It's easy to create controversy by saying something that ignites a negative response in people linked in by social media. It's much more difficult to defend it.
One of the more interesting phenomena of this kind of controversy is brought to us by a very learned Canadian professor named Jordan Peterson.
I, only recently, discovered Dr. Jordan Peterson. (Kind of like when we discovered America. Neither was lost so saying "I discovered" is rather an arrogant statement. Please, forgive me. But you know writers; we like to think we have something unique to say.)
The controversy I mentioned has to do with how people project their interpretations of him onto what he says. For instance, he has been called a "Jewish shill" by some on the alt right and a veritable "Nazi" by some on the alt left.
In fact, he's a clinical psychologist, author, and professor with a special focus on personality trait theory, although he speaks with authority on other areas of the social sciences and humanities.
The ironic part of this phenomena is that while he campaigns against the ideological trances that possess us, his critics demonstrate how possessed they've become.
His clarity of thought and willingness to take on the tough issues publicly are impressive. To wit: his refusal to be legally bound to using alternative pronouns as is the law in Canada. His argument is that no government should be allowed to legislate what words we use.
I'm also impressed with his thoughtful distinctions on the issue of white male privilege and feminism. It's so refreshing to hear someone point out that political correctness has gone so far as to kill honest dialog for fear of offending some. And as he points out, the alternative is the death of real interchange and the polarity we see today in our national narrative.
To me, as a left leaning person, I think his most important contribution is his critical appraisal of the failure of the political left. He's right on target and it hurts, but he's correct.
To be clear, he claims the extreme right has drawn its right-most boundary line at racial superiority. It's verboten, although it may not seem so as reported by the mainstream media. But the left has failed to do the same by drawing its left-most boundary line. In my words, even though the left is so sectionalized it still believes that somehow, someway, some form of Neo Marxism can assure equal outcomes and not just equal opportunities. Add this to the relative moralism of post-modern thinking and you have a recipe for the left's failure.
I think the overarching lesson Dr. Peterson offers is for each of us to fully develop our personalities by being the best we can be, and not depending on any ideology for our point of view. In practical terms, telling young men that to be naturally masculine is toxic is just as bad as telling young women they're somehow limited because they're female.
We are not all created equal and we certainly don't have equal playing fields, but none the less we do have a conscious capacity to direct our lives and in doing so take responsibility for them. We are not our ideologies. We are the carriers and have the ability to shed them just as we would any other toxic relationship.
Don't depend on my assessments of Dr. Peterson. Look him up on YouTube.