The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Don’t Say Nobody Tried to Warn You

Posted on | April 1, 2019 | Comments Off on Don’t Say Nobody Tried to Warn You


Gosh, who could have possibly foreseen this?

Students at Hofstra University protested a statue of Thomas Jefferson on Friday at the second annual event, titled “Jefferson Has Gotta Go!”
The statue has been the center of controversy on the campus and has been defaced with “DECOLONIZE” and “Black Lives Matter” signs and stickers. According to a media advisory sent by the Jefferson Has Gotta Go (JGG) campaign, the protest was held outside Hofstra Breslin Hall at the statue. Organizers included “students of Hofstra University, staff from Planned Parenthood of Nassau County, and supporters of Hempstead community.”
The group gathered on campus to “expose the culture of bias and discrimination,” as stated in the media advisory, and to demand “the statue of Thomas Jefferson is removed.”
Hofstra College Democrats “want the statue to be removed and [we] stand with the Jefferson Has Gotta Go Campaign,” the group’s president, Brynne Levine, told Campus Reform.

(Hat-tip: Instapundit.) The idea that Democrats would be protesting a statue of the founder of their party is perhaps rather astonishing, but a near-total ignorance of history has become so common among college students that we now expect such idiotic gestures on campus.

There are many ironies involved in this, including my memory of how absurd it seemed 25 years ago when certain neo-Confederate friends warned that if efforts to erase public tributes to the Confederacy succeeded, they would be followed, in due time, by attacks upon monuments to the Founding Fathers.  Certainly, I could not imagine the memories of Washington, Jefferson, et al., would face eradication in my own lifetime, and yet this radicalism has proceeded so far and so fast that even the celebration of Columbus Day has become controversial.

What my prophetic friends perceived — a fact I was reluctant to acknowledge for many years — was that radicalism has no feasible limit. The radical is ultimately totalitarian in his ambition, and any attempt to placate the radical is therefore impossible. This is the true lesson of Munich, after all. Neville Chamberlain made the mistake in September 1938 of thinking that ceding the Sudetenland to Hitler would bring “peace for our time” In March 1939, however, Hitler seized the rest of Czechoslovakia and, in September 1939, Hitler invaded Poland, beginning World War II. Appeasement was always an illusion; Hitler exploited pacifist sentiment in the West, promising “peace” while rapidly building his military until he was strong enough to risk open war, and this is how it always is with totalitarians, a category that includes our soi-disant “progressives.” The Left now makes demands that would have seemed preposterous 25 or 30 years ago, but where is the evidence that anyone is seriously determined to say “no” to such demands? Why shouldn’t the Left keep ratcheting up their demands, given how they have already been granted nearly everything they ever could have hoped for?

You can never appease such people! Give them everything they demand today, and tomorrow they’ll be back with a new list of demands.

When the agitation against the Confederate symbol in the Georgia state flag began ramping up in the early 1990s, a lot of people — including many conservatives — shrugged off this controversy as insignificant, and would not listen to those who warned that this agitation was indicative of a dangerous radicalism. Why this complacency? Well, those people had lived through the great ascendancy of conservatism in U.S. politics. Beginning with Goldwater in 1964, they had seen the steady build-up of the Right until, in 1980, Reagan won the White House, a victory followed by a series of triumphs, culminating in the collapse of the Soviet Union. Having witnessed this tremendous success, most conservatives circa 1991 were understandably optimistic about their movement’s future, and could not imagine how the Left might so revive itself and gain power as has been the case in recent decades. This optimism among movement conservatives begat overconfidence, which was why those prophets who warned of danger emerging on the Left were viewed as “extremists” by many respectable Republican types. Almost no one would listen to those who explained that the fight over Confederate symbols was just one element of a much broader campaign of Cultural Marxism, and is anyone surprised that now we see radical students assaulting a monument to the author of the Declaration of Independence? Well, I for one am not the least bit surprised, and I only wish more of my conservative friends had paid attention to what those neo-Confederate “extremists” were trying to explain 25 years ago. And thinking back to what they were saying then, I have every reason to believe that the radical Left will only become more militant in years to come. Be afraid. Be very afraid.



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