Defunding Campus Fascism
Fascism is not only alive and well in America, it is being actively nurtured on college campuses throughout the nation.
The University of California at Berkeley has now endured two riots, one to deny conservative firebrand Milo Yiannopolous from speaking, the other to disrupt a pro-Trump rally last weekend. The school also just canceled a speech by Ann Coulter over safety concerns. Violent protesters at Middlebury College blocked author Charles Murray from speaking, surrounded his car as he was leaving, and assaulted Middlebury professor Allison Stanger who was hospitalized as a result. “The War on Cops” author Heather Mac Donald was forced to give her talk at Claremont McKenna College via Livestream, after which she left through the kitchen into an unmarked police van, as per her pre-arranged “escape plan.”
On the other side, Fresno State professor Lars Maischak tweeted, “To save American democracy, Trump must hang. The sooner and the higher, the better. #TheResistance #DeathToFascism.” (“Death to fascism”? Talk about an utter lack of self-awareness.) Arizona State University professor Angeles Maldonado allowed her Global Politics of Human Rights class to organize an anti-Trump protest in lieu of taking a final exam. And an editorial in The Wellesley News — which insisted free speech is not violated at that college — nonetheless declared that “if people are given the resources to learn and either continue to speak hate speech or refuse to adapt their beliefs, then hostility may be warranted.”
As National Review’s David French explains, there is a method to the orchestrated madness. “On campus and in the streets, a violent or menacing core seizes the ground it wants, blocks access to buildings, and shuts down the speech or events it seeks to suppress,” he writes. “This violent core is often surrounded and protected by a larger group of ostensibly ‘peaceful’ protesters who sometimes cheer aggression wildly and then provide cover for the rioters, who melt back into the crowd. After the riot, the polite progressives condemn the violence, urge that it not distract from the alleged rightness of the underlying cause, and then do virtually nothing to enforce the law and punish the offenders.”
The Wellesley editorial epitomizes the ignorant self-righteousness that enables these marauders. “Wellesley is certainly not a place for racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, transphobia or any other type of discriminatory speech,” it states. “Shutting down rhetoric that undermines the existence and rights of others is not a violation of free speech; it is hate speech. The founding fathers put free speech in the Constitution as a way to protect the disenfranchised and to protect individual citizens from the power of the government. The spirit of free speech is to protect the suppressed, not to protect a free-for-all where anything is acceptable, no matter how hateful and damaging.”
This is colossally wrong. The founding fathers weren’t in support of free speech to protect individuals from the power of government, only to have some Ivory Tower grandees and their “disenfranchised” student collaborators censor, sometimes violently, anything they consider “hateful and damaging.” Even more appalling, their laundry list of “taboo” isms and phobias is nothing less than an effort to obliterate the First Amendment and replace it with Political Correctness.
It doesn’t get more fascist than that.
Trump assassin-promoting professor Maischak has apologized for his tweets — perhaps prompted by the reality that college President Joseph Castro alerted federal authorities to Maischak’s possibly law-breaking activities.
Yet he remains unhinged. “I do not intend to harm Mr. Trump, nor do I wish for anyone else to harm Mr. Trump by way of an assassination!” he stated. “I am, however, convinced, given the nature of his regime, that he will be held accountable for his crimes in a court, and that historical precedent suggests that a death sentence is inevitable, if democracy prevails.”
Claremont students are not content with running Mac Donald off campus. In a letter written to outgoing Pomona College president David Oxtoby, who had reminded students such efforts are inimical to “the discovery of truth,” three self-identified black students revealed they want objective truth itself eliminated. “Historically,” they write, “white supremacy has venerated the idea of objectivity, and wielded a dichotomy of ‘subjectivity vs. objectivity’ as a means of silencing oppressed peoples.”
Many Americans believe the election of Donald Trump dealt campus fascism a substantial rebuke, and what we’re seeing is the manifestation of a decaying ideology. Nothing could be further from the truth. American culture is moving inexorably leftward, driven in large part by the failure to confront this growing cancer on college campuses.
It’s a cancer decades in the making. National Review’s Stanley Kurtz divides it into four anti-speech waves that infected institutions of higher learning beginning more than 50 years ago. The first phase was the “Young Radicals” wave of the ‘60s when colleges began rejecting classical Western liberalism and embracing neo-Marxist ideas. It was followed by the “Long March” of the '80s when those '60s student radicals took up junior faculty positions. After that came the “Takeover” of the mid-'90s when older professors began retiring, and the juniors moved up, giving them control of the hiring process that ultimately produced an “intellectual monopoly of the Left” in many social science and humanity departments. The fourth wave, a.k.a. the “Transformed Generation,” is composed of Millennials who demand safe spaces, trigger warning and free speech zones.
Far more important, Kurtz notes the effort to counter this campus cancer is declining. “Top comedians and an unknowable number of conservative speakers now avoid college campuses,” he explains.
The problem goes far beyond college campuses. Most people avoid confrontation of any kind in any environment, much less confrontation that might result in one being labeled a bigot. Yet it is precisely this kind of “silent default” that further empowers progressive ideology, whose adherents remain smugly self-assured such silence is tantamount to victory.
Sadly, they are correct. Moreover, the playing field is tilted in their favor. Most Americans still believe the nation’s cultural concepts, traditions and morals are both self-explanatory and virtuous. Thus, they are completely unprepared for a progressive assault that holds many of those values in utter contempt. Values like marriage being reserved for members of the opposite sex, gender being tethered to biology — or objective truth being immutable.
College campuses are a great place to begin a counter-attack. As Kurtz so rightly envisions, “It is incumbent upon Congress to make the protection of First Amendment rights a prerequisite of its financial assistance to America’s colleges and universities.” He notes the Higher Education Act (HEA), first passed in 1965, is scheduled for reauthorization this year, and that the National Association of Scholars has created “Freedom to Learn” amendments aimed at re-instituting the free and open exchange of ideas on college campuses.
If colleges insist on remaining de facto leftist indoctrination centers? Let their alumni finance them. Student loan defaults? Make colleges partially liable for the $1.4 trillion in outstanding, taxpayer-guaranteed, student debt and see if they’re still willing to continue sending tuition costs skyrocketing — or continue funding exponentially expanding bureaucracies rife with diversity “experts” who manipulate race, sex and gender to justify the campus fascism they define as “social justice.”
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction,” stated Ronald Reagan.
It’s time the American taxpayer stopped underwriting that extinction.