Carol Platt Liebau: Where It Begins

Monday, January 28, 2008

Where It Begins

There's always a lot of high-minded talk, especially among Democrats about how necessary dialogue is, and why it's important for all of us to hear out those with whom we disagree.

Well, anyone who bemoans the increasing lack of civility in our political discourse might want to check out this story. Karl Rove will no longer deliver the commencement address at Choate this year because some of the left-wing students didn't want him and were threatening to behave rudely, as others before them have done.

Certainly, young people are entitled to their personal views of anyone -- but what lesson is the school administration teaching them by giving them their way? That it's OK simply to ignore those with whom one disagrees politically -- and do everything to prevent them being heard by others?

Mind you, Karl Rove is hardly an enemy of this country in the mold of a recent celebrated speaker at Columbia. He's just a Republican with whom some Americans have political differences.

During my graduation ceremonies from Princeton, speakers included people like Patricia Schroeder. Obviously, I don't agree with her, but it never occurred to me that I could simply prevent her from speaking because I'm not likely to agree with what she's going to say.

During my graduation from Harvard, tons of law school students asked -- and received -- permission to snub the law school's dean because they thought he had been insufficiently supportive of progressive pet causes. Accordingly, they received their diploma from an associate dean and then walked right past the dean, ignoring him completely.

Here's something that well-meaning liberals who dominate faculties at prep schools, colleges and graduate schools might want to consider: Could it be that political discourse is becoming so crass because younger generations aren't being taught to observe even basic courtesies toward those with whom they disagree?


Blogger LarryD said...

In a word, yes.

But the Left has aways had tendencies towards purges and inquisitions, and they have long since given up on even trying to rationally argue with infidels (i.e. non-leftists).

They are a narrow minded, insular, parochial, collection of cults.

7:50 AM  

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