The New Lyceum provides analysis of current affairs that affect the body politic. It does so out of a belief that man is reasonable – he can come to understand truth through rational discourse.

Tiger Woods and the Leftist Mob

Tiger Woods and the Leftist Mob

What are a handful of reasonable men against a crowd with stones in their hands?

-George Eliot, Romola

Recently, Tiger Woods was asked by a New York Times reporter about his relationship with President Trump. Woods, who has been known to play golf and dine with the President on occasion responded by saying that he has “known Donald for a number of years” and that he has “known him pre-presidency and obviously during his presidency.” The reporter pressed Woods further, asking, “What do you say to people who might find it interesting, I guess, that you have a friendly relationship with him?" Woods responded by saying: “well, he’s the President of the United States and you have to respect the office. And no matter who’s in office, you may like, dislike the personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office.”  

Woods’ response was rather innocuous, having simply said he respected the office of the Presidency. But that was not good enough for some in the media. ESPN’s Max Kellerman and Stephen A. Smith were apoplectic about Woods’ statement. Smith went so far as to claim that Tiger was “not black” because he did not speak out on social justice issues. Smith said, “Black Americans haven't respected that from Tiger for quite some time. They haven't heard him speak on a plethora of issues pertaining to having a social consciousness on many, many occasions.” And Kellerman said he was “angry” about the “thoughtless statement.”

This sort of “stoning” by a  mob of dissenters has become more prevalent recently. Rapper Kanye West infamously tweeted a picture of himself wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat, an iconic symbol of the Trump 2016 campaign. West was derided publicly by many of his leftist celebrity friends, and even his wife, Kim Kardashian, who told him to clarify via Twitter that he does not agree with everything Trump does. But West was not going to apologize to the mob. He tweeted “the mob can't make me not love him.”

Other entertainment celebrities have not been so defiant. Actor Mark Duplass was condemned by the mob for encouraging his fellow liberals to listen to conservative commentator, Ben Shapiro. Duplass tweeted “Fellow liberals: If you are interested at all in ‘crossing the aisle’ you should consider following @benshapiro, I don’t agree with him on much but he’s a genuine person who once helped me for no other reason than to be nice. He doesn’t bend the truth. His intentions are good.” Duplass enraged his fellow liberals by this tweet and was shouted down by the mob and forced to recant days letter via another tweet that he was “really sorry” and that he “didn’t endorse racism, homophobia, xenophobia, or any such form of intolerance.” Shapiro is a conservative, and that is reason enough to be denounced as a hate monger by the mob.

Possibly one of the most frightening of the mob attacks is currently taking place at Brown University. Professor Lisa Littman recently published a research paper on Brown’s website stating that she found enough evidence to conclude that transgender youth were influenced by social groups and social media to change their gender identity. The University removed the research upon hearing the shouts of trans-activists. The Dean of Brown University’s Health Department published in a written statement that, “The commitment of the School to diversity and inclusion is central to our mission, and we pride ourselves on building a community that fully recognizes and affirms the full diversity of gender and sexual identity in its members” The Dean also cited concerns over the methodology of the study as another reason for its removal. This is a valid concern, but including “diversity” as another reason sets a dangerous precedent for academic inquiry. The research should be judged on its accuracy alone, not outside social forces. Not adhering to this principle could lead to the suppression of speech and research breakthroughs of academics and students.

A plausible consequence in the near-term is that those on the left are fostering the conditions for their own decay. By only listening to like-minded folks, and ostracizing their own, the leftist mob risks a backlash against their group, causing many of their ilk to reject them and WalkAway. This trend is already happening on a rising scale, as evidenced by the #WalkAway campaign on social media.

In many ways, the election of Donald Trump occurred for this very reason. Americans in the “fly-over” states felt like they were being belittled by elitists on the coasts who held them in contempt. They saw a media that was dishonest and promoted political correctness and identity politics over accuracy in its reporting. They saw the violence from Antifa and were tired of being told what they should believe by the mob. They saw in Donald Trump a figure who would fight back against the mob. The tactics of the mob have even been promoted in the halls of Congress by Rep. Maxine Waters, who called on dissenters of the President to “harass” Trump administration officials in public. If the mob continues these tactics they risk diminishing their power in American politics. They would be wise to leave their stones at home.

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