Dartmouth College, like most campuses, is a social justice stink hole. A tough place to out yourself as a Republican, even a spinless one. The entire culture is against you. So, when an event cancellation over safety issues became suspect the Dartmouth College Republicans crapped their pants.
Their (now former) leadership, perhaps unnecessarily, took the potential for security issues a bit too far. They turned it into a political football. But instead of picking up the fumble and moving the ball downfield the Dartmouth College Republicans (DCR) fired their two top “players” pointed at the ball, and said, what is that?
The linked press release is self-explanatory. If there was a way to fall on your own sword, they did it. But that’s not all they did.
Not only was this a missed opportunity to cover some lost yardage they gave up a chance to gain ground. Something their ideological opponents would never do (as proven here), thus the title of this piece. “What Dartmouth College Republicans Should Learn from Dartmouth Democrats.”
This is Dartmouth. Where professors want White Privilege classes. Thanksgiving is oppressive and evil. And Doxxing teenagers with differing political views is okay. Democrats at Dartmouth are less likely to associate with Republicans or date them. And their professors favor the use of preemptive violence to suppress views with which they disagree and support this premise in large numbers. They even had a Pretendian.
Even if your event cancelation looked suspiciously like an anti-free speech hoax, you have more than enough reason to focus on why it might not. And you don’t lie, you tell the truth. Yes, the circumstances were suspicious and we’re addressing that internally but guess what? Dartmouth (and campuses across America) has some work to do on this laundry list of items. It’s practically a crisis!
And to the best of my knowledge, no one (including Democrats in New Hampshire) has denounced Prof. Mark Brey’s thesis that premeditated intimidation and violence are a reasonable and necessary tactic to silence political speech.
In other words, don’t show them your ass and air your dirty laundry.
Instead of leveraging what is quite often a legitimate concern about safety to advance that issue to a larger audience (hundreds of examples in just the past year if you search the internet) you went full-snowflake and gave the Democrats a club with which to beat you (and Corky Messner) which Messner then screwed up as well if it is any consolation. He has offered to show them his ass as well.
If you want to play this game, you have to play it on their terms or get off the field.
Campus speech is a hot button issue. There are entire college curriculums that exist to suppress natural rights and undermine the foundations that protect those rights. Your job is to take every media opportunity to make that case and stick the landing.
It’s not as if the left hasn’t given you enough evidence to make the case. But to do that your first reaction cannot be to go on the defensive. That’s not how your political opponents play this game and never kid yourself, it’s their game.
So play it to win it or say nothing. Because what you did was worse than nothing.