How Emory’s Students Help Trump

Some liberals are appearing to finally get that Trump’s rise is directly related to P.C. overreach.

Currently, the #1 story in The Atlantic is “How Emory’s Student Activists Are Fueling Trumpism” by Conor Friedersdorf, who writes:

Had Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign for the White House somehow infiltrated the ranks of Emory’s student activists and blackmailed the university’s President James W. Wagner, it could scarcely have orchestrated a spectacle more helpful to Trump’s prospects, or damaging to the values that protect vulnerable groups, than what they accomplished on their own this week. After someone wrote “Trump 2016” in colored chalk around campus, several dozen student demonstrators objected that the banal campaign message scared, upset, or offended them, and administrators responded by going Orwellian…

What’s more, if the sidewalk-chalker is unmasked and punished, the effect will be to fuel the popularity of Trump 2016, not to undermine it. This is so obvious to everyone outside the bubble of campus leftism that I begin to wonder if activists at Emory don’t understand that, or just don’t actually care about outcomes beyond their bubble…

Kudos to Conor for envisioning this juicy possibility:

Has there ever been a more self-evidently counterproductive course willingly taken by activists than the one presently unfolding? Outsiders can only hope Emory’s president doesn’t succeed in finding whoever wrote the messages and making a martyr out of a Trump supporter in media outlets that would in almost no other circumstances regard his partisans as victims of unfair treatment…

Conor also acknowledges the ultimate intentionality behind P.C. — an exercise in pure supressive power:

[T]he more cynical critics of progressive campus activists believe precisely that they are motivated by the relative power they now hold, not by truly feeling unsafe—in this telling, they are using their ideological clout on college campuses to punish speech they don’t like from people with less power in that space, and if the same ideological cohort ever attains power outside campus, it will try to suppress speech there, too. Lots of Trump supporters are motivated precisely by the belief that, without a guy like Trump to represent their tribe, their own speech will be suppressed.

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