep pointing out their lies; it’s all anyone can do. Those who believe them are already beyond help, either because of unfortunate mistreatment when the brains were handed out, or because they have allowed themselves to become marinated in partisan hate and insanity for too long.
Nancy Sinatra, the talentless daughter of Frank Sinatra whose brains were made for somethin’, I’m sure, gave an interview to The Guardian. Like so many show business personalities, her political views come with neither credentials nor demonstrated acumen, and have no more sophistication, perspective or potential for enlightenment than those of an average 9th grader or a 7-11 clerk. Why she is considered worthy of a published interview anywhere is a mystery worthy of Ellery Queen.
Nancy’s ‘s 80; her one hit record as a soloist was recorded more than a half-century ago and it was a pretty lame ditty even then, and the only reason anyone ever paid attention to her is because her father was an entertainment legend, if also an epic creep. He might also have anyone who didn’t help his little girl wake up with a horse head in their bed.
Yet here is old Nancy, bootless, blaming Donald Trump for her mental health problems, declaring that she “couldn’t believe that this great nation had sunk so low. I’ll never forgive the people that voted for him, ever. I have an angry place inside of me now. I hope it doesn’t kill me.” Nancy tweeted in 2018 in response to a Kamala Harris tweet about Trump’s Supreme Court, “This is the one issue that makes me despise people who voted for Trump , especially the women. Either they didn’t think things through or they are just ignorant. Hillary Clinton warned us but here we are, facing a disaster. I’m worried about future generations.”
Right. THEY’RE the ignorant ones, says a woman who believed Hillary Clinton. To the Guardian she boasts that she never utters the former president’s name, “I’ve always tried desperately never to mention it, and if I did it would have been with a lowercase ‘t.”
The woman is consumed with hate, and that’s all she’s got: critical thought and the analysis of facts and concepts is beyond her. What do we do about the loudmouth celebrities lacking the sense to realize that they should shut up and act, sing, dance, direct, write, or in Nancy’s case, since she could never do any of those things, just shut up?
Mock their ignorance and shallowness and demonstrate it with substance. Explain to people, especially the young, that paying attention to the political views of celebrities lowers IQs faster than six sharp blows to the head with a tire iron. Protest to any publication or journalist who gives them a platform.
Now just for those who missed Nancy’s 15 minutes of fame, here it is: