New Right Wing Student Journal at U of C

What are the arguments of the other side?

Sounds like an opinion that requires additional explanation to me. That was her intent. Remember the context: IOP had invited students to volunteer “whiteboard” statements about why they vote in order to kick-start a conversation on the topic. Many others who volunteered statements hoped to do the same as Duffy. I haven’t really seen any instance where Duffy has been shy of discussing issues - even uncomfortable ones. That is in keeping with the robust spirit of inquiry at UChicago. That many others in the student body prefer insults or attacks is not in keeping with that spirit.

Hmm. I’ve seen this tactic used by both sides over the years with plenty of real-life examples. And if you actually read the Duffy article and the Atlantic article she cites, you will see that humanizing the debate over abortion is a well-regarded method of argument! Not sure you’ve proved your point there, @MWolf.

The “UChicago” response to any point of argument - no matter how uncomfortable, controversial or even outrageous - is to bring up a well-reasoned counter point. It’s not to shut down the argument because you happen to disagree with it. That’s just being lazy. If someone wishes to make it clear that Evita Duffy has nothing more in her arsenal than clever phrasing and emotional appeal, then the best way to do so would be to debate her on the points.

Exactly. That is my point - she is just one more of the same. My point is that people with her level of rhetorical skills are a dime a dozen on the Left, and that praising her as though she was some new superstar for being no different than half the activists on the Left is silly.

My point is that talking of her as though she was some Beacon Of Light For Free Speech, because she was using cheap rhetoric to shut down political views of other people, indicates that it isn’t about “free speech”. but about Conservatives trying to force deny free speech to their opponents. This is much the same as the radical religious groups who claim that “freedom of religion” means their own freedom to force their religion on others.

Duffy is that A-B student whose Bs were flipped to As under pressure from a powerful parent, and is now her parents are demanding that she be nominated as Valedictorian based on her grades. She’s a moderately good writer being feted and celebrated because she is the daughter of the Right People, and holds the Right Views.

You might be exaggerating or even misstating the purpose of the thread which is to point out that someone is getting traction for introducing viewpoint diversity at the University of Chicago and expressing the hope that these issues will be debated in an open forum rather than shut down. Furthermore, you are applying a bit of a double standard to suggest that the perspective and opinion writing of a college student needs to exceed the wisdom and quality of a seasoned journalist’s. From what I can tell, they are about the same. Duffy of course has the advantage of additional potential on her side, given her relative youth.

It would be a rather odd attempt to shut down other viewpoints by advocating your own and calling for a debate. What are you afraid of, @MWolf? Now, I’d argue that sending threatening messages and other personal attacks, as received by Ms. Duffy and confirmed by IOP Director David Axelrod, would constitute an attempt to shut down a political view. What would you call it?

Your viewpoint on conservatives is neither relevant to this topic nor consistent with the TOS. Please stay on topic.

Please produce the evidence so that readers don’t conclude this is just a personal attack. By the way, it appears you are not well informed as to UChicago’s grading policies.

You might be surprised at the number of top students at UChicago and elsewhere who applaud these efforts of Ms. Duffy. Unfortunately, your post demonstrates well why more of them don’t speak out. No one likes being personally attacked, @MWolf, and quite frankly your thoughts are usually better formed. This reminds me of some of the milder stuff that Duffy received in retaliation for expressing her views.

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I doubt we can come to an informed judgment as to Ms. Duffy’s analytical skills, and her capacity for nuance may need further development. However, what can’t be in doubt are her guts and her gumption.

This is a campus in which only ten percent of the student body identify themselves as conservative. That’s a lesser percentage than at any of Harvard, Yale, Princeton or Stanford. Therefore, whatever her rhetorical blemishes may be, it doesn’t make much sense to accuse her of attempting to “shut down the views of other people” and of “trying to force deny (sic) free speech to (her) opponents.” If she was shouting, it was a shout against the wind. Her opponents were the ones doing the shutting down, not merely by disagreeing with her but by attacking her personally and asserting that she should not be allowed to say such things in a time of covid. It was a pretty good demonstration of “cancel culture”. Calling a thing by its right name may be rhetoric, but rhetoric of that sort was thought praiseworthy by Aristotle himself. David Axelrod must have thought so: he made his own statement vindicating her right to hold and to state her views, and he rebuked those who had been attacking and attempting to silence her.

So you have to give this young woman credit for guts, energy, and an independent spirit. But context is everything: No one would have even noticed her if she had been simply one of the herd on a conservative-leaning campus.


It’s possible that some misunderstand the situation and believe that such activities as creating a new political journal or getting some national attention for decrying “cancel culture” on campus is a form of repressive speech at that “bastion of right-wing thought,” the University of Chicago. Hopefully, @marlowe1’s post has set the record straight there. But regardless of political bent, the viewpoints at the heart of this thread are just that - viewpoints. And at UChicago, all students have the right to express a viewpoint no matter who agrees or disagrees. The university itself will restrict speech only under very limited circumstances, such as violations of the law, defamation, threats or harassment, violations of privacy or confidentiality, etc. In other words, common sense restrictions. Now, some of the speech that Duffy has received may have indeed have met that bar, but her own speech on and off campus certainly doesn’t. Most doesn’t - including any viewpoint that disagrees with Duffy. All should have the opportunity to be heard.

The problem with “cancel culture” is that it represents a different philosophy than that of open inquiry. It’s a philosophy that requires you to meet contemporary ideas of political correctness before your speech will be allowed in the public square. These things have a surprising way of turning on those who zealously impose them. Having an environment of open expression across the board just seems better - especially for a university.