Warning that “we all live on campus now,” Andrew Sullivan argues, “If voicing an ‘incorrect’ opinion can end your career, or mark you for instant social ostracism, you tend to keep quiet. This silence on any controversial social issue is endemic on college campuses, but it’s now everywhere.”
It’s now everywhere, but the silence is allowed only with regard to “wrong” opinions. Enthusiastic endorsement of approved views is increasingly encouraged and expected.
And yes, the right can play at culture war, too. Some conservatives are champing at the bit for open conflict (hey Kurt Schlichter, the next civil war wants to know if it has time to finish its coffee). When Delta Air Lines distanced its business from the NRA, Georgia lawmakers punished the company by dumping a $50 million tax break. But that was a response to an already political action. This with-us-or-against-us absolutism has almost entirely been a tool of the progressive left.
By insisting that everybody pick a side and name themselves as friend or foe, activists who anticipate victory as the prize for hollowing out the middle and leaving no neutral ground are taking a hell of a risk.