By Andy Joppa
In 2016, while watching the Sanders-Clinton debates with a group of friends and casual acquaintances, the topic of affirmative action came up…arising, somewhat spontaneously, from the debates themselves. While I am constitutionally against affirmative action in its current form, I offered to one of my new contacts, who happened to be a young millennial woman with a PhD in psychology, that many Conservatives could at least consider the possibility of economic affirmative action.
That is, we thought it absurd that the son of an African American millionaire should be given a step up as compared to the son of an impoverished West Virginia coal miner. While not necessarily advocating for any other position, it seemed to be the more reasonable way to approach any concept of affirmative action. My millennial friend offered that she could not possibly accept economic affirmative action as compared to the current model; one built essentially around racial definition. I asked, “could you even consider the idea of making affirmative action something more applicable to people with unique needs, rather than merely using a racial identifier?” … She said, “no, I could not give that any credibility.”
In the hope of seeking some possible compromise, I offered, “Could you accept economic affirmative action as having a 50% credibility? Once again, she said, “no.” I was getting nowhere. But I continued and took this all the way down to 3% credibility and she still said, “no.”
However, at that point, she made a completely clarifying, and revealing, statement. She offered that she was just not emotionally equipped to handle a rejection of the current affirmative action model. Amazingly, a young woman in her 30s, with a PhD in psychology, working as a prominent academic psychologist, could not emotionally accept the idea of economic affirmative action. While it certainly struck me as peculiar, in retrospect, I can see, at that moment, she let me access the major dilemma derived from Progressive political actions.
She exposed an essential issue that I had not fully understood. She was not able to consider a new idea that was in variance from what she believed; one that had been drummed into her head from the time she was a young child. I have subsequently learned that that process can be described as a phobia, the fear of new ideas, in this case it is called ideophobia. My PhD friend wasn’t making a choice; she was functioning within a phobic compulsion.
Ideophobia is the morbid fear of new ideas or thoughts. In its clearest sense, ideophobia’s definition is as follows: The fear of ideas is an anxiety disorder characterized by new ideas or a general distrust or irrational fear of a new thought. People living with this fear are not open to new ideas or suggestions. They like living in their comfort zone. Try as they might-they are unable to get rid of the phobia. Statistically, the most prone to this phobia are women (66%) and millennials (44%).
Someone suffering from ideophobia will be may find themselves avoiding that which they fear. They may take this to the extreme by ensuring that they cannot be exposed to ideas in any way; for example, someone with this condition may refuse to listen to other people’s ideas regardless of how beneficial it may be to them. We’ve seen this manifest a countless number of times on college campuses where conservative speakers are shouted down…or worse.
Children are more likely to develop this fear since they are impressionable and more likely to believe what they are told. However, in some cases, the phobia can be overcome as one grows older. In other cases the phobia persists into adulthood. This persistence into adulthood is now becoming more and more the norm as the causal stimuli for its existence have become more prominent in their adult development.
What had previously been primarily a phobia of childhood, has now become an affliction suffered by most Leftists under the age of forty…especially young women. For those so afflicted, simply thinking of new ideas can make the person feel woozy and panicky. Think of the Javits Convention Center after the defeat of Hillary Clinton. We watched an emotional breakdown of the highest order. It all began to sound and look more and more like my young friend and affirmative action.
The question must be asked, however, as to why so many young Americans are apparently afflicted with this phobia? After all, many have been raised in homes with highly educated and successful parents, have gone to the best preparatory schools and, subsequently, into the best universities. These factors, rather than being aides to the acceptance of new ideas have, in fact, become the major causes as to their very existence. From the time a child can process ideas in any rational form, their own ideas are constrained and defined by the same forces. Any ideas outside of these forces are rejected and stifled.
Historically, an American child would grow up in a world of ideas built around concepts that suggested individual flexibility; for example, the rights of the individual. There was a sense of their own personal worth; worth not defined by its adherence to group norms. Their current world, however, has been a collective world in which ideas only have meaning, only have value, if they are in some way supported by the collective. Ideas that are introduced post that process are alien and are to be rejected …without consideration. These, in fact, are the new ideas that generate the onset of ideophobia.
As they get older there is constant reinforcement of the same ideas from their friends, educational institutions, the media, and at this point. social media. Many of these developing minds have scarcely ever been challenged by a contrarian idea or viewpoint. They not only reject them, but they find them to be objects of fear and repugnance; thoughts that in some way are so disruptive to their norm and the limited world they’ve created around them, that they enter that emotional state that was demonstrated by my millennial acquaintance.
A German child in 1940 could not have had a Jew sitting at their dinner table without becoming nauseous. A Muslim cannot think of eating pork without losing their stomach. In a like manner, most of our millennials cannot even consider ideas from the Right without comparable physical and emotional reactions. They are, of course, to be pitied. More importantly, at this moment, we must be protected from the damaging influence they exert over our culture…an influence that creates many more…just like them.
The young are no longer only those effected…but those that effect. They are now the cultural ruling class and have become teachers in our universities where the ethos of the academy has changed, evolved. What drove the change was the growing contempt for our civilization. To the Left, ideas defending our great civilization are heinous and they are ignored or attacked without assessment.
Any attempt to “pushback” against this ethos is met, not with intellectual challenge but, rather, with emotional tirades emanating from the very essence of their being. They are deeply disturbed, and they are contagious. It is extremely dubious that we can escape from our children…of any age.