Gary Roberts: Why corporate America, higher ed are turning on GOP

Keywords Opinion / Viewpoint

In 2015, when beginning his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, then-Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal famously remarked that Republicans have “got to stop being the stupid party.” Rather than heed Jindal’s advice, the GOP dispatched him to obscurity, nominated Donald “Inject Bleach” Trump, and proceeded to promote absurdities that have defined modern Republican orthodoxy.

Today, Republicans decry higher education as liberal bastions, denounce the increasingly “liberal” stances of many business leaders and journalists, and criticize as “censorship” major social media platforms for “silencing conservative speech.”

The reality is that these institutions are not infested with socialists or ultra-liberals, but rather are simply committed to a world rooted in proven fact and reality. Embracing or even tolerating absurd notions is simply a bridge too far for businesses that must exist in the real world and for college faculties that are dedicated to finding and promoting truth.

Today, a significant and increasingly dominant segment of the Republican base and leadership believes that: (a) climate change is a hoax, and (paradoxically) human behavior has nothing to do with it; (b) the Earth and universe are only a few thousand years old; (c) being gay is a voluntary lifestyle choice; (d) the COVID-19 virus is a hoax or an overblown scare tactic, and, anyway, it was deliberately created and spread by the Chinese and/or Democratic partisans to undermine Trump; (e) wearing a face covering does nothing to protect people from a virus; (f) vaccines cause infertility or autism, or whatever; (g) the best way to help poor and middle-class people is to give tax breaks to the super wealthy; (h) elections in states that vote for Democrats are corrupt and beset by rampant fraud; (i) Trump handily won the 2020 presidential election; (j) the Jan. 6 mob insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was like a normal tourist visit and the violence was caused by Nancy Pelosi.

This list goes on and on. There has even been growing acceptance in GOP circles of insane QAnon theories, including that Democrats eat human flesh and engage in the child sex trade. And don’t forget the raging forest fires set by secret Jewish lasers or that climate problems might be solvable by altering the moon’s orbit.

There is absolutely no credible evidence for any of this. Indeed, there is overwhelming irrefutable evidence that each is absolutely untrue. Is there any wonder that most college faculty and leaders at private businesses and media platforms (except the far-right propaganda Fox News and Newsmax) are not getting on this nutty Republican bandwagon?

Of course, conservative viewpoints should be heard, and often embraced. They are important in the marketplace of ideas. There are legitimate differences over how to balance known facts and values inherent in issues involving immigration, budget priorities, religious freedom, public health restrictions, deficit spending, when human life begins, gun rights, etc. But the robust debate that should take place does not mean that anyone should tolerate undeniable nonsense.

As long as the GOP increasingly caters to and relies on those whose worldview is rooted in fantasy, it should not be surprised that intelligent people who are committed to truth and must operate in the real world lean in other directions.•

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Roberts is dean emeritus of the Indiana University McKinney School of Law and former president of Bradley University.

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6 thoughts on “Gary Roberts: Why corporate America, higher ed are turning on GOP

  1. QUOTE:Today, Republicans decry higher education as liberal bastions, denounce the increasingly “liberal” stances of many business leaders and journalists, and criticize as “censorship” major social media platforms for “silencing conservative speech.”

    The truth hurts, doesn’t it, Gary? Is there no foundation for that belief?

  2. Why does every article by a liberal Democrat spend so much time telling us how “intelligent” they are?

    “Today, Republicans decry higher education as liberal bastions, …”

    Roberts actually proved what he was trying to refute. Hopefully Roberts isn’t involved in teaching students how to debate or litigate.

  3. Amen, Ronald F; an excellent point, about Roberts proving that which he was straining to refute.

    Read it and weep, Dean [Yes, I’m impressed that you hung around academia long enough to become a Dean] Roberts. You’ve been living in that echo chamber so long you’ve lost at least some touch with what’s going on out here in the real world.

    And this utter stupidity: There has even been growing acceptance in GOP circles of insane QAnon theories, including that Democrats eat human flesh and engage in the child sex trade.

    What evidence do you have to support such idiocy? Or is the liberal Democrat mantra still true, wherein the accusation is also the conviction, no proof required?

    Go back to reading The Gospel according to The New York Times at Starbucks and spare your readers your silliness that acrues from therein, among other sources.

  4. Mr. Roberts raises points that are his opinion and debatable. He does what many from differing philosophical camps often do, which is to generalize broadly and apply labels to persuade. The extreme characteristics and descriptions of “the list that goes on and on”, is definitely not believed by “a significant and increasingly dominant segment of the Republican base and leadership”. It is believed by a lunatic fringe of the right wing camp …, and there is an extreme lunatic fringe at the far left of the political spectrum that have their issues as well. There is no question that President Trump was and continues to be at the center of very differing opinions of what constitutes American culture and how elected leaders should discharge the trust the American people place in those leaders. He has definitely challenged the “establishment politicians” on both sides of the aisle, as well as the “mainstream media” (distinct from journalists), and citizens at large to consider the principles and policies responsible citizens of this nation should value and the consequences of perpetuating “establishment governance”. That is the basis for his popularity, which will likely not subside. Issues that divide this nation are given increasing attention by politicians and the media and this has caused many individuals to discount the validity of what is espoused by both. News network ratings bear this out. Living in a time when 63 or 64 genders are recognized, and in the same breath, a common definition of gender cannot be agreed upon, many seek a more simplistic landscape for our culture. A landscape that focuses less on the minorities within our culture. In this context the term minorities does not refer to race, but does refer to the number of special interest categories/groups that increase in number daily. These “simplicity seekers” have an appetite for a “balanced perspective” that includes the many aspects of what is right with American culture, which is the basis of why so many immigrants risk life and limb to live in America, including starting their lives here as lawbreakers. Those seeking a more simplistic cultural landscape are weary of the 24/7/365 litany of all the atrocities and evil America and citizens of America have allegedly accosted the special interest minorities with to the exclusion of anything redeeming and worthwhile. Many of these same individuals seeking a more simplistic cultural landscape are in fact “intelligent people who are committed to truth and must operate in the real world”. They work at lower levels in the very same companies led by elites that Mr. Roberts refers to as “intelligent people who are committed to truth and must operate in the real world ‘and’ lean in other directions”. Unfortunately, those working at the lower levels cannot always express opinions that differ with their elite leaders for fear of losing their jobs. They are decidedly more simple minded than the elites as they have different matters to focus their mental attention and time on such as how to maintain and improve their lifestyles in a time when inflation and increased taxation to support the initiatives of the elites is reducing any economic prosperity they have previously enjoyed as a result of reporting to work regularly. These are the same simple-minded people that have challenged what we can only hope is an extreme minority of educators who have gone on record with claims that two plus two does not necessarily equal four. These simple minded people believe everyone that is a product of our education system at all levels would be better served by educational systems that teach core curricula of mathematics, hard sciences / engineering, English sciences, foreign languages, and traditional history vs. recently exposed curricula implemented to alter the social fabric of America. The simple reality is that many in America do not share Mr. Roberts perspective. We “simply” agree to disagree. We view his expressed opinion above as an opinion designed to politically influence readers of his opinion that they should not support the GOP for the reasons he states. Mr. Roberts is “dean emeritus” at Indiana University’s Law School. Emeritus is defined as “Honorably discharged from the performance of public duty on account of age, infirmity, or long and faithful services; — said of an officer of a college or pastor of a church”. Perhaps it is time for Mr. Roberts to enjoy full retirement.

  5. You may want to dig further into interesting insights about corporate America’s motivation for moving away from conservative values as they move toward “Wokism”. A good place to start is a book by Vivek Ramaswamy “Woke, Inc. – Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam”. Turns out that corporate America’s “Turn on the GOP is all about the money. Shocker!

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