Good morning to every single reader here at The Ralph Retort. I have a ton of shit to do today besides writing, so I’m going to try to get that done first and then go take care of all the rest. We’ll see how that shakes out, as time management isn’t exactly my top skill. I know I’m gonna get these posts up regardless, starting with this one about President Obama calling out the attitude of some campus protesters.

To be clear, he doesn’t say they should stop protesting or anything like that. That’s fine with me, as everyone should have the right to protest whatever they want. What they shouldn’t be able to do is keep people from coming on campus to speak in order to protect their delicate sensibilities (they also shouldn’t be free from mockery). That’s not what a culture of intellectual diversity looks like, in fact, it’s the exact opposite.

Here’s Obama saying the same thing I’ve been saying for months, albeit much more diplomatically

“As I’ve said before, I do think that there have been times on college campuses where I get concerned that the unwillingness to hear other points of view can be as unhealthy on the left as on the right.”

Obama pointed out instances where students protest “somebody like the director of the IMF or Condi Rice speaking on campus because they don’t like what they stand for.”

“Well, feel free to disagree with somebody,” Obama said, “but don’t try to just shut them up.”

“My concern is not whether there is campus activism,” Obama told Inskeep. “I think that’s a good thing. But let kids ask questions and let universities respond. What I don’t want is a situation in which particular points of view that are presented respectfully and reasonably are shut down, and we have seen that sometimes happen.”

To be fair, Obama has traveled this route before, as I noted here. Here’s a quote directly from the president…

It’s not just sometimes folks who are mad that colleges are too liberal that have a problem. Sometimes there are folks on college campuses who are liberal, and maybe even agree with me on a bunch of issues, who sometimes aren’t listening to the other side, and that’s a problem too. I’ve heard some college campuses where they don’t want to have a guest speaker who is too conservative or they don’t want to read a book if it has language that is offensive to African-Americans or somehow sends a demeaning signal towards women. I gotta tell you, I don’t agree with that either. I don’t agree that you, when you become students at colleges, have to be coddled and protected from different points of view. I think you should be able to — anybody who comes to speak to you and you disagree with, you should have an argument with ‘em. But you shouldn’t silence them by saying, “You can’t come because I’m too sensitive to hear what you have to say.” That’s not the way we learn either.

He’s been pretty consistent on this issue and others surrounding censorship and “I’m offended by that” culture. He’s still a very liberal politician, so he has to be careful how he puts things. Still, I don’t think it’s out of line to give him credit here, no matter where your political loyalties lie. Calling out these campus crybabies like he did this week is just another step in a growing line of critiques of this sort. Only time will tell if he continues in this vein, but judging by his rhetoric from 2015, it looks like there’s a good chance he will.