At this point, such incidents have become so routine that it’s tempting to wave them off.
We shouldn’t. What happened to Ms. Sommers on Monday is a telling example of a wider phenomenon that reaches well beyond the confines of campus. Call it the moral flattening of the earth.
We live in a world in which politically fascistic behavior, if not the actual philosophy, is unquestionably on the rise. Italy just gave the plurality of its vote to a party that is highly sympathetic to Vladimir Putin. The Philippines is in the grip of a homicidal maniac who is allying himself with Xi Jinping. Mr. Xi just anointed himself president for life and has banned the words “Animal Farm” and “disagree” from Chinese internet searches. Bashar al-Assad is winning in Syria, where half a million people have so far been slaughtered. Dictatorship and starvation have descended on Venezuela. At its annual conference in Washington last month, the Conservative Political Action Committee gave its stage, and its enthusiastic applause, to a member of France’s National Front. That’s just a short list.
Yet these are generally not the extremists that leftists focus on. Instead, they seem to believe that the real cause for concern are the secret authoritarians passing as liberals and conservatives in our midst.