Flipping through the latest Alumni Review I found a gem from Prof. John Limon:
Explaining why liberal comedians’ jokes out-numbered those of conservatives in the run-up to Election Day, John Limon, the John J. Gibson Professor English, says in teh Oct. 20 Boston Globe: “A joke has to feel like it’s overcoming some kind of norm, some kind of inhibition. … I think Republicans are always better at norms and inhibitions than Democrats.”
First of all, let’s assume it’s the editors of the Alumni Review who made the common error of conflating conservativism and Republicanism. The two are far from the same as any conservative disgusted with No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, bailouts, or huge increases to the budgets of every alphabet soup department/agency known to man would be happy to tell you.
But what about Limon’s claim that Republicans are better at norms and inhibitions than Democrats? That’s some good comedy.
Democrats and Republicans both have their norms and inhibitions. It’s just not acceptable at Williams, or with the audience of The Daily Show, to mock political correctness run amok, question Sisyphusian diversity goals, or believe that the challenges our nation faces are so grave that merely electing Obama is not enough to solve them.
The double standards in discourse at a place like Williams are pretty stunning, as I wrote 4 years ago in the Washington Times. David Horowitz paying to place an ad in the Record “subtly censored” members of the Williams Community, but when Hamilton College gave Ward Churchill a university platform to speak from it was part of a commitment to the “free exchange of ideas.” There’s a whole host of norms and inhibitions that exist among Democrats, Liberals, or Ephs. Prof. Limon just finds them less humorous that he does Joe the Plumber.
As for why more jokes are made about Republicans than Democrats? Seems to me that a party who has held either the Presidency or Congress for 26 of the last 28 years is a pretty easy — and in many ways justified — target. And, as the writers of 24 can tell you, the Left is pretty good at subtly censoring voices it finds offensive. And, if subtle censorship doesn’t work, there’s always the Fairness Doctrine to fall back on.