Saturday, May 20, 2006

John McCain: Hated By Liberals at The New School

From the New York Times:
The jeers, boos and insults flew, as caustic as any that angry New Yorkers have hurled inside Madison Square Garden. The objects of derision yesterday, however, were not the hapless New York Knicks, but Senator John McCain, the keynote speaker at the New School graduation, and his host, Bob Kerrey, the university president.

As Mr. McCain came to the lectern, dozens of students and professors stood and turned their backs on him. Many waved their fliers.
Another New York Times article adds more detail:
The historically liberal university has been roiled in controversy in recent weeks over the selection of McCain, a conservative Republican and likely 2008 presidential candidate, to deliver the commencement address.

Some 1,200 students and faculty signed petitions asking the university president, former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey, to rescind the invitation. Petitioners said McCain’s support for the Iraq war and opposition to gay rights and legal abortion do not keep with the prevailing views on campus.

Kerrey, a Democrat who served in the Senate with McCain and, like McCain, is a decorated Vietnam War veteran, addressed the controversy almost immediately after the 2,700 graduates and thousands of other parents and friends filed into Madison Square Garden for the ceremony.

As he spoke, several dozen students and faculty turned their backs to him and lifted signs saying “Our commencement is not your platform.”

A few students yelled catcalls at McCain, saying things like “full of it,” and “We’re graduating, not voting.”
Not only was McCain heckled, so was Kerry. One student yelled at him, “You’re a war criminal!”

Just what does this say about contemporary liberalism?

We can’t imagine liberal students at Marquette acting like this en masse (although there are a few that are similarly intolerant). But the Marquette students attend a school where the student body is evenly balanced between liberals and conservatives. They also attend a Catholic university that, at least nominally, upholds the Catholic position on things like abortion and “gay rights.”

But what is it about liberals such that, if you get a critical mass — if you get a culture so lopsided that intellectual diversity is missing — they turn nasty and intolerant?

One might be tempted to say that whenever attitudes are too one-sided, intolerance follows. But when McCain spoke at Liberty University, a school where the students are as lopsidedly conservative as those at The New School are liberal, he was applauded. This in spite of the fact that he had attacked Liberty’s president, Jerry Falwell, as an “agent of intolerance” in the 2000 presidential election.

Why is it that when you get a critical mass of “tolerant” liberals, they turn nasty and intolerant? Quite simply, because there is nothing tolerant about liberalism at all.


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