Problem “Grosupeljčanov” je, da so v manjšini. Čeprav bo del desne politične javnosti to razumel kot krivico, je vendarle jasno, da bo na naslednjih volitvah — zaradi nesposobnosti vlade morda predčasnih — spet zmagal Nejanez Nejanša. Kdorkoli že bo nasledil Cerarja kot vodilni politik levice in glavni izzivalec predsednika SDS. Zato je tudi vlada v senci, ki so si jo zamislili v največji opozicijski stranki SDS, projekt, obsojen na volilni poraz — košarica Nove Slovenije pa razumljiva.Če bi hotela desnica resno ogroziti večno vladavino levice, bi projekt morala zastaviti širše. Povabiti bi morala neodvisne strokovnjake, nekdanje mladoekonomiste in zdrava jedra Državljanske liste in SLS in tako zasesti kar največji prostor na desni sredini. Šele tako bi volilcem ponudili nekaj novega, ne samo že videnega in doživetega v letih 2004 in 2011.
A Levada Center poll published last month shows that a growing number of Russian citizens regard former Soviet leader Josef Stalin in a positive light. Forty-five percent of respondents said that the sacrifices of the Soviet people under Stalin’s rule were justified, whereas two years ago that figure was only 25 percent. And 39 percent of respondents now describe their feelings toward Stalin as “admiration,” “kind regards,” or “sympathy.”
In the context of Russia’s diminished international standing and renewed American hostility, it is not surprising that both the Putin government and many Russian citizens look more favorably on the Stalin era — a time when Russia was respected, even feared; a time when Russia’s power was growing, not contracting; a time when Russia vanquished Nazi Germany and became a world superpower.
When running for office, President Obama promised that he would officially recognize the Armenian Genocide, a promise he immediately broke as president. So Pope Francis’s forthright statement—even if he was, in fact, only quoting a predecessor, who was in turn referring to a general consensus—was remarkable, and praiseworthy.
The brief’s signatories include former Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman, conservative pundits S.E. Cupp and Alex Castellanos, former White House chief of staff Ken Duberstein, former Mitt Romney senior advisers Beth Myers and Carl Forti, conservative economists Doug Holtz-Eakin (formerly director of the Congressional Budget Office) and Greg Mankiw (formerly on the Council of Economic Advisers), former senator Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), former homeland security adviser Fran Townsend and former Massachusetts state Senate minority leader Richard Tisei. The presence of an esteemed general suggests that there is no segment of society in which gay marriage is not gaining acceptance. There are on the list centrist Republicans, more libertarian figures and even social conservatives.
In brief, the signatories argue that they “have concluded that marriage is strengthened, and its value to society and to individual families and couples is promoted, by providing access to civil marriage for all American couples—heterosexual or gay or lesbian alike. In particular, civil marriage provides stability for the children of same-sex couples, the value of which cannot be overestimated. In light of these conclusions, amici believe that the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits States from denying same-sex couples the legal rights and responsibilities that flow from the institution of civil marriage.”
What amici do not offer in their account is a grounded definition of what a marriage actually is.
While the brief makes several references to our nation’s historical commitment to marriage, every reference it cites is built on a conception of marriage that, in addition to fidelity, commitment, and stability, includes sexual complementarity. That component of marriage—reflecting a belief that a father and mother uniquely contribute to their children’s well-being—has been inexplicably left out of the brief. Its irrelevance to the debate is assumed and unargued.
At campuses across the country, traditional ideals of freedom of expression and the right to dissent have been deeply compromised or even abandoned as college and university faculties and administrators have capitulated to demands for language and even thought policing. Academic freedom, once understood to be vitally necessary to the truth-seeking mission of institutions of higher learning, has been pushed to the back of the bus in an age of “trigger warnings,” “micro-aggressions,” mandatory sensitivity training, and grievance politics. It was therefore refreshing to see the University of Chicago, one of the academic world’s most eminent and highly respected institutions, issue a report ringingly reaffirming the most robust conception of academic freedom. The question was whether other institutions would follow suit.
Here are the principles we adopted:
‘Education should not be intended to make people comfortable, it is meant to make them think. Universities should be expected to provide the conditions within which hard thought, and therefore strong disagreement, independent judgment, and the questioning of stubborn assumptions, can flourish in an environment of the greatest freedom.’ . . . Because the University is committed to free and open inquiry in all matters, it guarantees all members of the University community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn. Except insofar as limitations on that freedom are necessary to the functioning of the University, the University of Chicago fully respects and supports the freedom of all members of the University community ‘to discuss any problem that presents itself.’ Of course, the ideas of different members of the University community will often and quite naturally conflict. But it is not the proper role of the University to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive. Although the University greatly values civility, and although all members of the University community share in the responsibility for maintaining a climate of mutual respect, concerns about civility and mutual respect can never be used as a justification for closing off discussion of ideas, however offensive or disagreeable those ideas may be to some members of our community.
The freedom to debate and discuss the merits of competing ideas does not, of course, mean that individuals may say whatever they wish, wherever they wish.