Memorial Hall, Harvard University. Photo by Ario Barzan, Creative Commons License 4.0

Oh dear. A conservative academic has discovered that nobody wants to bone down with Donald Trump supporters, and for that reason, we probably need a new definition of civil rights that would protect conservatives from discrimination in all areas of American life. In a National Review piece titled "Political Discrimination as Civil-Rights Struggle," Eric Kaufmann frets about the findings of a poll of roughly 1,500 female Ivy League students, showing that, among those who didn't already support Donald Trump, only six percent of them would date a Trump supporter.

Apparently, this has very grave implications!

This reveals the predilection among many young elite Americans for progressive authoritarianism, a belief system that justifies infringing rights to equal treatment or free speech in the name of the emotional "safety" of historically marginalized race, gender, and sexuality groups. In this left-modernist worldview, conservatives' resistance to racial, gender, and sexual progressivism mark them as moral deviants. As Millennials take power, this generational earthquake is set to shake the foundations of the cultural elite to its core, leading to pervasive discrimination against, and censorship of, conservative views.

Or maybe it just means Ivy League women don't want to date Trump voters. That too is a form of discrimination, isn't it?

It's just possible Kaufmann, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, is reading a bit more than is warranted into the results of the poll, conducted in 2020 by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). But he sees many many disturbing trends, mostly about who wants to do sex with whom, and about the threat of the coming "woke domination of American institutions." Honestly, we don't see the problem with a little woke domination, as long as it's consensual and you use a safe word.

Arise, Conservatives, And Embrace Big Government So You Can Get Laid


There's also a lot of other stuff about the need for conservatives to "overcome their squeamishness about government" so they can counter all this nasty wokeness. Indeed, Kaufmann argues that to preserve free speech and thought,

conservative policy-makers will need to lose their 1980s libertarian blinders and embrace government-led, civil-liberties-focused intervention in the elite institutions of society.

Or maybe Kaufmann's trying to do a brilliant Swiftian satire about civil rights laws, only utterly devoid of the funny. Satire doesn't have to make you laugh, after all. But as far as we can tell, Kaufmann's playing it straight. And white, and cisgender, too.

He keeps going back to the dating survey, again and again, noting that its results are somehow even more terrifying than the situation in Northern Ireland, where

people in "mixed" Protestant–Catholic relationships often have to move elsewhere in Britain or to a suitably tolerant neighborhood before they can live comfortably.

Oddly, though, he doesn't follow that up with anything about politically mixed couples in the US having to relocate. Rather, he goes right back to the dating data:

Ivy League men are also highly discriminatory, with just 23 percent of non-Trump-supporting students willing to date a Trump supporter.

The elite includes not just Ivy League graduates, so let's consider the wider undergraduate-student population. Overall, 26 percent of American students back Trump, falling to 10 percent in the Ivy League. Trump supporters excluded, fully 87 percent of all female college students wouldn't date a Trump supporter. [...] Even among non-Trumpist Republicans, just 58 percent of women would date a Trump supporter.

Come And See The Violence To My Weiner Inherent In The System!

Kaufmann really does go on and on about this, looking also at a 2019 Pew poll of undergraduate students aged 30 or younger. 91 percent of women undergrads would date a Clinton voter, but only 17 percent would date a Trump voter. Among men, 90 percent would date a Clinton voter, and 33 percent would date a Trump voter.

Rather than noting that these stats suggest that women seem to have higher dating standards than men, Kaufmann sees dire implications:

Spencer Case argues that those who politically discriminate are acting in precisely the same manner as those who justify prejudice against Muslims or Jews.

If Spencer Case is arguing, "No one will look at my dong, this is just like the Holocaust!" then we have to say that's a Spencer Case problem.

Gentle reader, Kaufmann isn't done yet. He goes on to note research on data from eHarmony showing that since 2016, both women and men are much more likely to note their partisan preference on their dating profiles, and heavens, that too is surely evidence of discriminatory attitudes, isn't it?

Or perhaps it's evidence of people never wanting to go on another date where they have to listen to some dipshit drone on about the latest Q drops. Either way, that's clearly a sign of dangerous polarization, both sides, and so on. Why, we're increasingly only wanting to be married to people who share our political beliefs, and that too has dangerous implications, maybe!

What if polarization has an asymmetric effect on power in society? What if the elite is becoming a politically endogamous tribe that dominates positions of power in society, reserving them for those with the correct political pedigree?

Or what if people don't want to hear Newsmax blasting from the television in the other room while they're trying to sleep?

Affirmative Action For Wingnuts

Weirdly, about halfway through, Kaufmann pretty much drops the dating stuff to move on to a far more conventional rightwing culture-wars argument: Elite institutions are full of very intolerant leftists who hate free speech, so to protect true diversity in America, we have to protect political ideology as a civil right, exactly like any other.

We were all ready for Kaufmann to go full incel, like that economist, Robin Hanson, who called for a "redistribution of sex" to make sure that loathsome men will have enough sex to prevent them from becoming mass murderers of women. But no, it would seem that Kaufmann was just toying with us, leading us on, building up to not much of a climax. The dating stuff, in short, is little more than a 'bate and switch.

Now, there's some lovely filth down 'ere, but it's hardly sexy, and frankly, we're not especially interested in Kaufmann's call to prevent "discrimination" against poor, downtrodden righties. Like nine million other calls for "viewpoint neutrality," it's largely a bullshit call to protect the individual rights of folks on the Right, who hardly have any influence at all in elite institutions like universities.

All that's left to them is Congress, state and local governments, school boards, police departments, and much of corporate America, despite all the Right's whining about "woke" corporations.

But presumably, once we fix our institutions so that the political Right has a guaranteed voice, maybe there will be more Trump supporters on the faculty of Harvard, and if they can't get a date, they can complain to the university's diversity office. Or, being Trump supporters, they could invade the administration building and try to hang the Bursar.

Update: Andrew Sullivan has weighed in!

By all objective measures, that means Kaufmann is as wrong as anyone can possibly be.


[National Review / Photo: Ario Barzan, Creative Commons License 4.0]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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