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Post-election: The academic bubble wants Republicans held accountable

Last weekend I noted that even with Joe Biden’s apparent victory on November 3 (a few folks on the right weren’t happy that I even used that qualifier), progressive academics’ calls for “unity” came amid the usual vitriol President Trump, Republicans and conservatives dealt with for four years (and beyond).

This is because the bubble in which these folks live, where the mainstream media and Hollywood are the main sources of information, constantly affirms that Trump and the GOP and Nazi-ish ogres.

A month ago we saw a student from USC make a seemingly amiable call to end political polarization; however, well within her piece there was this: “Trust me, while I wholeheartedly agree with the bottom part of the graphic that says ‘Donald Trump will not denounce white supremacists because he is one,’ since it’s quite inarguable that President Trump is a misogynistic racist …”

A Tuft’s University student was more blunt last week, saying “no, I will not agree to disagree” with Trump supporters. Because the usual reasons.

This week student ups the ante still further. Princeton University’s Julia Chaffers says that during these post-election appeals for “unity,” Republicans must be held accountable. The GOP, after all, has “not returned the grace” of Joe Biden’s appeals for coming together.

Instead, they’ve only sought to further divide the country, taking aim at the very basis of our democracy: voting.

Never mind that there is no evidence of voter fraud and every case Trump’s lawyers have attempted to argue in court has failed. What matters to them isn’t the truth, but chipping away at Biden’s legitimacy.

Trump’s tactic has the potential to harm people’s confidence in our democracy. Faith in democracy comes not just from the laws, which protect a Biden win, but the norms we rely on. Concession speeches, for example, are a customary way for losing candidates to encourage their supporters to accept defeat and recognize the legitimacy of their opponents’ win.

By not giving such a speech, Trump signals to his voters that they shouldn’t accept the result either, whether it is upheld by law or not.

Chaffers continues, yammering about Trump’s immigration policies, his “encouragement” of the “violent suppression” of free speech, the alleged mishandling of COVID-19 and police brutality.

Trump and his supporters are the ones “chipping away” at faith in US democracy? No evidence of voter fraud?

Yes, it sure was nice and “customary” that Hillary Clinton conceded in 2016 after (shockingly) being defeated. Meanwhile, evidence suggests she was the mastermind behind the whole “Trump-Russian collusion” nonsense that occupied much of the government’s time in 2017 and 2018.

That sure seems to me a significant “chipping away” at our republican institutions.

Ultimately, what’s more head-scratching: that the bubble in which Chaffers exists is that all-consuming, or that a student from the Ivy League can’t see even a little beyond it?

MORE: The academy continues its political shaming

MORE: Student: ‘Inarguable’ Trump racist/misogynist, but stop political polarization

IMAGE: Kristiana Gankevych / Shutterstock.com

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 18 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.