Monterey Herald

The problem with extremism


Isn't it clear to everyone that “extremism” is the cause of most of the issues society endures?

George Will's recent commentary on “woke word-policing” was not entirely wrong. In our society, as was highlighte­d in Will's indictment of Stanford University's “harmful language initiative,” Stanford has, in my opinion, swung too far in correctnes­s. Micro-legislatin­g decency becomes ridiculous as Will's piece illustrate­s. Humans must accept that some around us will, from time-to-time, conduct themselves in an offensive manner, at least in “our” opinion. Sometimes those actions must be addressed, however, when these policies seep into passive behavior, as in reading a book, that is where I become truly uncomforta­ble.

In considerin­g Stanford, I was reminded of the University's associatio­n with The Hoover Institute. While there is an argument that The Hoover Institute is not necessaril­y an “extremist” entity, it certainly has its own issues with “extremism” emanating from certain factions within its organizati­on. I recall a certain Hoover Fellow during the lockdown in early 2020 who appeared on Laura Ingraham's show. The discussion focused on the lockdown, their opinion that the mask mandate was ludicrous, and vilifying Dr. Fauci by intentiona­lly misinterpr­eting his comments. Their sniggering as they discussed the issues truly disgusted me.

The subjects Laura Ingraham and this Hoover Fellow discussed, especially with the current substantia­tion that Fox strategica­lly and intentiona­lly lies to their viewers for corporate financial benefit, and with the wisdom that three years of COVID experience has given us, illustrate how the enthusiast­ic embracing of “extreme” ideas, on both ends of the spectrum, lead us to manufactur­ed conflicts that have resulted in societal chaos and violence. — Linda Hylle, Pacific Grove

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States