One might say that Robert P. George is an anomaly in academia.
Despite his decidedly conservative viewpoints, George is a Princeton University professor — and a pretty distinguished one, to boot. He’s in fact the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence as well as the director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at the famously prestigious college.
Well respected for decades, George often shares his right-of-center, traditional perspectives. Last month, for example, he offered a critique following the
passage of a Massachusetts city ordinance recognizing polyamorous domestic partnerships — a topic he wrote about five years ago.
On Monday, George posted a compelling thread on
Twitter that underscores what many may have been suspecting for quite some time — that while college campuses and faculties are overwhelmingly left-wing, more professors than one might think do hold conservative views. But many are hesitant to share them.
1/ I asked folks who wished to continue following me on Twitter from anonymous accounts to identify themselves priv… https://t.co/wdscQuiIxU
— Robert P. George (@Robert P. George)1597093309.0
“I asked folks who wished to continue following me on Twitter from anonymous accounts to identify themselves privately,” George began. “I was deluged with messages explaining that anonymity is necessary because they have (some) conservative beliefs and fear being fired if their employers knew.”
He went on to explain that many of those who messaged him were in academia and “a few even had tenure — yet feared it could be revoked, or that their professional lives could be made untenable in other ways.”
“Is this the country we now live in?” George asked. “One in which many people feel they must hide their beliefs in order to keep their jobs or maintain their careers? One in which people live in fear of speaking their minds — worrying for their futures and their families’ well-being if they do?”
He added that while composing his Twitter thread “a message came in from someone reporting professional consequences of a statement that transgressed some aspect of Woke orthodoxy: ‘I’m not conservative, but the Woke Taliban won’t spare progressives that don’t accept their platform 100%.'”
5/ Now I’m getting deluged with a new set of messages, most asking “What can we do?” “What can be done?” Well, sinc… https://t.co/58fGXQJ91s
— Robert P. George (@Robert P. George)1597095249.0
‘What can we do?’
George went on to say that he received a bunch of messages asking, “What can we do?”
His answer? “WE NEED COURAGEOUS PEOPLE TO STAND UP TO THE BULLYING,” George said. “Risky? Sure. And there will be casualties. I don’t pretend otherwise. But there is no other way.”
Stand up — for everybody
7/ Progressives have come under attack as well, sometimes from the Woke, others from the right, and conservatives n… https://t.co/QQ38ePm3I1
— Robert P. George (@Robert P. George)1597100777.0
George added that since “progressives have come under attack as well,” conservatives must “defend their rights as fiercely as we do our own. Liberals and civil libertarian progressives need to adopt the same stand toward the rights of conservatives.”
“Our fathers and grandfathers and great grandfathers at ages 18, 19, 20 bravely fought the armies of the Third Reich, or fought valiantly under appalling conditions in the Pacific,” he also wrote. “Many of their comrades fell in combat. Shall we tremble in fear of…nothing remotely comparable?”
George’s Twitter thread reflects the findings of a recent survey focusing on the fear of viewpoint sharing. The Cato Institute survey found that self-identified Republicans most frequently self-censored (77%) while self-identified “strong liberals” were the only ideological group with a majority of members who believe they can freely express themselves.
Here’s a recent video of George discussing the cancel culture phenomenon in the wake of the George Floyd protests and riots, among of topics of interest:
Conceived in Liberty: Episode 4 – Robert P. George
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Author: Dave Urbanski
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