Witch hunt versus inquisition

“A witch-hunt is a search for malefactors who pretend to be good people but really are intent on doing evil. There is a witch-hunt going on today, namely the search for secret racists at American universities. The witch-hunters pillory teachers and administrators who claim to hold politically correct views but allegedly betray their secret racism through wicked actions, for instance by correcting bad grammar in minority students’ term papers. Loyal liberals who commit no aggressions are said to be guilty of micro-aggressions.

By contrast, the purge of traditional Christians and Jews is a heretic hunt, an Inquisition, whose objective is to isolate and punish individuals who actually profess opinions contrary to the prevailing orthodoxy. There can be some overlap between an Inquisition and a witch-hunt, to be sure. But today’s liberal Inquisitors are not searching for individuals secretly in communion with God — yet.” — David P. Goldman, reviewing It’s Dangerous to Believe: Religious Freedom and Its Enemies, by Mary Eberstadt

Crazy talk on guns

Scott Adams explains why gun control can’t be solved in the USA:

“So it seems to me that gun control can’t be solved because Democrats are using guns to kill each other – and want it to stop – whereas Republicans are using guns to defend against Democrats. … But Democrats are unlikely to talk Republicans out of gun ownership because it comes off as ‘Put down your gun so I can shoot you.'”

Crazy, right?

A never-stated corollary

The corollary is in bold:

“People do care more about people who are like them — who speak their language, eat their food, share their customs and values. And when elites try to ignore those sentiments — or banish them by declaring that they are simply racist — this doesn’t make the sentiments go away. It makes the non-elites suspect the elites of disloyalty. For though elites may find something vaguely horrifying about saying that you care more about people who are like you than you do about people who are culturally or geographically further away, the rest of the population is outraged by the never-stated corollary: that the elites running things feel no greater moral obligation to their fellow countrymen than they do to some random stranger in another country. And perhaps we can argue that this is the morally correct way to feel — but if it is truly the case, you can see why ordinary folks would be suspicious about allowing the elites to continue to exercise great power over their lives.” — Britain’s Elites Can’t Ignore the Masses, by Megan McArdle

McArdle is writing about Britain’s coming vote to stay in or exit the EU, but the attitudes she describes are relevant to US politics.

Only Hitler was Hitler

I have no idea who will win, or how good Trump’s chances are, but I agree about the pundit groupthink. And I confess to being amazed at how many people seem to think Trump is Hitler. He’s basically running a 1970s rust-belt Democrat campaign, which is getting traction because in the current economy, a lot more of America feels rust-beltish.

But if Trump is Hitler, it means our elites of politics and journalism rubbed shoulders with Hitler, stayed at his beach place, flew on his jet, and sponsored his TV shows for decades without noticing. Which doesn’t say much for our elites of politics and journalism either.

Like the man says, “Heh.”

Nuh uh! Nuh uh nuh uh nuh uh! Racist! Nuh uh!

“As a result of these disparate admissions standards, many students spend four years in a social environment where race conveys useful information about the academic capacity of their peers.” — Hard Truths About Race on Campus, by Jonathan Haidt and Lee Jussim

Clearly what’s needed is a generously funded graduate center to support a program to give students the tools to successfully ignore this kind of “information.”

UPDATE 19 May 2016: Gist: college policies to promote Diversity cause the racism they seek to eliminate.