There is an argument in progress about America-hating among American academics. We’ve linked to a number of entries in this argument ourselves in the last couple of weeks. There is for instance Daphne Patai’s article in the Chronicle of Higher Education on accusations of attempted stifling of free speech by two Web sites, Campus Watch and No Indoctrination. There is Alan Wolfe’s review of several ‘American studies’ books in The New Republic. And today there is an article by Dave Johnson on the History News Network which examines the funding of conservative commentators and think tanks, including the above-mentioned Campus Watch. Johnson cites an article by Eric Foner and Glenda Gilmore also on History News Network, an article which does indeed express misgivings about ‘a broader trend among conservative commentators, who since September 11 have increasingly equated criticism of the Bush administration with lack of patriotism’.
Moreover, in equating opposition to government policies with hatred of our country, Pipes displays a deep hostility to the essence of a democratic polity: the right to dissent.
I certainly wouldn’t equate opposition to government policies with hatred of one’s country, to put it mildly. So who has it right? Is Patai right that the left only raises the free speech cry when its own ox is being gored? Are Foner and Gilmore right that it’s the other side doing the goring? And who is funding what and why? Maybe we need a Campus Watch Watch, and then a Campus Watch Watch Watch, and then–