The relative merits of liberalism were recently inflicted on a Princeton undergrad in a most forceful way:
Last Wednesday, at Princeton University, vicious emails were sent to four students and a professor, threatening their lives because of their conservative political and religious views. The students—all members of the Anscombe Society, the intellectual family-values organization on campus—were Sherif Girgis, Jonathan Hwang, Kevin Joyce, and Francisco Nava. The professor was Robert P. George (a First Things board member, whose lecture “Law and Moral Purpose” is featured in this month’s issue).
On Friday, the situation escalated dramatically, as one of the threatened students, the junior Francisco Nava, was attacked and beaten, and possibly suffered a concussion. Nava told the Princeton police that while he was walking to the home of a boy he regularly mentors, he was grabbed by two men who held him against a brick wall, punched him, and repeatedly hit his head against the bricks. He was taken to the University Medical Center at Princeton (the town hospital), treated and released—but was admitted to the campus health center the next day for further treatment. Though the University acknowledges that the initial threats fell through the cracks, administrators are responding to this assault thoughtfully and professionally. The incident appears on its face a horrible example of what can happen when anger at those who dissent from campus orthodoxies is permitted to get out of control. A desire to compel conformity caused people to resort to threats and even violence in an effort to silence critics.
That is certainly the way to demonstrate the superiority of ones’ intellectual ideas. Is it any wonder that so many Americans consider the elitist dogma of the left to be highbrow drivel?
Certainly there is no reason to respect people who resort to physical violence when the mental merit of their values proves to be insufficient to convince those around them. Such value as actually resides in their ideas must be represented by more worthy men and women.
Update: Scratch the Princeton story as it seems that Mr. Nava is the one behind both the threatening messages and his own beating.
As for my commentary, let it stand. The sort of intellectual intimidation that Nava imitated happens every day at American universities and it lends no more weight to the left’s arguments than Nava’s does to conservatives’.