Speaking at the University of Kansas, America’s forty-second president offered some words of wisdom on the state of American political discourse. The Topeka Capital Journal:
You just look at how many of our collective bigotries we have overcome in America in the last 100 years. We are less racist than we used to be, we are less sexist than we used to be. We are less religiously bigoted than we used to be. We are less homophobic than we used to be. We have one remaining bigotry: We don’t want to be around anybody that disagrees with us.
The candidate for First Man also said, “the polarization of American politics is present not just in Washington, but in American life.” Clinton didn’t call out any institutions in particular, but one wonders if he had the recent campus meltdowns in mind. American universities in some ways epitomize the trends Clinton has described: They pursue aggressive affirmative action, they are saturated with centers for race and gender and LGBT students, their brochures are shot through with paeans to diversity and tolerance—and yet they are now cementing their reputations as the most ideologically intolerant institutions in the country.
For good and ill, there is no reason to think that the trends Clinton described are abating. As we noted last week, millennials are more tolerant of different identities than older generations, but they are also most eager to censor offensive opinions.