Between the egg on my face and the crow feathers stuck in my teeth, it’s been an unpleasant few weeks since the election of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States. I spent months loudly proclaiming his unelectability and unfitness for office and made numerous bets against him, including some offering recklessly generous odds. As a result I’m a few bucks poorer and my reputation and self-confidence as a political pundit are in ruins. My Trumpkin friends have been gloating mercilessly and hectoring me as one of the “media elites” who didn’t see the revolution coming because we refused to look beyond the tips of our pointy little heads.
Well, mega mea culpa friends. Now let’s see if we can find a silver lining in this big yellow-maned cloud of surprise and uncertainty.
There were a few things that initially attracted even squishy “cuckservatives” like me to the Trump candidacy. One of them was his vow to liberate the economy from suffocating taxes and regulation, particularly those related to climate change, which he deliciously called a “hoax” invented by China. He even promised to end the crucifixion of coal power, which was music to the ears of those of us who live in the newly socialist paradises of Canada and Alberta, where the demonization of carbon-based energy and the imposition of layer upon layer of taxes and regulations are killing tens of thousands of jobs and billions in investment and charting a course to economic ruin.
At least as enervating was Trump’s contempt for political correctness. Sure the shots at Mexican judges and fat beauty queens and handicapped reporters were cringeworthy, but it was awfully refreshing to hear a politician speak plainly about the link between Islamism and terrorism, and who could resist a giggle when he mocked Elizabeth Warren’s claim to Cherokee heritage by calling her Pocahontas? And if Black Lives Matter called him a racist because he spoke some hard truths about crime in America, their outrageous inciting of violence against white cops gave ample reason to reply that it takes one to know one.
So, ignoring everything despicable about Trump – the lies, vulgarity, ignorance – and everything worrisome – protectionism, Putin admiration, the fudging between his business and the nation’s business – many rational people calculated that there might be more upside than downside in a Trump presidency because they sensed that above all else he could be an instrument for reclaiming long-lost economic and individual freedoms.
Given the economic destruction that is occurring in the name of saving the planet, and the repression of free speech that’s occurring in the name of protecting every two-bit minority with a grievance and entitlement narrative, that’s not an unreasonable calculation.
Time will tell if Trump takes these threats seriously and is willing and able to do anything about them, but in the meantime others are doing what they can, and they are the focus of the Winter 2016 edition of C2C Journal.
It should be a source of everlasting shame to the people who run our universities that their institutions are the epicenter of authoritarianism in contemporary society. Bullied by radical academics and students drunk on hate-filled mythologies about irredeemable racism and sexism allegedly embedded in the classical liberalism of the western cultural and philosophical tradition, the administrators capitulate to the radicals’ demand for persecution of anyone who dares question their orthodoxies. Exhibit one is University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson, whose courageous pushback against gender identity creationists targeting anyone who refuses to speak their new, invented language has earned him ominous threats of dismissal from the U of T’s cowardly and complicit administrators.
We are pleased to report that Peterson is not alone in this fight, as you will learn in stories by John Carpay about the 2016 Campus Freedom Index, Mark Mercer about the Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship, Aaron Gunn about Generation Screwed on campus, Vanessa Walsh about the student rebellion against Public Interest Research Groups, and much more.
If you’re a student who can’t express your ideas without fear of being attacked by PC bullies, a professor who can’t teach the whole story without risking your career, or a politician terrified of becoming a negative headline, we hope you will find comfort and strength in this edition of C2C Journal.