Part 2: Dogma & Anti-Intellectualism - at Universities?
What cultural shift made the Arizona counties with the largest universities choose the candidate who refused to debate? Have universities rejected diversity of opinions?
See Part 1 of this essay here:
So why did the counties with the largest universities choose the candidate who refused to debate?
And why were those counties with big universities the only counties (with two small exceptions) to choose the debate-avoider, if debate is a skill traditionally valued, taught and cultured at universities?
It is not only the case that the counties with Arizona’s three largest cities favored the Democrat Hobbs, but those also are home to Arizona’s three largest universities: Arizona State University (ASU) in Maricopa County (one of the largest universities in the US), University of Arizona in Pima County, and Northern Arizona University in Coconino County. Those are three of the five counties that chose Hobbs the Democrat. All the other ten counties went for Lake, who wanted to debate. None of those other ten counties have a large university.
Ballot harvesting is illegal in Arizona since 2016, so far be it from anyone in this fair state to engage in such a disreputable practice. This NPR article alleges “Young voters helped Democrats win the Senate and other midterm elections.” It discusses college students who organized and campaigned on campus to get other young voters to the polls, and further attributes Democrat victories in certain areas to these campaign activities of college students. Students turned out in near record numbers for this election, second highest for their demographic in the last three decades, according to NPR. Early voting, up two weeks in advance of the election, was possible at ASU.
But Kari Lake supporters on campus at ASU were not so warmly welcomed, and were even turned away, as Kari Lake noted.
So a bit of bias may have been detected on campus.
Given the complete lack of debate among Arizona gubernatorial candidates, college students’ zeal to vote for one or the other candidate is puzzling. From an Arizona student quoted in the NPR article:
“There are a lot of people who expected that young voters were still not going to vote because they didn’t believe it was as important. But this midterm election proved that young voters do care about what is happening around in this country, and they voted for their future.”
At this writing, tremendous problems remain in this unresolved election, with a third of the state’s tabulators malfunctioning, one to six-hour lines on Election Day in some places, especially heavily Republican precincts and ballot-counting that has still somehow not ended 12 days after the election. The Attorney General is postponing the certification of this election at least until some of the above questions are answered. And by the way, Hobbs the Democrat candidate is also serving as Secretary of State, overseeing her own election, and refused to recuse herself from the oversight and certification of this particular election.
But all that aside, there are probably nice things to say about, and delightful advantages of, living under the political machine in a banana republic, although I can’t think of any right now.
When the intolerance of dissent began in earnest
A growing number of us pointed out, in my case since March 2020, that COVID morbidity and mortality skewed strongly to those with multiple co-morbidities whose years exceeded the average US lifespan, and who had experienced the misfortune of standard hospital “treatment” for COVID. (As a physician, I have had to work to get a number of escapees from such torture back to health.) We saw very early on that COVID mortality was a fraction of one percent, lower than several recent annual flu seasons, later calculated as 0.23%, and that prudent early treatment of those most at risk with effective and well-tolerated anti-virals would have likely driven that mortality rate even quite a bit lower.
Many of us increasingly raised the concerns that over-pressurized ventilators in hospitals, forced testing with wildly inapplicable and inappropriate PCR technology, mask suffocation, lockdowns and depriving children of education were all human rights abuses, and that the injuries caused by those were soon observed to have far exceeded injuries caused directly by this treatable virus.
Many of us even dared to insist on our inherent and irrevocable rights to bodily autonomy, particularly during the coercive mania of the COVID vaccine heyday.
But then our dissenting voices were silenced, censored in the workplace and in educational settings, and on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
We even see it on that exemplary bastion of free speech Substack: Some writers have chosen the option ‘You can only comment if you pay to subscribe.’ If you look through the comments of such cozy gatherings at the end of their essays, the paid subscribers all express adulation and gratitude. Man, if that’s the way you want to engage with the world – ‘you can only talk to me if you’re in my fan club, because I’m too thin-skinned to bear what the rest think’ – go for it, but don’t expect to be taken seriously outside of your bubble. We have already seen a participant of the single most watched broadcast in world history reduced to a few hundred likes on an average Substack post. Opening the audience would likely have worked a lot better to further that author’s goals.
The academics who should have been well-schooled in and vigilant for early indications of the authoritarian trends that have begun with censorship throughout history were the very people most responsible for warning against this ominous trend. But instead, they turned their attention away, and repetitively intoned the official COVID mantras in mindless and cowering obedience.
Will universities ever return to tolerance of dissenting views? Will students once again be encouraged to think for themselves? Or has dissent itself been canceled, as so many of us have been?
See Part 1 of this essay here:
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