The real trouble with excluding conservative voices from college campuses is that it helps turn liberals into blithering idiots.
Take the case of Phil Busse, the moron college prof. who spent his free time destroying McCain/Palin yard signs, wrote an essay detailing his activities, and expected to soak up rapturous applause. What actually happened was quite different: St. Olaf prof resigns after election sign fiasco
Philip Busse, the St. Olaf College professor who admitted to stealing campaign signs in a national political blog read by millions, has resigned.
St. Olaf spokesman David Gonnerman issued the following statement Monday afternoon:
“The St. Olaf College administration first learned of Phil Busse’s self-admitted theft and destruction of campaign signs on the morning of Oct. 31 as a result of his posting on the Internet.
“The St. Olaf administration immediately referred the matter to local law enforcement authorities and commenced an investigation of its own.
“Mr. Busse has tendered his resignation and is no longer affiliated with St. Olaf College.
“In a statement issued on Friday, the administration made clear that Mr. Busse’s actions were in direct conflict with the college’s values and mission and that the college did not in any way condone them.
“The statement also declared that St. Olaf College deplores unlawful interference with political campaigns and expression of speech.
St. Olaf obviously did the right thing in making clear that such behavior is deplorable and fundamentally not in keeping with the spirit of an institution of liberal education. The sad thing is Busse still doesn’t get it.
In an e-mail correspondence with the News, Busse expressed remorse for stealing the signs, saying that the thefts were “immature and impetuous.”
“Writing the essay was an opportunity to explore and talk about political speech and the desire that most of us have to express our politics — both in mature and immature ways, and sometimes a mix of the two,” Busse said in the e-mail. “I’m disappointed that most readers seem to have focused on the thefts, and not on the larger thoughts.”
In the article, Busse likened his thefts to an act of civil disobedience and said that stealing the signs was “one of the single most exhilarating and empowering political acts that I have ever done.”
All this does is prove Busse has no idea what he is talking about. His acts have nothing to do with “civil disobedience” whatsoever. Had he read and understand the classic texts on the subject, Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from the Birmingham City Jail,” he would see that real civil disobedience is directed towards the state, and not against the speech rights of fellow citizens. In fact, the only way this could be construed as civil disobedience is if his “larger thoughts” entailed the removal of First amendment protections for citizens who do not hold Mr. Busse’s ideological prerogatives.
There is absolutely nothing noble about Busse’s actions. Thoreau viewed his not paying taxes to the government as a blow against what he felt was an unjust war against Mexico. King Jr. took his actions because he was standing up directly against unjust law. All Busse did was express his hatred of John McCain, or Republicans in general, or all citizens who disagree with him politically, and in the most infantile manner possible. I’m sure he felt his personal experience in performing these acts was “exhilarating and empowering.” The same was probably true of the brownshirts who participated in Kristallnacht.
The comparison is an apt one because Busse actions were not directed towards the government or an unjust law, but were instead directed against people he didn’t like. The mere existence of McCain supporters is enough to enrage Busse to the point he will destroy their property. So what is the larger point there? Or how can we believe Busse’s “larger points” don’t mirror those of the brownshirts who also spent a night destroying the property of people they didn’t like? And, what on God’s green earth does Busse have to do with the high minded aspirations of Thoreau or Dr. King? The answer to the last one is apparent: Not a hell of a lot.