Florida’s reputation for providing news of the weird is certainly not something that is likely to go away anytime soon, and at times I feel honor-bound to discuss odd news that comes out of the area I long called home . So, here is the story. A University of Tampa assistant professor claims that Texas’ suffering as a result of Hurricane Harvey is karma for having voted for Trump in the 2016 election. His tweet goes viral in a bad way, and before too long he is now an ex-professor. As might be expected with any news that comes with political baggage, and that is just about any news these days, sadly, opinion is sharply divided on what happened. Those who just last week were arguing that there is no right for free speech when it comes to defending statues of long-dead slaveowners are now in the awkward position of arguing that there is freedom of speech when it comes to wishing harm on people for their political views who are still alive. One wonders whether any of those fine defenders of our freedoms are aware of what hypocrisy means, or that they are massive hypocrites, but let us be merciful in the knowledge that we need mercy ourselves.
My obvious takeaway from this comment is to wonder just how aware this former sociology professor was about the electoral map of the 2016 election. Texas, to be sure, did vote Republican this past year as it generally has over the past few election cycles. So did a lot of other states, though, like Florida, where the University of Tampa is located. Wishing harm on areas because they are in states that voted for Trump is not something that makes sense when one lives on the Gulf Coast of a state that voted for Trump. One wonders just how geographically literate this liberal is. Would he still feel it was instant karma if, perish the thought, some massive hurricane developed in the gulf and came through Tampa Bay and dumped four feet of rain on my old stomping grounds? I doubt he would be so quick to argue that the flooding of his home was bad karma. Hopefully he would be more interested in helping his neighbors to recover from the storm than to view as if the misfortunes of storms came about because of who one voted for in an election. Perhaps he, and those who think like him, really don’t care about people but only wish to throw shade on those who disagree with them, however little logical sense it makes when the same standard is applied to them and their own situation.
There is one element of this story, though, that is karma, but it is not a way that the ex-professor of sociology would likely appreciate. For a long time it has not been kosher to be a conservative on many college campuses. If you are a conservative, even of a fairly moderate kind, and you are a public figure, you can expect a great deal of hostility. Even, for example, celebrating the victory of a moderate Republican president like George W. Bush in a university can bring mobs of liberal haters seeking to dish out violence, as happened to me as an undergraduate student in Los Angeles thank to some gloating by my roommate at the time. These same bullies, though, turn into defenders of the freedom of speech when it comes to freedom of speech for them and their associates. The same sort of regime of censorship and abuse that has been dished out by progressives on college campuses is karmic when it is dished out to progressives who make hateful comments and vainly plead free speech to prevent them from suffering any repercussions for their folly. What is good for one side of the political spectrum is good for the other. If we cannot have freedom for all, we should at least have self-censorship for all so that everyone is equally punished when speaking hatred towards anyone else.
I must note that I am not a believer in karma, at least not as it is so described. I am a believer in cosmic justice, but not necessarily a believer that the justice is swift or that it will happen this side of the judgment. To be sure, the karmic justice administered to the now unemployed assistant professor was fast and it was just. That said, as progressives tend to take care of their own, there will likely be some other job waiting for this sad martyr, and he will likely be able to find tenure and continue his message of hate for those who are of a different political worldview than he is. Barring some painful personal reflection and repentance–and those are precious and rare commodities on the political left of this or any nation–it is unlikely, though, that the professor has learned his lesson, as that would require that he respects others as he wishes to be respected, and if he practiced the golden rule he would not be a hatemonger as he is.
 See, for example: