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The academy continues its political shaming

Unity = “Agree with me”

It is November 14 and it appears former VP Joe Biden will be the country’s next president.

The apparent President-Elect has called for unity in the wake of his apparent victory, but if you’ve paid just a bit of attention to social media over the past week, not many Trump supporters are buying into it.

Nor should they.

For the past four years the president’s supporters have been harassed, demonized, doxxed and threatened. Mr. Trump has been called a “Nazi,” “authoritarian,” “dictator” and, with COVID-19 most recently, a killer.

These attitudes continue to persist in the post-election atmosphere. A college student and a professor provide a microcosm of this very phenomenon.

Tufts University’s Caroline Depalma gives it away right from the start with her op-ed’s title: “No, I will not agree to disagree.” As you’ve probably already guessed, President Trump is the reason.

“Not everything is good. Some things are objectively very bad,” she says. The bad things include the number of American COVID-19 cases and alleged voter suppression. “Unfortunately, there are some who think that it is not bad to vote for a president whose choices and rhetoric are very closely linked to those two issues.”

Translation: I don’t want to hear explanations about the balance between virus prevention and economic concerns, nor those about maintaining the integrity of people’s votes (ironically, many of which could have helped ease the clusterf*** we’re now witnessing).

MORE: UNC flyers liken Trump supporters to Nazis, declare ‘bash the fash’

Then there’s Yale’s (and what is it with Yale?) Timothy Snyder, who dedicated a lengthy screed in the Boston Globe similar to what we’ve seen all too often these past four years: inane attempts to link Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler, Nazi Germany in general, Josef Stalin, and just about any other authoritarian creep you can think of.

Unsurprisingly, his opener is related to the first two. And that’s followed by this:

It is always tempting to blame defeat on others. Yet for a national leader to do so and to inject a big lie into the system puts democracy at great risk. Excluding others from the national community makes democracy impossible in principle, and refusing to accept defeat makes it impossible in practice.

Snyder was the subject of a profile in The Chronicle of Higher Education last year which notes his “relentless hammering at Trump’s connection to Russia and the dangers Putin poses has raised doubts even among those inclined to be sympathetic to his overall reading of the crises confronting democracies.”

His book “The Road to Unfreedom” couldn’t even persuade The Nation’s Sophie Pinkham, who called the work “the apotheosis of a certain paranoid style that has emerged among liberals in Trump’s wake.”

Princeton’s David Bell said of Snyder that “there’s a certain danger in politics in crying wolf too many times. You start to alienate the people you’re trying to persuade.”

And ironies of ironies, the individual who personifies “sore loser” perhaps more than anyone, Hillary Clinton, even gave Snyder a shout-out in a promotion of her book “What Happened”:

As Yale history professor Timothy Snyder writes in his book “On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century,” “To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle.” Attempting to define reality is a core feature of authoritarianism.

I’m not 100 percent of like-mind with Mr. Kelly’s second statement from above; however, I’m certainly not going to be shamed into shutting up about this election and its many obvious issues for the sake of a “unity” that was never granted — by the likes of Ms. Depalma, Professor Synder and especially Mrs. Clinton — to the still-current White House occupant.

MORE: George Washington U. dean: Donald Trump is a ‘Nazi-in-chief’

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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.