Wednesday, October 12, 2016

"A Chilling Preview of Things to Come"

So this just happened.

I'm sitting at my desk when I notice papers coming under my office door, then I hear running. I get up to see the papers. One reads, "What is Aleppo? - Johnson." The other reads, "Who's your favorite foreign leader? - Chris Matthews #6%Club."

I take these notes as opposition to my support of Gary Johnson, as I believe that's what they are intended to be. My Twitter is public and I have tweeted a number of things supporting Gary Johnson, but I've said nothing political in class (with one exception I'll detail in a footnote*). So I have students who have spent at least some time researching my political opinions and then put more time into harassing me about them. It's sort of funny, but more-than-a-little disturbing.

I had some trepidation about returning to work in American academia, and it was all based on the intolerant climate that prevails here. As I said to a friend, "I'm a cis-gendered, heterosexual, classical-liberal, married, Christian male with a stay-at-home wife and four children whom we homeschool; my entire life could be taken as a micro-aggression." I thought if I kept quiet about these things in a professional setting, I could get by unscathed. But I didn't account for the intolerance of Groupthink. Remember when Homer Simpson gets the crayon removed from his brain and then tries to sit through the movie Love Is Nice? Patty says, "Wait a minute. Somebody's not laughing here." It's not enough to allow people their opinions, I have to full-throatedly support them. You'll probably say I'm over-reacting, but this seems like the first (admittedly tiny) step towards what will eventually be struggle sessions.

I knew the Great Social Reset would be messy, but I had hoped to avoid the mess by not being associated with the social agenda that's about to be violently rejected. I see now that my hesitance to support the violence will make me a target of the violence, as well.

* = Here's the exception: when discussing the gravity model of trade, I said, "If we could somehow move China to occupy Mexico's physical location in the world, what should we expect to happen?" I laughed to myself and said, "Well, besides Donald Trump having a heart attack." I then added, "That's not meant to signify support or opposition for Trump, and I'd like to think that, if Donald Trump were here, he'd laugh along with us."

NB: I've probably used that quote from Kent Brockman as a blog post title before.

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