Five Reasons Today’s Campus Riots Are Not Those of the Sixties

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Five Reasons Today’s Campus Riots Are Not Those of the Sixties
Five Reasons Today’s Campus Riots Are Not Those of the Sixties

One thing that is obvious about the student riots over Gaza is that they are not about Gaza. They are not even about students.

Other elements veil the real issues and players. In the realm of revolutionary action, the issue is never the issue. It’s about wanting to overthrow structures and narratives by any means possible. Gaza is just an excuse.

In the case of the Gaza riots, the exhausted left is resurrecting for the thousandth time the class struggle dialectic of the oppressed (the Gazans) and the oppressors (Israel and the United States).

The script is very familiar and sixty-ish. Outraged leftist students and outside agitators who care little about the issue confront the university administrations with impossible demands that will not solve any problem. Some administrators and faculty appear weak in the face of the violent protests and cave in. An adoring press records the street theatre and spreads its surreal images worldwide. The majority of the student body is helpless in recovering their campuses and attending classes.

The immediate goal is to create enough agitation to make it appear that all youth are revolting against the system. Government weakness will lead to systemic changes and social revolution.

This sixties script has wrought many changes in the past. However, this time, it is different. Something is missing. There is no fire in this rebellion. It lacks dynamism, defined goals and a clear message.

Indeed, there are five reasons the present student demonstrations differ from the sixties.

The first is that there is no longer rational debate on campus. For a long time, the left has abandoned the forum of reasoned debate and replaced it with emotional outrage. Its militants cancel speakers; they do not listen to the arguments of their opponents, much less counter them intelligently. They scream obscenities and trite slogans rather than engage in civil discourse or polemics. The left’s sinister Antifa thugs employ violence and intimidation against their opposition.

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The sixties still had rational elements, but today’s irrational tactics do not convince most Americans of the justice of the protesters’ cause. Rather, it disgusts them.

The second reason is that the riots have become the façade of the whole radical left—even those who have nothing to do with the Gaza issue. Thus, among the ranks of the protesters are LGBTQ activists, Antifa criminals, environmentalists, socialists and even drag queens. Many protesters are not students but, in the words of some policemen, “chaos professionals.” Others are old leftovers from the sixties trying to ride another wave to a delusional socialist future.

The left has turned Gaza into its latest battle flag and made the mistake of attacking and trampling upon America’s Stars and Stripes. Many Americans see through the falsity of this façade and reject it.

The third reason is that the left has openly turned this fight into an attack on America. The Internet has produced countless videos and independent sources that document its anti-American character. Pamphlets and speakers are saying that America must be destroyed as the only possible redress for its “imperialism” and “colonialism.” This offends countless Americans who love the country God gave them and do not want to see it reviled.

A fourth reason for the failure of the Gaza campus riots is that the left is no longer following the rules of liberalism that must at least pay lip service to liberal ideals like freedom of speech and democracy. These protesters could care less about liberal norms. This illiberal aspect has disconcerted the liberal leftists who still play by these rules.

Yet another reason is that too many people see the contradictions inside the pro-Gaza movement. These same people say they defend the poor yet attend affluent Ivy League schools, some of which charge close to $80,000 a year for tuition. They use American freedoms to attack America. They engage in a suicidal nihilistic march to destroy the society that sustains them.

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Finally, one sees that what motivates these hapless protesters is something beyond the fate of the Gazans. These people hate anyone who imposes restraint upon another. It is a metaphysical hatred that shrieks: “All inequalities are unjust and must be overthrown.” They reject all moral standards that shackle their freedom to sin. They hate all forces at the service of the good, like the police who secure the rule of law and the common good. These are people imbued with the white-hot hatred of irrational and unbridled passions seeking to destroy all order.

This process of hatred has grown since the sixties. With its growth, it has unmasked itself. Now, it has reached new depths of radical insanity that shock the public.

All these elements come together and present an unconvincing drama that fools no one save those who want to be deceived.

The Gaza campus riots must be suppressed—with justice and vigorous force. Any sign of weakness or surrender toward those who break the law will only lead to ruin, concession, and disaster. It is not the sixties anymore. The consequences today are much greater.

Photo Credit:  © TakakoPhillips –

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