Classic liberalism exalted tolerance, reflected in a line often (and probably wrongly) attributed to Voltaire: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
On university campuses, that is sometimes updated to: “I disapprove of what you say, so shut up.”
In a column a few weeks ago, I offered “a confession of liberal intolerance,” criticizing my fellow progressives for promoting all kinds of diversity on campuses — except ideological. I argued that universities risk becoming liberal echo chambers and hostile environments for conservatives, and especially for evangelical Christians.
As I see it, we are hypocritical: We welcome people who don’t look like us, as long as they think like us.
It’s rare for a column to inspire widespread agreement, but that one led to a consensus: Almost every liberal agreed that I was dead wrong.
“You don’t diversify with idiots,” asserted the reader comment on The Times’s website that was most recommended by readers (1,099 of them). Another: Conservatives “are narrow-minded and are sure they have the right answers.”