For the second time in less than three weeks, one of Michael Kinsley's predecessors as opinion editor of the L.A. Times, Tom Plate, has shown up on the Daily News op-ed page. He is identified as "a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy," and in this piece he sounds a call against political correctness in campus discourse.
Tragically, America puts this ferociously valuable quality of open intellectual pursuit and vigor at risk when public opinion seeks to silence with misplaced scorn the deviant, the unexpected, the counterintuitive and/or the politically incorrect idea. Better to have 1,000 bad ideas spring up and get knocked down, in order to give birth to a few good ones, than to have everyone in academia watch their words and thoughts in some goose-stepping Orwellian fashion.
He teaches in the Department of Communication Studies at UCLA and is founder of the Asia Pacific Media Network there. Before the Times, Plate ran the editorial page at the Herald Examiner.