Last night I appeared “On the Record” with Greta Von Susteren to discuss the commencement speaker cancellations due to student protests — the most recent being International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, canceling her speech at Smith College.What is happening at our American colleges and universities? It truly seems a small group of intolerant, spoiled fascists are getting the upper hand. Once upon a time, these institutions of higher learning were places for serious intellectual discourse and exchange. However, today it seems there can only be one perspective — far Left liberal progressive — and all else is shunned, if not actually denigrated.
Recently, I spoke at DePaul University on the subject of the Middle East and Israel, as I reported here. I was looking forward to an exchange on the topic since I had read that a group there was pushing for the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) agenda against Israel.At the beginning of the presentation, I saw about 30 or so dissenters, disengaged. But at the proper stroke of the clock, they all arose and went outside to protest. What lesson did these children learn? They looked like pouty little cowards who had no desire to learn, let alone be challenged.
Unfortunately we seem to be allowing a generation of what Vladimir Lenin termed “useful idiots” to be harvested on our college and university campuses. But what is more distressing is that the adults — at least the rational ones – don’t seem to be in charge anymore.
Consider the case at Brandeis University with Ayaan Hirsi Ali and how that school’s administration cowered in the face of being confronted by an Islamist organization, the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Instead of making a stand, they acquiesced and CAIR sent out victory fundraising letters and the children (hardly to be called students) were rewarded by getting their way — Pavlovian indeed and they’ll go on believing this form of arrested development works.I recall the despicable treatment given to General David Petraeus and former NYC Police Chief Ray Kelly on college campuses. That abject disrespect and gall of these unappreciative gremlins was unconscionable.
Of course in America, we always want to cast blame somewhere. Well, the blame has to be cast upon the adults. Are we witnessing The Death of the Grown-up as Diana West wrote in her book? Are we seeing a complete abdication of the roles and responsibility of being a disciplinarian and leader? If we don’t get control over what is happening on our college and university campuses, promoted by radical professors masquerading as adults, then what happens in the future for our Republic? If we’re only raising perpetual children who yell, scream, pout, and froth at the mouth to get their way, who will lead?
If we continue to allow small, loud, and intolerant groups dictate discourse in America, what happens to our ability to address issues by hearing all sides of a solution? Last night Greta told me to not hold my breath in believing that university presidents will take control of these situations and be adults – that’s quite disconcerting.There must be free speech, freedom of expression and the right to petition our government for redress of grievances. But what we are experiencing is something totally different: it is the complete shutdown of any dissenting viewpoints. Quite un-American and quite totalitarian.
When the other side has to resort to name-calling, you’ve won the debate. And when people scream and yell to shut down your voice, it’s because of their lack of intellectual rigor masquerading their fear.
I hope these young people will come to realize how it works in the real world. When your boss doesn’t give you want you want and you throw a hissy fit, some really big fellas called “security” will carry you out and your briefcase will follow. Sadly, too many parents – the adults – aren’t teaching this lesson early on.