It’s not every day that you see an anti-Hillary op-ed in the WSJ from, of all people and places, a professor at Yale. That’s what caught my attention in the excellent article by David Gelernter, computer science professor at Yale which I posted for you yesterday. Imagine the teeth grinding and emails from the the staff at Yale. How could he write that? This morning, as if on cue, the president of Yale Peter Salovey has a piece in the WSJ titled “Yale Believes In Free Speech—and So Do I.” It might as well be titled “My Job Is On the Line, David Gelernter Is Crazy!”
Here’s some of what Gelernter wrote (for the complete article, click here).
Mrs. Clinton has nothing on Mr. Trump when it comes to character. She lies (“Wipe? Like with a cloth?”—cute and charming Mrs. C.) the way basketball stars shoot baskets—constantly, nonstop, because it’s the one thing she is best at and (naturally) it gives her pleasure to hear herself lie—swish!—right onto the evening news. And her specialist talent of all is the verbal kick in the groin of a Secret Service man or state trooper who has the nerve to talk to her as if she were merely human. She is no mere rock star; she is Hillary the Queen. She is so big, and you are so small, she can barely even see you from up there. What are you? A macromolecule?
I’ll vote for Mr. Trump—grimly. But there is no alternative, no shadow of a responsible alternative.
Mr. Trump’s candidacy is a message from the voters. He is the empty gin bottle they have chosen to toss through the window. The message begins with the fact that voters hear what the leaders and pundits don’t: the profound contempt for America and Americans that Mrs. Clinton and President Obama share and their frightening lack of emotional connection to this nation and its people.
Mr. Obama is arch, patronizing, so magnificently weary of having to explain it all, again and again, to the dummies surrounding him. Mrs. Clinton has told us proudly how thoroughly she prepared for the first debate and has prepared to be president. For her, it is all a matter of learning your lines. Her whole life has been memorized in advance. Mr. Obama is at least sincere. Mrs. Clinton is as phony as a three-dollar bill, as a Clinton Global Initiative.
And here’s some of what Salovey responded with:
A commitment to free speech does not mean that one has to think all speech is equally valuable, respectful or helpful to the educational mission. Last year many campuses, including our own, saw difficult confrontations and moments in which individuals demonstrated poor judgment about where and how to speak.
The promotion of free expression does not mean all speakers will express themselves in wise or civil ways. In a volatile world with social media and cameras on every phone, emotional moments can be taken out of context and magnified, distorting or obscuring an accurate view of events. With rare exceptions, our community conducted itself thoughtfully and respectfully through many weeks of intense discussion.
Far from discouraging free speech, events at Yale last year triggered a rich and remarkable set of conversations and debates across our student organizations, classrooms and open campus forums. The Yale Daily News, the oldest daily student newspaper in the country, filled its pages and opinion columns with voices that diverged in every conceivable way. Faculty have spoken to all aspects of the relevant events and issues, as have alumni and staff. I cannot remember a greater display of free expression since I arrived at Yale as a graduate student in 1981.
Our nation has not come to the end of its challenges with the terrible legacies of slavery and discrimination in all its forms. Inclusion and equality are works in progress, both for Yale and for the rest of our exceptional country. I deeply believe that free expression advances that work, as it always has, the more of it the better.