Jonah Goldberg

"The greater Southern California community is one that not only proudly embraces its diversity, but demands it," Streisand wrote to the Times in a syntactically impaired rant that read a bit like one of those letters I occasionally get from prison inmates who've memorized words from a thesaurus without fully understanding what they mean. "Your publisher's decision to fire Robert Scheer is a great disservice to the spirit of our community. ... So although the number of contributors to your op-ed pages may have increased, in firing Robert Sheer [sic] and putting Jonah Goldberg in his place, the gamut of voices has undeniably been diluted. ..."

Nearly a decade later, I still don't know what it means to dilute a gamut of voices. But I do know what she meant by "diversity." It means: "people who agree with me." It's lazy and insipid shorthand for "left wing." After all, by the normal metrics of identity politics -- race, religion, gender -- Scheer and I are largely interchangeable. Where we differ is ideology. And ideological diversity is the only kind of diversity the left finds offensive.

Which brings us back to the sages of Swarthmore and Harvard. They at least understand that ideological diversity is actually, like, you know, a thing. They just think it's a bad thing.

More pernicious, however, is that they believe the question of justice is a settled matter. We know what justice is, so why let serious people debate it anymore? The millennia-old dialogue between Aristotle, Plato, St. Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Rawls, Rorty, Hayek et al.? Shut it down, people. Or at least if the conversation heads in a direction where the Korns, Chings and Streisands smell "oppression" -- as defined solely by the left -- then it must not be "put up with." Diversity demands that diversity of opinion not be tolerated anymore.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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