“The most important indication of bias is your own feelings.” That is the message of the “university” of Michigan, which was recently sued by the Trump administration over the school’s speech code. As the pressure ramped up, U of M ratcheted back some of the most controversial aspects of the code, but it is still important that the administration hold the “university” accountable and make sure administrators understand that they may not be allowed to trample students’ First Amendment rights. This is the modern version of George Wallace standing in the schoolhouse door.
So why do I use scare quotes around “university” of Michigan? Because when the feelings of someone who claimed “harassment” is a critical factor in determining administrative action, a “university” has abandoned objective, rational analysis, much less the actual facts of a case. This is a betrayal of everything academia is supposed to stand for, especially higher education. This is a disrespect that is richly deserved and earned. The fact that someone “feels” harassed does not mean they were harassed, and the fact that someone “feels” unsafe does not mean there is any actual threat to his physical safety.
For the “university” of Michigan to claim this is an “anti-bullying” policy is dishonest. For the New York Times to repeat that uncritically is irresponsible journalism. This has nothing to do with bullying. This is about a speech code that “university” administrators are trying to dress up as something else.
I said throughout the 2016 campaign that Donald Trump is not a conservative, and I still stand by that. What Trump actually is may be what we need right now: He is an anti-Leftist. After decades of conservatives who were too timid to stand up to the Left’s culture war, we have someone in the White House who will not only push back, but take the fight to the Left. Decades of culture war tactics – which have only become more severe and obscene since Trump was elected – has people fed up and ready to support someone who will finally fight back. That the Left has decided to double down on the culture war is why Trump will be re-elected in 2020.