The irony of Christie laying this in The One’s lap is that lefty fascism on campus has already reached the point where it’s beginning to creep even Obama out. Remember this clip from September? O’s not given to confronting his own base on core cultural issues; for him to inch away from far-left censoriousness in academia, you know how bad the situation must be. He should give that little speech the next time he’s at some college or university for commencement. It’d be fun to watch the PC furies descend on him like they did on that administrator at Yale.
But I digress. Shrewd politics here from Christie, as campus nuttery is potentially a potent election issue for the GOP next year. Emphasis on “potentially”: It’s going to take more than a couple of administrators resigning from one school to put this topic on voters’ radar, but the way things are going lately, this may be the beginning of something bigger. Students at Ithaca College are now calling on their president to resign, with the faculty set to vote on whether they still have confidence in him. A dean at Claremont McKenna College resigned today after at least one minority student started a hunger strike over the alleged climate of racism there. (The list of grievances needs to be seen to be believed.) It’s no coincidence that Christie and Trump, the two self-styled strongmen in the race, are the first two out of the chute in slamming the recent insanity at Yale and Mizzou. If protests spread and Hillary seems paralyzed in not wanting to offend the radical vanguard of her own base, Republicans in the primary and swing voters in the general might look more fondly on a law-and-order authoritarian alternative.
Asked about the protests at the University of Missouri and Yale University, where complaints of racism or racial insensitivity have pitted students against administrators, the Republican presidential contender said that President Obama had created an atmosphere of “lawlessness.”
“I think part of this is a product of the president’s own unwillingness and inability to bring people together,” Christie said in a short interview after a Q&A with Republicans here. “When people think justice is not applied evenly and fairly, they take matters into their own hands. The lawlessness that the president has allowed to exist in this country just absolutely strips people of hope. Our administration would stand for the idea that justice is not just a word, but it’s a way of life. Laws will be applied evenly, fairly, and without bias to everyone.”
Earlier, at a town hall further up the Mississippi River, Christie had chastised the Black Lives Matter movement on similar terms. “Don’t call me for a meeting,” he said, according to reporter Claude Brodesser-Akner. “When a movement like that calls for the murder of police officers… no president of the United States should dignify a group like that by saying anything positive about them, and no candidate for president, like Hillary Clinton, should give them any credibility by meeting with them, as she’s done.”
Obama’s to blame for Marxists gone wild on campus? I don’t know — I’ve got a hunch that the protests would get worse, not better, if the students had a Republican authority figure in the White House to unite them in hatred — but whether it’s true or not, it’s smart to link this up to the national Democratic leadership. At the barest minimum, you won’t get any sort of clear condemnation of the recent fascism from Hillary or Pelosi or Chuck Schumer, which may be enough to convince people of their de facto complicity in it. And there’ll be no shortage of “safe space” garbage to promote in the meantime before the election as evidence of what the young liberals of the future have in mind for the country if their elders are rewarded with power. Here’s a nice one that started circulating just within the past few hours:
On Tuesday, November 10, the Minnesota Student Association (MSA)–the undergraduate student government at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (UMN)– rejected a resolution for a moment of recognition on future anniversaries of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks…
“I wrote this resolution because I think we need to recognize the victims of this world-changing event,” said [student Theo] Menon, “The innocent men, women, and servicemen who died on that day deserve to be honored.”…
At-large MSA representative and Director of Diversity and Inclusion David Algadi voiced severe criticism of the resolution. He also made sure to emphasize 9/11’s status as a national tragedy in his response.
“The passing of this resolution might make a space that is unsafe for students on campus even more unsafe,” said Algadi, “Islamophobia and racism fueled through that are alive and well.”
Whether campus madness has wider cultural resonance depends on two things, the scope, tone, and duration of the demonstrations and whether the public is inclined to view it as dumb utopian kids being dumb utopian kids or as something more significant and menacing. The fact that cameras are ubiquitous and can document petty fascism as it happens is a reason to think this sort of thing might have legs over the next year. As does the fact that our very liberal president has already been bothered enough to talk about it in public.