A Duke history professor allegedly suggested that conservatives and libertarians could be autistic for believing in those ideologies. Right-leaning students started a petition as a way to condemn her comments, considering the university had not condemned her comments.
Nancy MacLean, who teaches history at the university, gave a public lecture on February 7 on her book,Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, and where she discussed James Buchanan, a Nobel Prize-winning economist.
When asked by an audience member about conservative and libertarian ideologies and whether the likes of Buchanan are motivated by “personal greed” or “malevolence,” she allegedly said:
“It’s striking to me how many of the architects of this cause seem to be on the autism spectrum—you know, people who don’t feel solidarity or empathy with others, and who have difficult human relationships sometimes.”