Personally, I have three rules for politics: Be consistent, be reasonable, and be civil.
As for that last virtue, there appears to have been a grand abandonment.
An easy example:
For something more contemporary, insert your favorite video of ironically-self-labeled black-suited ninjas destroying others’ property.
Beyond that, consider Marshall University Professor Jennifer Mosher.
As reported by The Daily Caller, during an online class session Wednesday, Jennifer provided a bit of off-the-beaten-path education.
Here’s what she had to say about COVID-19 and those voting for Donald Trump:
“[I]’ve become the type of person where I hope they all get it and die. I’m sorry, but that’s, I am so frustrated – just – I don’t know what else to do. You can’t argue with them, you can’t talk sense into them. I said to somebody yesterday, I hope they all die before the election.”
Marshall University has suspended Assistant Professor, Jennifer Marshall, after this video of her saying she hopes all Trump supporters die from COVID-19 before the election circulated online.
— Courtney Holland 🇺🇸 Text COURTNEY to 88022 (@hollandcourtney) September 18, 2020
So if you can’t talk sense into someone, it turns out, they shouldn’t be allowed to live.
She added, “That’s the only saving hope I have right now.”
Plus: “Definitely bootlickers.”
To the teacher’s credit, she did close with, “I really should not be talking politics in here.”
Probably a good idea not to talk death wishes, either. But I’m only guessing.
As fate would have it, someone at the Huntington, West Virginia school had a similar hunch. Therefore, the professor’s been sent to a metaphorical Gilligan’s Island — she was placed on administrative leave.
Marshall called the remark “overtly political.”
In a press release Friday, the university indicated their lack of support:
“Marshall University this morning announced it is aware of an overtly political statement made by a faculty member in a recent virtual classroom session and widely circulated on social media. The university does not support or condone the use of any of its educational platforms to belittle people or wish harm on those who hold differing political views.”
The teacher’s comment is certainly a stunner — parents put teachers in charge of their young-adult children at a public research college, surely not expecting they’ll announce mom and/or dad (or little Timmy or Tanya) should die.
More profoundly, the teacher’s “hope” for half the populace’s expiration didn’t occur in a vacuum.
Thirty years ago, it seems to me, a college instructor making a similar comment would’ve assumed they’d be fired. Moreover, they’d have prepared to be viewed as a terrible person.
Consider all the things the professor — in the Biology department, incidentally — must have seen and heard to have felt so emboldened.
All those things — whatever they were — are themselves agents of death: the demise of civility. With that comes the end of what our country is supposed to be — a place where people may speak their minds (including at the polls) within the context of a peaceful society. And a sophisticated one.
How do we get back? Or can we?
The alternative is unthinkable, because — I believe — we won’t stay where we are. We’re in motion, and we’ll remain so.
America must move in the direction of liberty once again — which is to say in the direction…of America.
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