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Survive II

Will Millennials Survive The Left? by David Marcus.

The New York Times ran a frank op-ed on Friday from a fiction writer burned by the progressive penchant for identity politicking. In his piece titled “Will the Left Survive the Millennials?” Lionel Shriver describes an illiberal example of political correctness gone awry that left him hurt and confused.

A millennial woman of color had walked out of a speech he was giving. She was dismayed that a white man was defending cultural appropriation. He was dismayed that she labeled his very civil attempt to address an important topic as racist speech that ought not be tolerated. He was even more dismayed that not only the liberal press but also the institution that had approved his remarks were siding with the offended young woman.

Conservatives should be forgiven if a wry smile lifts their lips upon hearing such a story. It describes a phenomenon we have been warning about and arguing against for years. When self-described liberals find themselves caught in the web of contemporary leftist speech policing, it is a kind of vindication.

But Shriver gets something wrong in his piece, and it is central to progressives’ inability to confront the intolerance in their midst. The question isn’t if the Left will survive millennials. The question is whether millennials will survive the Left, at least as heirs to the Western tradition of intellectual investigation.


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