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Many believe that Guilford is a left-wing echo chamber where it is easier to be accepted if you are a social activist who abhors capitalism, sports and the American flag.
Both of my parents believed that FDR was a covert communist.Imagine what a cataract of horrors it would be for some Harvard University professors to be on the same faculty with a member of the Tea Party.But beyond that difficulty lies an opportunity for understanding and compromise.Imagine if the politicians in Washington could collaborate to get something done rather than demonize each other, spew half-truths, and bankrupt us all.Like Mark Twain, “Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.” Protect the rights of others to be different. Don’t be a hostage to prejudice or a bystander to intolerance. When I came to Guilford in 2002, I heard about a short-lived tradition of the men’s soccer team to rise before dawn on February 6 and chalk the campus to commemorate Ronald Reagan’s birthday. Or consider this: Why must we take precautions against disruptions when we invite Tony Blair or Ralph Reed to speak but not Bill Clinton?A parent walked out on me because he claimed that his daughter was not sent here to have her hard-core socialism questioned or even discussed.Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others." Other institutions wrongheadedly embrace the other extreme.State legislatures and boards of trustees threaten loss of tenure or expulsion for being gay, opposing war, promoting choice, protesting economic inequality or questioning authority.Avoid groupthink where everyone shares the same beliefs or think they do.Faculty, staff and even students in trendy, self-validating clusters tend to delude themselves that the people around them are roughly representative of the general society.