How to be ‘Irresponsible and Unacceptable’ at Wesleyan

By | 2017-06-02T18:30:05+00:00 November 15, 2016|
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Editor’s note: American Greatness contributing writer Mytheos Holt penned an “open letter” to his alma mater’s campus newspaper in response to the astounding reaction from students to Donald Trump’s electoral victory. The newspaper’s editors turned it down for reasons . . . well, you will just have to read them for yourself. Herewith, Holt’s article, followed by the Wesleyan Argus‘s reply.

(In case anyone is wondering, tuition and fees at Wesleyan University are $48,272 without financial aid. With room, board, and other fees combined, total cost of attendance is $64,163 per year.)

Dear Wesleyan, 

As one of the nearly 60 million people who watched the victory of Donald Trump with exhilaration and almost visceral pleasure, I just want to say . . . thank you for doing your part in making this possible. 

And really, you can pat yourselves on the back because it was a big part. When I graduated, the mainstream Left in America was still mostly focused on issues of economic inequality. While I thought President Obama a disingenuous and dangerous radical at the time of his first victory, there’s no doubt that his campaign came prepared with a hopeful message and a series of problems it desperately wanted to solve. 

Healthcare was obviously the big one, but there was also a sophisticated (albeit deeply naïve) critique of U.S. foreign policy wrapped up in the Obama campaign. But something happened midway through Obama’s second term: something which I can only describe as the Wesleyanization of the Left. 

Indeed, it felt like every sniveling, contemptible, childish idea I’d encounteredand relished in evisceratingwhile at Wes had followed me into the real world. Trigger warnings. Safe spaces. The equation of speech and reason with violent force. Even though I live in Washington, D.C., I almost felt like I should be making a trek to a dorm room in Hewitt, so thoroughly did the national political conversation remind me of my sophomore year. Where else would you expect to encounter suchpardon the phrasesophomoric ideas? 

The richest irony about it was that I’d often used my much-reviled conservative column in the Argus to point out how dangerous these kinds of ideas would be not to America, but to the Left itself. Against what even I will admit was token resistance on campus, it still couldn’t actually effect change, as best exemplified by the failure of the campaign to divest Wesleyan from weapons contractors during the 2008 school year. Against a professional, ruthless political Right with more constituents, it was obvious that this kind of politics would be like bringing smelling salts to a gunfight. 

Such a politics might even enable parts of the Right previously thought unpalatable to rise, if only as a middle finger to the sort of emotionally fragile cultural Puritanism it represented. The only response to these warnings was to claim it was racist, sexist, classist, etc, to even mention political realism, and anyway I was a conservative so I had no right to opine on this anyway. I wonder if Cassandra got told to check her privilege when she pointed out that pretty horse at the gates of Troy might have soldiers in it? If so, I know how she felt. 

Well, you guys brought it into the mainstream. And while it was by no means exclusive to Wesleyan grads, the fact that this school holds such a sway over one of America’s major cultural centers (Hollywood) means that Wesleyan almost certainly had an outsized role in the reduction of the Democrats from a party defined by hardheaded socialist class politics into a party defined solely by hurt feelings, and the infantile desire to punish anyone who might be even indirectly responsible for them. 

Well, surprise! America is not a nation that has time for cosseted emotional children. Really, what made you think a country defined by its sense of rugged individualism and self-determination would permit itself to be domesticated by a pack of histrionic secular Fideists? (Google it.) They would sooner do anything, including hand the Presidency over to a man who took an almost reflexive glee in flouting the norms of politeness, than submit to the dictatorship of people who resemble more an escaped pack of bipolar patients than a political movement. And from what I understand, y’all are gonna double down on the bipolarity in 2020! The things people will refuse to learn… 

So thank you, Wesleyan. Thank you for creating the most pathetic, petulant, weak, and whiningwhinging excuse for a far Left we’ve seen in the history of the West at the precise moment when the most vital, forceful, uncompromising form of the far Right is on the rise. On behalf of the Trump movement, and on behalf of everyone who now has a clean shot at putting your brand of politics back in the booby hatch, where it belongs, thank you. We truly couldn’t have done it without you. 

Love and kisses, 

Mytheos “The Republican Voldemort” Holt ’10

 

And the editors’ reply:

Hi Mr. Holt,

Thank you for submitting your Letter to the Editor. After much deliberation, we have decided to withhold its publication on the grounds that it constitutes intentionally hateful speech meant to demean members of the Wesleyan community. In the wake of the election, students and faculty feel real fear about how their futures may be affected by a Trump presidency. We believe that it would be irresponsible and unacceptable to add to this anxiety.

Sincerely,
The Argus Editorial Staff

About the Author:

Mytheos Holt
Mytheos Holt is a senior fellow at the Institute for Liberty. He has held positions at the R Street Institute, Mair Strategies, TheBlaze, and National Review. He also worked as a speechwriter for U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, and reviews video games at Gamesided. He hails originally from Big Sur, California, but currently lives in Arlington, Virginia. Yes, Mytheos is his real name.
  • jack dobson

    “(In case anyone is wondering, tuition and fees at Wesleyan University are $48,272 without financial aid. With room, board, and other fees combined, total cost of attendance is $64,163 per year.)”

    Your biggest mistake, Mytheos, was to pay such a staggering amount to fools and idiots. I have to assume you were able to write well before your stint on the school newspaper. You survived albeit with a lighter wallet. I would suggest anyone who wants to receive a higher education to spend as little as possible and get out as quickly as possible. The setting now only can make you dumber than you were upon entry.

    “students and faculty feel real fear”
    I always have opposed the draft but have changed my mind. Reinstate it and let young men and women learn what actual fear is like. This generation and the humps who teach them are beyond disgusting and illustrate where Pol Pot likely acquired his madness.

    • Peter63

      “This generation and the humps who teach them are beyond disgusting and suggest why and where Pol Pot likely acquired his mad philosophy.”

      I find that a very resonant observation. The direct spiritual/emotional link between those two horrid phenomena seems clear.

      Thank you.

  • Ironwrkr

    The rejection letter is priceless! Self parody…unbelievable

  • BD Sixsmith

    It’s ironic that the trend towards “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” has been such a boon for the right, not the left, in that it reinforced the liberal bubble and made progressives wholly unprepared from the rise of Trumpism. They thought the likes of Steven Pinker and Jonathan Haidt were their *enemies*, attempting to discredit, when in actual fact they were their *friends* trying to help. Cynical conservatives might encourage them to retreat even further into their academic cubbyholes so their grasp on reality becomes even more weak.

  • Monsieur Voltaire✓ᴰᵉᵖˡᵒʳᵃᵇˡᵉ

    Aw, c’mon. You must have made the rejection letter up. They CAN’T be that lacking in self-awareness.

    • TRE

      Nope, as a fellow Wes alum, that’s how they think.

      • Monsieur Voltaire✓ᴰᵉᵖˡᵒʳᵃᵇˡᵉ

        Wow, I’m sorry 😉

        • TRE

          No problem, it’s one of the reasons the Left lost this year.

  • Jesse Merriam

    Incidentally, I attended Wesleyan as well. It appears that AmGreatness has two Wesleyan alum writing for it — which is probably a great disappointment to what was once dubbed Politically Correct University (after which a movie was created) and The Diversity Ivy.

    Mytheos, feel free to contact me if you would like to share stories about what it is like to be educated behind enemy lines — where getting an A requires mastering ways to describe the United States as “a hegemony of hetero-normative military-industrial Euro-centric patriarchy.”

    • TRE

      I attended Wesleyan as well, albeit in the 80s. My first month as a freshman I ran into a protest against “technology” outside of the Science Library, complete with bongo drums. I can see not much as changed. No greater fun than observing the expressions on the faces of some of my fellow dorm hall residents after the election of 1984 when I informed them that I voted for Reagan!
      Cheers.

  • I have never laughed so much….
    Love your letter.

  • SparkleSalt

    They could have simply said they didn’t like the letter. But no, look what they came up with after thought and effort. How appalling!

  • vaccinia

    A classic! You don’t even have to make this stuff up! Amazing….

  • Forbes

    The irony–it hurts. The campaign in secondary and higher education to teach critical thinking has obviously been a complete failure.

  • Jane Surber

    This absolute refusal to listen to an opposing viewpoint is dangerous to democracy. It’s also the reason that the media and academia where so completely blindsided by the results of this election. There are none so blind as those who will not see…

  • Sean

    lolololol

    Way to scare ’em with your hate speech, Mytheos.

  • Scott Carroll

    I thought it was extremely thoughtful of them to prove your every assertion. Nice chaps.