- The Washington Times - Friday, August 10, 2018

A new piece by The Atlantic purports to explain why the popularity of clinical psychologist Jordan B. Peterson has become an obsession for critics: His “stardom is evidence that leftism is on the decline — and deeply vulnerable.”

The bestselling author of “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos” has spent the past year staring down protests on college campuses, enraging the Durham city council and confounding British journalist Cathy Newman. The Atlantic’s Caitlin Flanagan says efforts to “unperson” him are underway because he is influencing young people as an intellectual “kryptonite to identity politics.”

“The left, while it currently seems ascendant in our houses of culture and art, has in fact entered its decadent late phase, and it is deeply vulnerable,” the contributing editor wrote Thursday. “The left is afraid not of Peterson, but of the ideas he promotes, which are completely inconsistent with identity politics of any kind.”

Ms. Flanagan noted that the University of Toronto professor’s book has been a runaway success with scant assistance from “the classic morning shows” like “CBS This Morning” and “Good Morning America.”

“It seemed that the book did not need the anointing oils of the ‘Today’ show,” she wrote.

The op-ed adds that podcast star Joe Rogan, classical liberal Dave Rubin of YouTube, Mr. Peterson and others are providing college students with a “parallel curriculum” that cannot be stopped by administrators.

“[It’s happening] right under the noses of the people who were delivering their official educations,” she wrote.

“When even Barack Obama, the poet laureate of identity politics, is moved to issue a message to the faithful, hinting that that they could be tipping their hand on all of this — saying during a speech he delivered in South Africa that a culture is at a dead end when it decides someone has no ‘standing to speak’ if he is a white man — and when even this mayday is ignored, the doomsday clock ticks ever closer to the end,” Ms. Flanagan added.

Mr. Peterson’s “12 Rules for Life” book tour will return to the U.S. on Wednesday, Sept. 5 in Rochester, New York.

Scheduled events for September include stops in Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio and Michigan.


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