McCarthyism comes to Harvard -- why this should alarm us all

Many troubling arguments have been offered in defense of the decision not to renew Sullivan’s role as Dean of Winthrop house. The most common – and dangerous – is that students feel “unsafe” around a lawyer who is representing Weinstein.

Feeling “unsafe” is the new mantra for the new McCarthyism. It is a totally phony argument not deserving of any serious consideration. Any student who feels unsafe in the presence of two distinguished lawyers doesn’t belong at a university. They should leave and not force the firing of the professor. The “unsafe argument” could be made against a dean who is gay, Black, Muslim, Jewish, Republican or libertarian. No credence should be given to the argument, especially since the students apparently did not feel “unsafe” when Sullivan was representing a convicted double murderer.

A second argument is that Sullivan has been absent too often because of his defense of Weinstein. That, too, is phony. If Sullivan was prosecuting instead of defending Weinstein, these same hypocritical students would applaud him.