Bill Kristol hosts a interesting, long-format interview series (and podcast). Listening to archive episodes, I found this gem where he asks Robert P. George how graduate students and low-level faculty should conduct themselves in higher education –especially given how hostile it has become for some:
In addition to his thoughtful, even pastoral, note about the health risks associated with secret opinions, he also notes that speaking up is the point of the gig:
If you’re not going to say what you think. If you’re not going to reveal the content of the beliefs that you, through your rational inquiry, have arrived at, then, my goodness, there are lots of other things that you could do with your life. You could –the insurance business is a great business. You know, you could sell cars. You can practice medicine. There are lots of things that you could do where you’re not required, as part of the enterprise itself, to say what you think. But if you’re going to be in academic life, you should say what you think.
That’s an interesting bit of advise because I think, to a lot of us, we think we need to earn the right to speak. But upon reflection, speaking up is something you learn more than something you earn. And if it’s been learned well, it’s been well earned.