Fashions in Forbidden Speech

The temptation to politicize nearly everything is nearly universal, at least among the ruling elite in America. “We live in a time in which those who want to advance in the professions must pretend to believe what we all know to be untrue,” the Hillsdale College historian Paul A. Rahe wrote on Saturday over at Ricochet. As an example, he repeated the story of Dr. Lazar Greenfield, an emeritus professor of surgery at the University of Michigan School of Medicine, who was bounced from the editorship of Surgery News for daring to suggest—on Valentine’s Day, no less—that “there’s a deeper bond between men and women than St. Valentine would have suspected,” and the bond appears to be biologically rooted.

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Fashions in Forbidden Speech

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It's a duck.

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The border of incitement.

The idea that speech can itself constitute an act of violence grows ever more popular among the left’s leading polemicists. They argue that employing a politically incorrect word can be triggering; that the wrong gender pronoun can provoke; that words and sentences and parts of speech are all acts of aggression in disguise. The left seeks to stop this violence, or less euphemistically: to silence this speech.

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Polish Democracy in the Balance

Democracy dies while the president looks the other way.

Past U.S. presidents have used their bully pulpit to campaign for human-rights and democracy. By encouraging the unprecedented wave of democratization that has swept the world since 1945, their words and actions had consequences. That’s not something that Donald Trump does. Far from it; he positively praises dictators. His words have consequences, too, and they are not good.

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