Cross-posted from Free Exchange on Campus.
Okay, so I am stooping-it is true. And what is worse, I know I am. Still, someone has to say something about this piece first published at FrontPageMag and then resuscitated over at Students for Academic Freedom.
It seems that <strike>some</strike> four Brown University alumni founded a "new" organization, the Foundation for Intellectual Diversity (FID), in 2004-no I don't know why our friend Jacob Laksin is "reporting" on it now.
Apparently FID founders, such as Travis Rowley, started FID because they had their eyes opened to the "totalitarianism of the progressive mentality" and were now committed to creating "an ‘environment of intellectual diversity' at Brown and, leading by example, at other schools as well." Wow, I had to find out about these FID guys.
First, we find out a bit of shocking information about the FID founders-they are conservatives. But not just any conservatives. Just to be sure you know, the group's president, Christopher McAuliffe, insists, "We're no Lincoln Chaffee Republicans." Phew! Furthermore, they are interested in getting speakers to campus that don't fit the traditional "Republican mold," folks like Christopher Hitchins and Camille Paglia. Definitely raising the level of discourse there.
But I still felt like I didn't really know FID. The FID website didn't really tell me a whole lot. But then I found FID's online newspaper, The Brown Spectator which gave me a better sense of what I will call "FID thinking."
There was much to read, but I was particularly captivated by the lead article on the most recent edition, March 2005-still not sure why this is news a year and a half later. We press on. This article, entitled "So, You're a Pimp" by Travis Rowley details his attempt as a "competent womanizer" to pick up a "chick" at a bar. When she reveals she "helps women who have problems with sexual pleasure" (truly, from the article I really don't even know what she does) Rowley says: "Sooooo . . . . you're a pimp?" She tries to explain, he says "Sooooo . . . . you're a pimp?" Exit offended woman. What, pray tell, does this have to do with "intellectual diversity" you ask? I really cannot do FID thinking justice-here is Travis:
At nineteen years old, I didn't fully appreciate what had just happened to me. Back then it was just another girl walking away from one of my valiant efforts to approach her. At that point in my life, I was not interested in political thought, yet I was still very opinionated. And as I spent more time at Brown, campus events would convert me into a committed conservative. Only then did I realize who my Pimp Girlfriend really was. She was a liberal.
Right. And off he goes-launching into a whole tirade about feminists on campus, and pointing to the immorality of liberals on the Brown campus. Of course we don't have any idea about events he describes, who sponsored them, or if they garnered any real attention or not, or actually why all of this really matters. Nevertheless, Travis now has the moral high ground and can use his "experiences" to denounce the whole university as immoral and irresponsible-this from "a competent womanizer."
Of course, all of this "FIDness" is just part of the playbook, where a few students basically go out and sell Horowitz's product using examples of, um, "everyday campus events" to discuss how marginalized conservatives are.
I really only have one question for Travis. Soooo . . . . you're being pimped?