I called it the political right because the author did. I call the “progressive” left” by that term, not because it is accurate (there is nothing progressive about it) but because that is the term most commonly understood to describe a mindset that has almost completely dominated academia for at least three decades.
And yes, it is a mindset that is demonstrably anti free speech, anti free expression and anti science. It is the mindset that has given birth to censorship, silencing, witch hunts against faculty staff who have been accused of “wrong think,” banning of speakers and “no platform” campaigns. It is a mindset of trigger warnings and safe spaces; and the concept of “protecting” people from controversial opinions or views that might make them feel uncomfortable. It is the very antithesis of what either good education or good science should be focusing on; and it holds a stifling grip on the western education system today. It also seems to have conquered most of the major media platforms across Western Europe and North America.
If your university is a “safe space” then you picked the wrong one, and your education system is betraying you by “protecting” you from being bombarded with opposing, controversial and discomforting views.
When a college campus can be brought to a standstill and students are demanding therapy sessions because of a word scrawled in chalk on a wall, then it is long past time to admit that this “progressivist” lunacy is seriously damaging your education system.
I am not sure why you bring up “Hidden Figures.” But I will go ahead and guess. The women involved were black. More cringe inducing identity politics which I suppose is “progressive” in some way. I don’t know much about the space program in my country, mostly because I never took much of an interest. But of course I do know about Yuri Gagarin. We tend to know about the main players. Yes its unfair. But its human. Such is life. It was after all the men like Yuri Gagarin and John Glenn who put their lives on the line, and I guess that is why they get a lot more attention than the armies of clever boffins on the ground.
Of course there must have been a lot of people working on the ground to put Gagarin in space. Nobody will ever make a movie about them. They too were “hidden figures.” I am sure some of them were from various minority groups too if that really matters. But the point is that until we become obsessed with this kind of divisive identity politics in Russia, we will probably not see any movies about them.
As for the right: I have no doubt that the right will try to control the narrative by any means at its disposal just like the left does. I personally believe that all ideology is poison. Anything that is grounded in blind faith is toxic and anything that seeks to deny truth or to redefine how we measure reality in favour of how we feel about it, is the enemy of knowledge and therefore the enemy of humanity. But right now, it is the left, not the right that is in the ascendency in acedemia. Whether or not that changes significantly under the new administration remains to be seen. If it does change then I can only hope that it does not swing too far in the other direction. I prefer a middle ground.