Jordan Peterson And The Left-Wing Smear Machine

Jordan Peterson And The Left-Wing Smear Machine by John Sexton –  Hot Air

Author Carol Horton identifies herself as someone who leans left on political and cultural issues. Yesterday, in a piece for Quillette, she describes looking into Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson and finding him “a refreshing departure from the standard discourse.” That put her at odds with friends who warned her that Peterson was “hate-filled right-wing propaganda.” But while Horton was willing to make up her own mind about Peterson, she found doing so left her feeling isolated and uncomfortable. Horton says the social pressure was so intense that she felt scared to speak up with her opinion. She believes that pressure to conform to a narrow, approved view is a much bigger problem for the left than Jordan Peterson:

If you follow the news stream, it seems that virtually every right-thinking left-leaning (pun intended) journalist, blogger, and social media maven agrees: Peterson is an alt-right wolf in professorial sheep’s clothing, a self-serving charlatan who dresses up old-school misogyny, racism, and elitism in faux-intellectual, fascist mystical garb.

I don’t buy it. I’ve read and listened to enough Peterson to make up my own mind and that’s not how I see him at all. Rather than being forthright about this, though, I’ve tended to cower silently in my alienated corner, fearful that revealing my rejection of the stock anti-Peterson narrative will cause my progressive friends to denounce me and the social media mobs to swarm…

The hyperbolic uniformity of the leftist attack on Peterson is emblematic of the growing tendency to reduce left-of-center thought to the status of a rigidly simplistic ideology. Increasingly, what passes for progressive political thought today offers little more than a scripted set of weaponized hashtags (you must be pro- #metoo and anti-patriarchy, no further thought required). This narrowing of our public discourse is disturbing, and worrisome on multiple, mutually reinforcing levels…

The Left’s attack on Peterson is so unrelenting, so superficial, and quite frequently so vicious, that many of us who work and/or live in left-leaning social environments feel scared to speak up against it…

I realize that Peterson has at times said things that I disagree with and might even find offensive. But I’m much more concerned with—and disgusted by—the endless stream of tendentious and dishonest articles from leftists critics that grab onto such statements and blow them out of proportion, while aggressively erasing everything else the man has ever said or done from the record.

We saw this left-wing smear machine in action just a few days ago. I highlighted an example from a debate in Toronto where Michael Dyson claimed Peterson was an example of white privilege and then called him a “mean, mad, white man” when Peterson dared to object. And that was only one of several possible examples I could have pointed to from that debate.

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