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Move over ‘white privilege’ — now there’s ‘centrist privilege’

In this politically “polarized-more-than-ever” era, one might think being a moderate — or centrist, if you will — would be something of a badge of honor.

Not a chance, says Chapman University’s Matthew Q. Joy — it’s actually a privilege akin to that best known of all privileges, “white privilege.”

And the reason it’s a privilege is because the Republican Party has become so conservative as to make “recognizing opposing viewpoints and reaching compromises” impossible.

Oh. Of course!

In an op-ed in the student paper The Panther, Joy chides even President Barack Obama for utilizing his centrist privilege; instead of keeping his promise of universal healthcare, he dared to compromise with Congressional Republicans on his landmark legislation … which left millions still uninsured.

Obama “never faced significant backlash for this,” Joy says, and “society lauded him a liberal icon.”

In addition, during last year’s presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton balked at emulating Bernie Sanders’ call for a $15-per-hour minimum wage, instead opting for $12 … which “still wouldn’t allow any minimum wage worker to afford rent.” Yet, she too was was lauded as a “Democratic hero” and “allowed to mask herself as a progressive.”

More from the piece:

Many heavy centrists seem averse to the idea of tuition-free public colleges and universities, but the U.S. doesn’t lack the means, as it has the world’s most bloated military budget. Still, centrists use tepid language and emphasize a need to be “realistic” when discussing the student debt crisis. Imagining a world in which public high school graduates are saddled with as much debt as public college graduates displays how much economic discrimination indebted students face for pursuing an education. The same figures who are applauded for their views on gay marriage and women’s rights are allowed to hold an anti-student position. This is just as horrendous as if they had reversed their stance on the aforementioned issues, with no consequence.

If it is socially unacceptable to be against abortion rights for women, civil rights for racial minorities and equal rights for the LGBTQIA+ community, it should be just as unacceptable to oppose providing healthcare to the uninsured, a living wage for the working poor and education for those subjected to the student loan crisis. In many cases, the minorities who are discriminated against by conservatives are the same people who suffer most from an economic system that isn’t being questioned by centrists.

“Centrism is as vile as right-wing conservatism,” Joy adds, “but it contains the additional atrocity of having no social consequences for holding views that leave fellow Americans at a disadvantage.” The only time liberals should support centrism is when the sole alternative is right-wing conservatism.

“Just as progressives denounce white privilege,” Joy concludes, “it is time to denounce centrist privilege.”

Given that the usual taunts of “racism,” “sexism,” “homophobia,” and, of course, “white privilege” didn’t do much, if anything, to turn people away from Donald Trump and other Republicans last year (in fact, such arguably helped GOP candidates), it would not be very wise to tick off political moderates when progressive Democrats need them more than ever.

Read the full op-ed.

MORE: Univ. event that has students make ‘privilege beads’ bracelets

MORE: Extra credit given for determining level of ‘white privilege’

IMAGE: pathdoc/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author
Assistant Editor
Dave Huber is assistant editor of The College Fix. He has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over a decade, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. Dave is a retired educator with over 25 years of service who holds a B.A. and M.Ed. from the University of Delaware, as well as graduate student membership in the National Association of Scholars.

Add to the Discussion

  • Patrick Peters

    I’d say this guy is privileged talking about stuff he has no clue about he talks about a 12 an hour job isn’t enough to pay rent bull crap if I was making 12 an hour I could get out from living in my car before saying anyone has privilege how about check yourself

  • ihatediscus2

    enviable that the little prick no doubt writes this from the confines of his nice warm dorm room or classroom
    with his badge of white privilege a nice new computer

  • tagfu222

    College tuition would go way down if people stopped majoring in “studies” courses and actually learned a useful trade. If your sink backs up who are you going to hire, a master plummer or a Phd. in Womens Studies?

    • rnagel

      Guess which one makes more.

      • WereTurtle

        Never met a plumber who didn’t drive an expensive car while not on the job. PhD in women’s studies? Smartcars, Leafs, Volts, and Prius…

        Then again, plumbers are necessary in life. People with doctorates in Women’s studies? Not so much.

        • JTLiuzza

          Not to mention plumbers actually do something useful.

  • Dr. Donny

    Let me get this right. Some twit who has parents dumb enough to spend $50K a year for college tuition at a ‘moderately competitive’ college in ritzy Orange County, CA wants to lecture those of us who are centrist pragmatists about how we are destroying the somebody-else-will-pay-for-it liberal agenda. And, shock of shocks, he is a political science major – another one of those fake humanities that tries to add the prestige of ‘science’ by using the word in its title. A word for Mr. Joy: Please don’t insult those of who are much smarter than you, as shown by actually majoring in a difficult subject, going to a top school (unlike you), and being a high achiever professionally and financially in the real world. And learn to use critical, logical thinking in writing instead of unsubstantiated assertions typical of your ilk.

  • rnagel

    The democrats had a filibuster proof majority in the Senate, a majority in the House and the presidency. Just how did the Republican force Obama to not institute universal health care?

  • WereTurtle

    The long and the short of it…

    If you are not an extreme leftist, you are guilty of privledge. After all, you have the priviledge of free, critical though, something that is absoutely forbidden on the extreme left.

    All we need to know is that if we disagree with the Leftists, we are bigots, xenophobes, racists, extremists, and, well, anything they choose to label us with. Everything we say is hate speech.

  • JTLiuzza

    I believe that would necessarily make Mr. “Joy” a self-proclaimed extremist and an ardent advocate of extremism.

  • Juan

    Obama compromised with Republicans? Not a single Republican voted for Obamacare so I’m struggling to see the compromise. Matt Joy is uninformed and 100% wrong. He clearly has a bright future in the Democratic Party.

    • doctorweird

      Or in CNN, but I’m being redundant…

  • Mainah

    I’m gonna cut the kid some slack. His bio on the story says he’s a sophomore. Etymologically, the term descends from the Greek term for “Wise Fool.” God knows that I knew it all at that point. Let us all pray – or raise a glass in hopes – this knucklehead grows up sometime soon. With any luck, it’ll pretty much coincide when he reads the deductions on his first paycheck.

  • Dd1055

    When you cut through all the SJW nonsense what the left is really after is absolute and total subjugation to their viewpoint. They will tolerate nothing and no one that doesn’t agree with them in totality.

  • TheWanderingJewels
  • Steve

    These people are essentially spoiled brats who cannot imagine a world in which anyone would ever disagree with them. Because, you know, that might make them feel bad.

  • felixinmontana

    This is an american leftist idea, so White privilege doesn’t ‘Move over’, it intersects.

  • Dixie

    CHOOSING to be socially liberals and financially conservative is a privilege now? yikes