Martin Center column highlights UVa furor over faculty hire

John Rosenberg writes for the Martin Center about the latest controversy at Mr. Jefferson’s university.

Unlike last August, however, when hundreds of white supremacists, many of them armed, descended upon what Jefferson called the “academical village” of Charlottesville, this year’s invading alien force consists of only one unarmed man, Marc Short. Until recently, Short was President Trump’s legislative director. He’s been offered a position at the Miller Center, an affiliate of UVa that specializes in studies of the presidency and public policy.

The reaction in the UVa community to Short’s hiring was fast and furious. A protest petition was immediately circulated—in just a few days signed by over 2,000 academical villagers.

Although the protesters detest everything about Trump, their white-hot outrage is reserved for Trump’s comments last August when, as Inside Higher Ed put it, he “infamously blamed” the violence at Charlottesville on both sides. In the view of the petition signers, the fact—and it is a fact—that violence clearly came from both sides does not absolve Trump and those who do not sufficiently repudiate him from the crime of claiming moral equivalence—that the violent alt-left (antifa) protesters were as bad as the alt-right protesters.

Both the ACLU of Virginia and the Los Angeles Times, among others, have shown that violence did indeed come from both sides, but to say that out loud in Charlottesville is to be branded a Trump-loving Deplorable.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...