Yale is the place where you go to have intellectual discussions, right? Where there's diversity and dynamism? Not really. Everyone is on the left, talking about their "lived experience." But they won't engage with people who have real differences. So, you either get no dialogue or you get insults across the divide. There's that Yale saying--that Yalies are supposed to fix the world. But fixing things means understanding and working with other flawed people you'll find disagreeable.
People talk about American exceptionalism as if it’s a bad thing, but they’re missing the point. Even if America makes mistakes, the world is a system of power structures. If we take away power, someone worse will come along. Just look at the Middle East. We take out flawed yet stable dictators, and then we’re surprised that someone worse fills the void? I am very critical of the way Hillary handled Libya. And Obama never made it clear what his game plan was abroad. If Hillary was the one in charge, then why would I want more of her foreign affairs?
I remember the first time I heard “Oh, you’re the Trump Girl,” from somebody I just met. It’s amazing how quickly people label you, and how much people are afraid to be labeled. Thoughtful, nuanced ideas get shut down—even if they are coming from a prominent intellectual guest speaker. Did the lack of dissenting voices at Yale play a part in my vote for Trump? Absolutely. And that’s a big reason why I publicly say what I think. Why not? There’s an enormous culture of fear, and playing into it only makes it worse.
© 2017 Jayne Riew. All Rights Reserved.