- Especially with the rapid conquest of gay marriage, many have marveled at how quickly a belief can go from being outlandish to being socially required, at least when it’s part of the overall Leftist march. Often, much progress can be made simply by asking a different question from the one others are asking. So, what if, instead of “How does Leftism advance so quickly?”, we were to ask “Why does Leftism advance so slowly?” This is the question Leftists implicitly invoke when they cry out “I can’t believe it’s 2015 and we’re still arguing about this!” But surely conservatives’ expectations are the more realistic here? Shouldn’t we expect it to take a long time for people to overhaul their understanding of sex and marriage, not to mention reject the explicit teaching of their ostensible religion? However, on the question of sodomitical relationships, nearly all the argument and propaganda has been on the revisionist side, with nearly none defending the older view. Most people have never heard an argument for sexual complementarity. Pastors refuse to even mention what the Bible says, not to mention defending it. Yet everybody has encountered arguments for gay marriage and been at least exposed to the presumption that distinct gender roles are inherently unjust. Why wasn’t everyone convinced long ago, given that they only heard from one side? One might say the same about racial integration, feminism, or other big social changes. There was initially popular resistance, but little intellectual resistance. This despite the fact that the Left’s arguments were in no case particularly strong. Perhaps the triumph of the Left is less a case of overcoming resistance from the Right as it is of it just taking some non-zero time for the Left’s message to diffuse, essentially unopposed, through the West’s social networks. This is not to say, of course, that there has been no Rightist ideological resistance. I just doubt that it’s important enough to significantly affect the timescale of the Left’s advance.
- Universities have a reputation as being extremely Lefty places. In fact, the private section has become roughly as intolerant of dissent from liberalism, but it is nonetheless true that the Left “owns” academia. The usual story is that professors are brainwashing their students with “cultural Marxism” and the like. The instruction causes the students to acquire radically Leftist views, and they then carry those views to the outside world. What if it’s the other way around, though? What if it’s the students who are driving the university Left? We know that, in the sixties, it was the students who were communist radicals and terrorized their professors, who were mostly moderate liberals. Even today, I’ve heard more anecdotal evidence of professors frightened of their radical students than students intimidated by radical professors. Just for fun, we could entertain the hypothesis that universities are Leftist places just because they have large conglomerations of young people, and youth communities–for some independent reason–tend to be Leftist. Even if students are radicalized by college, this could be more from peer pressure than instruction.
Is there any evidence either way?
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