By: Thomas Moore, Campus Editor
“The external power that deprives men of the freedom to communicate his thought publicly, deprives him at the same time of his freedom to think,” writes Immanuel Kant. These words ring true for The Paladin. Furman’s “Bubble” is becoming a double-entendre, for it reveals a lack of capacity for original thought at Furman. Thus far, opinions articles this year have been predictably liberal, as if Elizabeth Warren wrote them herself.
On my part, I’m a pure centrist, somewhere politically between Teddy Roosevelt and Bill Clinton. Even so, I feel genuinely sorry for the conservatives on Furman’s campus who aren’t doing enough to see their perspective represented in The Paladin. Though I may strongly disagree with Trump, McConnell and Shapiro, for example, I’d like to at least hear the other side give their opinion.
It appears that students nowadays are basing their opinions on what is deemed accepted by academic society and Left-wing ideologues. Any opinions that are right of center are either shot down or ignored. Original thought is suppressed. The truth is those who are individuals are beset by labels of “intolerant,” “uncivil” and “ignorant.” Left-controlled academia and social media’s suppression of differing voices makes it difficult for people to be heard.
It was no shock to anyone that writers would hail Kaepernick as a hero and praise Nike for their newfound moral virtue (as if it excuses their wage slavery of Asian children). Nor was anyone surprised when McCain became the new face of the Anti-Trump Society, despite the Left’s criticism that his age rendered him incapable of political decisions during the 2008 presidential election, not to mention his own marriage infidelities.
It does not take much creativity to criticize Trump’s immigration policy or stance on guns either. I am not saying that it is not correct to criticize Trump for either of those. Rather, I am saying that people who think differently should not be afraid to voice their opinions. More so, they should be encouraged to voice them, since currently we are seriously lacking in diversity of thought.
Furthermore, I am bored of the blatant virtue signaling at Furman. When you express the same opinions as whatever CNN, MSNBC, Vox or Rachel Maddow tells you, you are only moral posturing. Of course it is good to feel pity for the poor, the oppressed and the underrepresented. But it is also good to be willing to listen to different opinions instead of claiming the moral high-ground and self-righteously pretending that you are some kind of Spartacus figure. If the opinions section continues to promote the same headlines as CNN does, it will lose its right of center readers.
Don’t get me wrong — I am not actually arguing against the views espoused in The Paladin. I am stating that demagoguery is at work here. For the past two years, I have been writing centre of the road articles, campaigning for compromise between the Right and Left and encouraging open minds to values on the other side. Clearly, though, my writing has been in vain, as now partisanship is clearer than ever.
As pointed out by Allie Beth Stuckey, Furman alumna and Christian conservative commentator, in her talk last week at Burgiss Theatre, conservatives on campus are afraid to speak out because of what the Left might do to them. They demonize you as if “you’re either for the revolution, or against it,” as French revolutionary and instigator of the Reign of Terror Maximilien Robespierre once said.
When you’re in an echo chamber like the Furman “Bubble,” it is easy to have your views validated. Submitting articles based on what seems morally acceptable is not virtuous — it is just indicative of lack of originality. But if this echo chamber is not addressed, Furman is going to become a safe space for people to stroke their own personal righteousness. But hey, that’s the Furman advantage, right?