My apologies in advance to any open-minded conservatives out there who prefer debate and openness to censorship and blame-shifting—I know this subject heading is incendiary. The below is not a critique of you, nor do I think that all conservatives are as hypocritical as the below would suggest. Closed-mindedness is not limited to the right wing, nor is it something that the progressives and centrists and “classic liberals,” your Bill Mahers and John Cleeses, are devoid of.
Now, I swing further to the left than Noam Chomsky’s nut sack, and it’s no secret that most conservatives love to complain about people like me, “SJWs” who want to “ban” free speech and “play the victim.” And yet I can’t help but notice that conservatives seem to constantly be griping and complaining about all kinds of slights and perceived injustices. Some of them even actively try to shout down voices that they disagree with on issues of, gasp, social justice, or even who simply hurt their feelings.
Now, of course there’s a difference between what politicians do and what their voters do, so not all the below can be laid at the feet of your average conservative. But all of these are real, and they boggle the mind. How can anyone say they support the “free marketplace of ideas” or “personal responsibility” when they’re:
- famous for banning sex-ed and demanding abstinence education for years
- avoiding debate and instead branding any news they don’t like “fake news” while meanwhile digesting TONS of not-fact-checked stories, including spreading conspiracy theories about pedophilia child sex rings run by Hillary Clinton that ended up with some guy shooting a pizzeria?
- silencing scientific reports by cutting off funding for any study they worry might contradict conservative opinions… especially on climate change?
- putting “gag orders” on doctors so they can’t give their honest medical opinions?
- blocking mainstream politicians such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Xavier Becerra, and Vicente Fox, and dozens more, even rapper and musician Common, from speaking on college campuses?
- whining that they aren’t mature enough to handle a trans person pooping in the stall next to them because “ew, cooties?”
- getting liberal YouTubers’ videos shut down for spurious content violations, e.g. telling YouTube that pundits such as ContraPoints are racist because of a swastika in a video condemning Nazis?
- complaining that universities are oppressing conservatives by blocking speakers from attending, when conservatives were the solid champions of guest-banning for a decade and a half, disinviting far more speakers than the left between 2000 and 2015, until Milo’s tour in 2016 (meaning that the whole point of his tour was to create a problem after he claimed it existed)?
- saying they refuse to “play the race card” or “be a victim” when in the very next breath they say “white people are the real victims of racism?”
- placing a moratorium on surveys about guns… including even just getting a tally of how many guns are in the U.S., and then accusing gun control advocates of not having accurate charts of how many guns we have due to the studies they didn’t allow?
- trying to silence feminists who want to talk about issues of potential sexism in video games by sending them rape threats and death threats, because “oh my god I just can’t LIVE anymore if my games are criticized?!?”
- Successfully campaigning to get the University of Wisconsin to implement rules to actually PUNISH student protesters on the left?
- … and yet if it’s a Christian protest, making the government intervene to preserve those rights …
- Except not if those Christians are black athletes who might be Dems…
- … but for Republican college kids? Now they’re saying “YES oh yes we must protect the right to assemble if they kids are Republican!”
- But then they suspend all the kids who protest against gun violence.
I could go on and on and list plenty more of these, but I think you get my point. Conservatives are some of the biggest instigators of censorship and oppression when it comes to free speech. They’re constantly telling liberals to shut up and then de-platforming us altogether when we don’t. They pass laws, they cancel speakers at colleges, and they whine, whine, whine.
So how is it that they’ve convinced even our fellow liberals that we are the ones playing the victims here?
I’d ask the CDC to pose a survey about it, but the Republicans would just defund them.
2 thoughts on “Why are conservatives such whiny snowflakes who hate free speech and want to limit the free market?”
As someone who stubbornly still refers to myself as “conservative” I love the title of this and don’t find it offensive but provocative. I think you went super easy on today’s self-proclaimed conservatives, and out of kindness or haste left out some even better examples but I digress. I’m commenting because I’m a bit confused by your graphic:
-Are the red and blue shading reflecting the ideology of the speakers who were cancelled (which is what I’d expect from the language of the graphics labells) or those doing the cancelling (which is what it mostly appears to reflect)? I think its the latter, but am not sure.
–What is the green N/A?
–Data Sources? This isn’t me being a dick, I can tell you’re not littering this article with citations and I’m good with that for narrative writing where there’s enough context for a reader to check the veracity themselves, but data-sourceless graphs without defined parameters just look like an example of graphic art skills, versus an actual statistical measurement.
Thank you for being cool!
The numbers are from FIRE – Foundation for Individual Rights in Education: https://www.thefire.org/
The actual DB of disinvitations is here. The graphs are mine, I had to cull the data and redo it, the system wasn’t very interactive: https://www.thefire.org/resources/disinvitation-database/#home/?view_2_page=1&view_2_sort=field_6|asc
Blue = “from the left of the speaker.” And red is “from the right of the speaker.” E.g. the protesters who disinvited Milo from their schools were on the left of Milo. That would show up in the blue on my graph. At other universities, when for example a pro-Palestine speaker was denied, that disinvitation would be in red because the protestors were “on the right” of the speaker.
Interestingly, there are a few of these historically where conservative speakers were disinvited by CONSERVATIVE students or faculty. You’ll have to go through the FIRE data to find them but they aren’t common. I assume there will be some on the left as well, but there’s so much data to cull here and so few of these that I haven’t gotten around to picking them all out. For now I didn’t discriminate and just put red or blue exactly as I found “from the right” or “from the left” in the data.
The green “N/A” means that a speaker was disinvited but not because students or faculty on the left or right protested. The disinvitation was “apolitical,” so not actually due to the speaker’s positions on issues or on the speaker really at all. These might happen be because a school decides “No more commencement speakers this year!” Or maybe there’s a flood or a fire, or there was a miscommunication and a speaker was invited but there was some scheduling snafu. Some of the people who were disinvited or almost disinvited are rather benign, e.g. Mr. Rogers is on the list!
Now, theoretically these could in truth be politically motivated as well, right? Hypothetically a school might see that Milo or someone equally controversial is on the schedule and then just ban all speakers to avoid having to single him out. However, I did a little research on that, thinking I would find that this would boost the red numbers. In reality I couldn’t find a correlation–at least some schools in the “N/A” category had canceled speakers on both sides of the aisle. And while I have a gut feeling that some of those scheduled speakers were truly liberals canceled due to their liberalness, e.g. Clinton and Franken both canceled from the College of Saint Catherine, there was enough of a grab-bag that I thought I should just display them but not count them, lest I make a lot more work for myself and not move the needle either way.
I probably should actually go back through all the N/As because I just took a quick glance and I’m already seeing some iffy stuff in there, e.g. they call Mitt Romney’s cancellation from Regent “N/A” despite the fact that he was blocked by conservative evangelical students. Since my point is that conservatives are just as trigger happy as liberals to ban speech they don’t like, I really should include instances like these: https://www.thefire.org/resources/disinvitation-database/#home/viewdisinvitationattemptdetails/55a55c002095cece29883b10/
Here are all the N/A disinvitations that actually went through: https://www.thefire.org/resources/disinvitation-database/#home/?view_2_filters=%7B%22match%22%3A%22and%22%2C%22rules%22%3A%5B%7B%22field%22%3A%22field_13%22%2C%22operator%22%3A%22is%22%2C%22value%22%3A%22N%2FA%22%2C%22field_name%22%3A%22From%20the%20Right%20or%20Left%20of%20Speaker%22%7D%2C%7B%22match%22%3A%22and%22%2C%22field%22%3A%22field_10%22%2C%22operator%22%3A%22is%22%2C%22value%22%3A%22Yes%22%2C%22field_name%22%3A%22Disinvitation%3F%22%7D%5D%7D&view_2_page=1&view_2_sort=field_8|asc
Just to reiterate for anyone jumping in, the graph in my article does NOT do any tinkering with the N/A listing and so what you see in the graph should match the FIRE data.