I’m still not quite sure he knew who he was getting himself into an interview with, but somehow I obtained an appointment with the prominent professor.
I arrived precisely on time, being well aware of his propensity to get upset and call names when facing unpleasant circumstances.
The golden plaque on his door spelled out his distinguished name, Professor P. C. Doublespeak. I stared at it a moment before knocking, wondering how he had managed to end up with such a fantastic name.
He opened the door, glanced me over rather suspiciously, and with a grunt motioned for me to come in. His office was neat, smelled of old books, and was lined with well-stocked bookshelves.
Seeking to establish common ground right away, I gestured toward the handsome book cases and began cordially, “You are a bookworm, Professor?”
Heavily seating himself behind his cluttered desk, his eyes narrowed and he answered, “That is a racial insult—I cannot tolerate such racist remarks on this proudly diverse campus.”
“I apologize,” I offered hastily, searching my mind for any clue as to the discriminatory nature of the word I had grown up with.
Bookworm. Well! Who knew? Another word to eliminate from my vocabulary, I thought. I learn something new every day as a journalist!
At the same time, I took the seat he graciously offered and cocked my head, attempting to read the titles of some of his volumes. I restrained a gasp when I saw Marx’s Das Kapital, directly next to The Communist Manifesto. My eyes fell upon another shelf and seeing an entire collection under the name of Lenin, I read such titles as What Is To Be Done?, The State And Revolution, and On the Great October Socialist Revolution. On yet another shelf I saw the enormous tome Tragedy & Hope—a work by a professor of another era.
“He studies the philosophy and strategy of the enemy,” I thought with new respect. “This will be more interesting than I thought.”
I was right.
I opened my enormous flip pad and pulled out my good, old-fashioned wooden pencil.
“Thank you for giving me some of your time,” I began pleasantly; “I know you are extremely busy and I appreciate this opportunity to give our readers a chance to hear from you.”
I arranged my papers and launched right into the substance of the interview, since it appeared he had nothing to say in reply except for his grunt of acknowledgement.
“Professor, what’s the number one worst thing going wrong today?” I asked, idly flipping my pencil between my fingers.
“As I always tell my students, there are too many things going wrong,” he replied, adjusting his spectacles ceremoniously.
I thought he looked actually pleased for the first time since I had walked inside—now that he had a chance to rant against the evils of the world. He himself looked as though he had been heavily affected by the world’s woes and burdens.
He sounded as if he was reciting an official report of What’s Wrong With the World. “The president is the most insane president since Calvin Coolidge, people are too intolerant, the earth continues to warm at alarming rates, glaciers are melting, animals are dying, poor people are getting poorer and rich folks are getting richer, people are abandoning progress and reverting to Stone Age isolationism—and then, of course, racism is rampant.” I thought I saw a severe gleam in his eye as he mentioned that last concern.
Hurriedly I scrawled down his main concerns, privately amazed at what he found most alarming. It was not, I confess, what I had quite expected from so eminent and informed a citizen.
“Define intolerance for me, please,” I said. “There’s much talk of it and it would be helpful to know clearly what you mean by it.”
“It’s being intolerant of other people or their beliefs, of course,” he answered, professing shock at my childish ignorance. “It has become a major problem in recent years particularly. Religionists seek to force their dogma on individuals who simply seek to live their lives free of religion. Do you know how difficult it is for a science-believer to be accepted and successful in a community of militant Christians?”
“Are you, then, a non-believer, Professor?” I asked, unable to conceal my shock.
“I am a firm believer in science and reality,” he retorted. “I refuse to engage in fanciful speculations about things we cannot observe.”
He pointed to a dull, colorless poster hanging on the wall. “Only when religion becomes tolerant can the world have true peace. It’s one of the most important things I teach my students.”
Surprised and rather dismayed, I moved on with the interview, determined to continue listening with an open mind.
“So climate change is a main concern of yours?” I asked. “What do you think we should do about it?”
“The present Administration has been aggressively pursuing the destruction of Mother Earth, which is nothing but suicidal,” he said, his jaw tightening. “I feel very strongly about responsible action to ensure a clean, inhabitable earth for future generations.
“We need to take measures to combat climate change and stop anthropogenic global warming. Sustainable energy is a must, government oversight is a must, global cooperation is a must . . .”
I failed to notice that I had ceased either writing or listening and had instead begun examining a stack of papers on his desk, bound with a green paper clip, sitting next to an organic granola bar. The cover page read, The Case for Socialism – Justice, Equality, and the War to Overcome Prejudice.
“Well?” he barked, abruptly interrupting my thoughts.
I cleared my throat somewhat nervously and pretended to finish taking a few remaining notes. This interview had turned out to be an intensely uncomfortable one.
“What are your views on socialism?” I asked, throwing in a question not on my list to satisfy my own curiosity.
“It is the philosophy of our time,” he answered brazenly. “It is the only hope of mankind. Only when we overthrow the oppression of the bourgeoisie and institute a new order for humanity can we enjoy true equality, tolerance, and security.”
“Professor, that sounds more like Marx,” I protested in growing alarm. “Surely you don’t believe in the ideology of The Communist Manifesto? The Bolshevik Revolution? Mao Tse-tung?”
“Well . . .” he hesitated at first, fingering a heap of student papers on his desk, “some argue that Lenin and Mao came across too strongly—too zealous—but their intentions were pure. They recognized the sacrifice was worth the long-term benefit to humanity. I believe we need more of that kind of dedication today to save us from the regressive policies of the Right.”
Astounded, I twiddled my pencil and let his words sink in more fully. Seriously? An American professor promoting twentieth century Communism? What about Communism’s demise?
He wasn’t through yet, however.
“Socialism for America is not enough. Once we’ve succeeded in making our own nation a truly equal society, where the individual gives up his own preferences and beliefs for the good of the community, we’ll share the success. We are morally bound to give progress, socialism, and equality to the oppressed peoples of the world.”
“But, Professor,” I argued, “isn’t that a little bit tyrannical? Forcing our system of government on other countries? I thought you were opposed to the Right imposing capitalism on unwilling nations. I’m afraid I don’t quite follow your line of reasoning.”
His eyes flashed dangerously. “Worldwide socialism will be a boon to all of us,” he carefully evaded my question, at the same time trying to employ his legendary ability to intimidate into silence. “In the long run, humanity will thank revolutionaries like us for bringing them into it—against their will, even—until they have been released from the bourgeoisie deception and experience true freedom and equality.”
“US?” I repeated in disbelief. “‘Humanity will thank revolutionaries like ‘us’? Professor, surely you don’t mean to say you are actively working toward world communism, do you?” I was almost beside myself with the discovery. The man behind the intellectual mask was quite a shocking one indeed.
“Why, how else would I help the cause—inactively?” he glared, his voice rising. “It’s young folks like you who now stand between us and Utopia! Let me guess—you were homeschooled and you learned all about God, guns, and country.” I nodded. In spite of all else, his perception was amazingly keen. “Socialism will never work until your kind are reeducated in the essentials!” he boomed with flaming eyes.
He regained his composure and took a deep breath. With great dignity he said quietly, significantly, “I recommend you start by going to college.”
I stared into space and nodded silently as I mentally began to connect the dots. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of thinking aloud.
“So,” I mused, “I go to college and get reeducated and learn how bad America is, how good socialism is, how to stop global warming, how to become a traitor to my country without being punished as such, how to be a ‘useful idiot’. . .” my voice trailed off as I snapped back to reality and suddenly realized with dismay that I was actually speaking out loud.
Glancing over at him and seeing the vehement look on his face, I decided the interview was over and rapidly rose, just barely remembering to grab my note pad as I headed out.
As he pursued me to the door, I turned around and asked just one more question.
“By the way, Professor,” I said, stepping into the hall and keeping one foot just enough inside the door to prevent him from closing it. “Would you mind sharing your name? As I’m sure you are well aware, we know what Doublespeak means, but many of us have been wondering what the initials P. C. stand for. You would dispel a lot of speculations by . . .”
He cut me off with an impatient flourish for me to remove my foot from hindering the closing of the door. “Be gone!” he roared, and the door slammed shut.
I seated myself on the closest bench in the hall and rapidly took down all the notes I had neglected to record while inside, realizing with a thrill how excited Mr. Bland would be to receive my explosive story. I hadn’t ever seen anything like it in my life—no one must know the truth about Professor Doublespeak or the universities or their secret push for communism! I thought naively.
I was literally on the edge of my seat as I drove back to work and burst into the office of my supervisor.
“I have the biggest story of the century, Mr. Bland!” I announced with all the zeal and confidence of a novice journalist who has not gone to college to learn journalism and is instead learning as-they-go.
He turned to face me, swinging around in his chair.
“Well, what is it?” he asked with trademark complacency.
“Here’s my notes from the interview with Professor P. C. Doublespeak,” I answered, proudly thrusting my big yellow pad forward.
He rapidly scanned it as I told him the abbreviated story.
“Communism, socialism, global warming, universities, bourgeoisie, reeducation—it’s all there, Mr. Bland!”
“I don’t think we’ll be able to print it,” he informed me laconically, pushing it aside.
“Whyever not?!” I demanded, hardly able to believe my ears. “This is news like you’ve never heard! A journalist’s dream—we have a plot, secrecy, evidence, significance . . . what a story! What else could you want?!”
“It’s unsuitable for our readership base. Thank you for your effort. I think I shall enroll you in the Progressive Journalism course after all,” he said blandly.
“Why is it unsuitable?” I insisted, wondering if I had somehow misunderstood the Professor and botched the interview.
“When presented with items of this kind, we are told they are baseless, discredited, and lacking either proof or importance,” he stated, swinging around in his chair to face his computer once more.
As I retreated in a state of mental disarray, I could hear Mr. Bland’s fingers pounding on his keyboard again. I was more perplexed than before. It was the most confusing day I could remember.
I have since decided not to seek interviews with Professors, Liberals, Globalists, or PC Police, figuring my time would be better spent elsewhere.