The controversies at the University of Missouri and Yale make it indisputable that America's universities and colleges are today less institutions of higher learning than centers of leftist indoctrination and agitprop. As if aware, however, that forcible suppression of unwelcome points of view is contrary to the very idea of a university, today's academic authoritarians cast about for fig leaves to cover up their slavish adherence to politically correct norms. At Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, officials have recently invoked security risks to cover up their hostility to points of view that veer too far from the acceptable leftist line.
This is, unfortunately, a story in which I play a part. Several years ago, a student group invited me to speak at Saint Anselm. Posters were being put up advertising the talk when Saint Anselm's then-President, Father Jonathan DeFelice, O.S.B., canceled my appearance, reportedly citing complaints he had received from Muslim students at the school. Islamic groups, like their leftist allies, share a taste for shutting down their foes rather than engaging their ideas, and Fr. DeFelice was happy to oblige them.