Thirty years ago, conservative graduate students and the (shamefully few) conservative professors willing to pull the binky of tenure out of their mouths tried to warn others about the outrageous behavior of leftists on college campuses. But the hard Left was already in the end zone of their takeover of higher education. Once they finished purging scholars who didn’t march in lockstep with them, they turned to attacking students who failed to conform to their ever-more-extremist agenda and demands.
We lost the fight for intellectual freedom in higher education decades ago. It could be said that we didn’t even fight very hard for it. Careerist Republicans and conservatives kicked the culture war can down the road until they were the only ones left and the mobs came for them.
Now it is finally becoming apparent that K – 12 education is in even worse shape than higher education and has been so for longer. While conservatives focus much of their belated attention on speakers being banned from college campuses, the hard Left continues its 45-year, scorched-earth march through the kindergartens. Teacher-training schools preparing elementary and secondary school teachers are arguably the most leftist institutions in America today, and, again, we haven’t even begun to fight for their de-politicization.
And the fight has spread beyond schools. With violent assaults on people wearing Trump hats and assassinations of police and elected officials (greeted with cheers from the Left), we need a movement to fight their movement.
Unfortunately, the only people currently organized for that fight are the silly fringe of anti-antifa activists like Gavin McInnes. McInnes is a hilarious writer, but he has the politics of a silly straw and the morality of a man who makes extremely graphic videos about how to urinate in public. And those are the very least salacious aspects of his career.
McInnes is currently heading up a single-digit army of quasi-libertarian, quasi-street fighters who believe that the best strategy for addressing leftist violence is to fight back. Physically. Using fists. This is a very bad and also very useless idea, but it is precisely the sort of behavior the mainstream media wants to project onto conservatives and Republicans, so it is getting outsized attention.
It ought to go without saying, but fighting back using fists changes the story from “leftist violence” to “street brawl.” And not only does nobody care who starts a street brawl, but brawling a very stupid strategy for winning hearts and minds when 99 percent of the media is in the bag for leftists, even violent ones. If you fight back at all, you’re likely to be called the perpetrator even if you aren’t the perpetrator.
Besides, this isn’t Thursday night outside CBGB’s. It is an existential battle for the culture and soul of our nation. You can “win” a thousand fistfights and still win nothing.
In reality, McInnes’ so-called “Proud Boy” fighting libertarian movement exists mainly in McInnes’ head and outside pizza parlors in hipster neighborhoods where people have to simultaneously translate each other’s tattoos to figure out which camp they belong to before they start swinging. But in the absence of any other type of coordinated response to leftist violence, this silliness threatens to represent all of us.
We need a different movement.
We need a nonviolent movement that dares to go where fistfights can’t go: onto the college campuses where professors turn their classrooms into re-education camps and into the streets where leftist rioters and their useful idiots from the underclass are burning things down.
It takes courage and discipline to commit to nonviolent protest. With the exception of a few knuckleheads like the people who interrupted the “assassinate Trump” version of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in Central Park (a useless gesture), I’m not worried that conservatives and Republicans have that courage and that discipline. All of our protests to date have been nonviolent, regardless of the media’s lies.
What I’m worried about is whether we have the time. The armies of the Left are made up of non-working students, paid operatives, rent-seeking welfare consumers, underclass denizens hired by the hour, and schoolteachers and professors using our tax dollars and classrooms to disseminate their radical politics. They have all the time in the world to protest, and they also have the resources to train their followers in the art of protesting effectively.
Conservatives, in contrast, have stuff like jobs and families. We have bills to pay and churches to attend. We have civilization to maintain and lawns that need mowing.
Protesting leftist violence and academic militancy is different from staging a single protest for a candidate or against a policy. It is bearing witness, and it requires a constant, disciplined presence.
But we’ve reached the point where it is necessary to bear that constant witness. Let’s make sure we do it right. And, on college campuses, at least, I believe there is a critical mass of students who would appreciate the chance to peacefully stand up to the chaos and leftism threatening them every day.