Tag: Campus Protests

Robby Soave, senior editor at Reason magazine, author of 2019’s Panic Attack: Young Radicals in the Age of Trump, and someone who is (just) over 30, (finally) joins Young Americans to discuss whether the political activism of young people today, especially on campus, is uniquely dangerous and poised to spill out into the culture as a whole. (Also, some LOST references sneak in.)

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I wonder, with the direction things are going in on some campuses today, if parents will be rethinking where they send their kids to school. For what tuition costs families, why pay someone to churn out an angry, closed minded, insulated, safe-space obsessed, ungrateful young adult? There are enough ways they can learn that in today’s […]

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I’m aware this post is not as timely as it would have been last November, but I’m eager to hear the Ricochet community’s thoughts. Last November, a few campus rabble rousers across the country delivered a wakeup call: institutions of higher learning are not doing enough to atone for the largely racial sins of the […]

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On Patriarchs and Presidents with Feet of Clay

 

I’ll admit to mixed emotions about the protests against Woodrow Wilson at Princeton University. I first read about the racism of the former president (of both Princeton and the United States) in junior high in a piece claiming he endorsed the film Birth of a Nation as being “History written in lightning.” Though I subsequently learned that the quote is dubious, Wilson’s favorable writings about the Ku Klux Klan were not, nor was his work to promote segregation in the federal government and in the armed services.

Seeing a man formerly considered a hero of liberals and the Democratic Party torn from a podium of honor like communist statues after the fall of the Wall has its appeal for me. But another part of me — a better part, I think — sees the foolishness of a cultural revolution to purify unpleasant history from our presence. I think a healthy perspective comes from my faith and knowledge of Scripture.

The Truth About Relativism, and the Neopuritans on Campus

 

shutterstock_238305598Just as the sacraments are an outward and visible sign of inward and spiritual grace, so is irrational activism an obnoxious and virulent sign of inner spiritual torment. Rational activism is sober, respectful, and seeks to convince; the irrational activism we’re seeing today is meant partly to intimidate and mostly to make the activists feel better about themselves. Today’s college students are among the most privileged people in human history, which is perhaps why they regularly command others to check their privilege. A century ago — when the finest colleges were the preserve of white gentile men — the most privileged Yale man had neither smart phone nor Google. He lacked million dollar sports facilities and the Internet. But he had something that today’s students lack: a confident faculty that had the discipline to impress thousands of years of civilization into their students’ souls, transforming them from children into adults.

Childhood should be a time of play, and we regularly make exceptions for children’s misbehavior that we wouldn’t tolerate in adults. That means that we don’t call the cops when a two year old has a temper tantrum in the grocery store or when ten year olds scuffle and wind up with bloody noses. But we do call the cops when twenty-year-olds behave thus. It’s only natural for children to want to stay in the Edenic state of freedom from responsibility. But it’s the job of their parents to see that children learn that only with responsibility comes any measure of freedom. And it is the job of the university to continue this civilizing process with a liberal education: making citizens fit for liberty. By infantilizing their students, the universities have failed in their duty.

It is fair to compare the protesting students to spoiled children because spoiled children are rarely so happy as those with loving but strict parents. By surrendering to the unreasoning whims of their loudest and least rational students, the colleges are flunking. Indeed, they’re like the uncle who gives visiting children nothing to eat but candy and then sends the children home to their unsuspecting parents. Only in this case, the country at large is the parents, and we know all too well what’s going on.