Oh, boy. Former governor Jim Douglas is at it again, enthusiastically destroying what’s left of his reputation as a Nice Guy and a moderate Republican. He’s had a bee in his bonnet since 2021 about Middlebury College’s decision to remove the name “Mead” from what is now known as the Middlebury Chapel, the most prominent building on campus.
Douglas started complaining about this as soon as the name was changed in September 2021. In May 2022, he proclaimed loudly — in an essay not published in the Addy Indy or Rutland Herald or VTDigger but in the New York Sun, a conservative outlet that’s been described as having “a modest online presence” largely featuring opinion pieces — that he would not attend his 50th class reunion, so upset was he at the deMeadification of the chapel. At the time I called bullshit because…
Douglas may have skipped his class reunion, but he gave no indication that he would give up the “Executive in Residence” title he’s enjoyed at Middlebury since 2011, or that he would cease his part-time teaching role.
He still hasn’t given up his honorary or teaching roles, nor has he otherwise absented himself from campus activities, but now he’s filed suit against his employer and alma mater over the unMeading. Given the fact that he’s doing his best to turn Middlebury into a right-wing punching bag for its alleged embrace of “cancel culture,” it might just be time for the college to initiate a full separation on its own.
Obligatory First Amendment debunking. If Douglas did get canned, Middlebury would not be guilty of violating his free speech rights or “canceling” him. Douglas has every right to speak his mind. He does not have the right to avoid the consequences of his speech. I say this as someone who was once fired for using the word “dick” on Twitter.Continue reading