“The debate is over”

George Will, Ross Douthat, and Charles Krauthammer each tackle the bad faith oftentimes found at the crux of the current argument(s):

First up is George Will, from two different interviews:

The debate is over’ is something of a mantra.  The debate is over on climate change; everyone, be quiet.’ ‘The debate is over about early childhood education; everyone, be quiet.’ Lots of things are supposedly over, and you hear that from people who are finding the evidence inconvenient.

When a politician, on a subject implicating science says, ‘the debate is over,’ you may be sure of two things; the debate is raging and he’s losing it.”

(In the second interview he also sums up AGW nicely:  “How much wealth are we going to forego creating” to have “zero discernable impact on the environment.”)

Related, and more broadly, Ross Douthat writes that there is a “serious moral defect at the heart of elite culture in America.”

From Diversity and Dishonesty in today’s New York Times:

The defect, crucially, is not this culture’s bias against social conservatives, or its discomfort with stinging attacks on non-Western religions. Rather, it’s the refusal to admit — to others, and to itself — that these biases fundamentally trump the commitment to “free expression” or “diversity” affirmed in mission statements and news releases.

This refusal, this self-deception, means that we have far too many powerful communities (corporate, academic, journalistic) that are simultaneously dogmatic and dishonest about it — that promise diversity but only as the left defines it, that fill their ranks with ideologues and then claim to stand athwart bias and misinformation…

It would be a far, far better thing if Harvard and Brandeis and Mozilla would simply say, explicitly, that they are as ideologically progressive as Notre Dame is Catholic or B. Y.U. is Mormon or Chick-fil-A is evangelical, and that they intend to run their institution according to those lights.

I can live with the progressivism. It’s the lying that gets toxic.

Charles Krauthammer also addresses this “closing of the Leftist mind” in Thought Police on Patrol

Two months ago, a petition bearing more than 110,000 signatures was delivered to the Washington Post demanding a ban on any article questioning global warming. The petition arrived the day before publication of my column, which consisted of precisely that heresy.

The column ran as usual. But I was gratified by the show of intolerance because it perfectly illustrated my argument that the Left is entering a new phase of ideological agitation — no longer trying to win the debate but stopping debate altogether, banishing from public discourse any and all opposition.

The proper word for that attitude is totalitarian. It declares certain controversies over and visits serious consequences — from social ostracism to vocational defenestration — upon those who refuse to be silenced…

The whole thing is so stupid as to be unworthy of exegesis. There is no logic. What’s at play is sheer ideological prejudice — and the enforcement of the new totalitarian norm that declares, unilaterally, certain issues to be closed…

But the trend is growing. Oppose the current consensus and you’re a denier, a bigot, a homophobe, a sexist, an enemy of the people.

Long a staple of academia, the totalitarian impulse is spreading. What to do? Defend the dissenters, even if — perhaps, especially if — you disagree with their policy. It is — it was? — the American way.

 

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