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A planned speech by Milo Yiannopoulos, the controversial British conservative and tech editor for Breitbart, has been shut down by a violent mob of leftist protesters-cum-rioters who turned UC Berkley into their own version of Lord of the Flies.
Citing Milo’s allegedly fascist ideology as justification, they swarmed across campus, hurling stones, pepper spraying peaceful bystanders, setting fires, and just generally behaving like a pack of unruly thugs, until the police canceled the speaking event for fear of further unrest and violence.
Once again, the regressive left have demonstrated their unmitigated contempt for the basic principles of true liberalism. Instead of responding to Milo’s ideas – whether good or bad is immaterial – with ideas of their own, they have resorted to the very kind of “fascist” tactics they claim to oppose. Their behavior could have been scarcely more ironic if they had donned neatly pressed brown shirts instead of their characteristic red and black rags.
This troubling and reactionary trend within the American left and the university system specifically evinces a deeply dysfunctional mindset where emotions trump ideas, freedom from offense takes precedence over freedom of speech, and rational discourse gives way to mindless chanting, sloganeering, and outright thuggery. Of all the varying factions that can be found within the American political milieu, the radical left is quickly becoming the most dangerous to intellectual freedom. And that’s quite the accomplishment when one considers the multitude of authoritarians that can be found within that context.
Even more troubling is what this portends for the future of American politics and culture generally. Eventually, these grown babies will leave their safe spaces on college campuses and venture out into the real world, bringing their noxious mentality with them like mishandled baggage.
They will demand, as they already do, the most excruciating accommodations in an attempt to mold every environment to their personal satisfaction and caprice. They will try to turn America’s offices into suffocating environments where everyone walks on eggshells for fear of violating some arbitrary “social justice” dogma; they will try to turn America’s social scene into an increasingly cloistered and sectionalized set of echo chambers where fun and experiences take a back seat to sermonizing and politics; but worst of all, they will try to seize the political system in an attempt to leverage its police powers for their own selfish and egotistical ends. Naturally, their first order of business will be to deal with that pesky First Amendment.
Yet these wannabe revolutionaries should take care. As for now, their opposition (re: reasonable people) are content to remain on the sidelines for now, there may come a time when these malcontents strain the tolerance of civilized society beyond its limits. In other words, people aren’t going to let their basic rights be threatened forever. Eventually, they will feel compelled to respond in kind, except when they do, it won’t be with pepper spray and baseball bats.
Do not mistake that last part as a call for violence. After all, I’m not a leftist. I prefer to resolve disputes the old fashioned way, with reason and persuasion. However, peaceful people can only take so much before they start pushing back – that is just a fact. What I fear will happen is these protests and riots go too far and some innocent person gets killed. After that, there won’t be any going back. The lines will have been drawn and people will start choosing sides and what comes after that is anyone’s guess.
Ironically enough, there is a way to sooth tensions and avoid such an eventuality, but the dysfunctional mindset that has produced this problem precludes the only nonviolent solution. In other words, how can opposing sides reach a reasonable compromise when one side despises the idea of peaceful dialog?
So it appears America is entering a new stage of instability from which it is unlikely to recover. The “union” at the heart of the US political system seems to be coming apart at the seams in the wake of Trump’s victory, with various factions throughout the country becoming increasingly distant, suspicious, and hateful towards one another. The only question that remains now is: What will be the spark that ignites this political powder keg?
UPDATE: 2/2/2017 10:00 EST
Adding to the already tumultuous situation, President Donald Trump has come out, via Twitter, claiming to full federal funds from UC Berkley over their violent protests.
If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017
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