“From whence shall we expect the approach of danger? Shall some trans-Atlantic military giant step the earth and crush us at a blow? Never. All the armies of Europe and Asia … could not by force take a drink from the Ohio River or make a track on the Blue Ridge in the trial of a thousand years. No, if destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we will live forever or die by suicide.” — Abraham Lincoln
The winning streak enjoyed by campus activists this fall was violently interrupted by the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. Some activists were sufficiently annoyed by their ejection from the limelight that they took to Twitter to complain under the hashtag “F—Paris.”
The most obvious irony stemmed from the fact that some of the same protestors who griped about media coverage of their antics — even declaring First Amendment-free zones — suddenly whined when the cameras turned to bloodshed in the heart of Europe.
But there’s a deeper irony. In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, fueled by a cynical media strategy directed by the president himself, the national conversation turned quickly from Barack Obama’s foreign policy failures to the bigotry and insensitivity of the Republican Party. There’s no denying that Donald Trump made this an easy pivot for the Beltway Brahmins. But left unnoticed in the clamor is the dismaying disconnect between the conversation elite liberals want to have and the one being pushed by their left-wing shock troops on the ground.
For instance, on ABC’s “This Week,” Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) ripped into Republican rhetoric about Syrian refugees, saying that we must have “confidence in who we are as a nation … we need to be adhering to the values that have made this country strong.”
Ellison was hardly alone. Everyone seems to be talking about those American “values” of tolerance, diversity and pluralism. Obama has been on a tear about how rejecting refugees is “not American” and how those refugees are akin to the pilgrims who arrived on our shores. He pays rote lip service to denouncing murderers in Paris.
Meanwhile, back on our campuses, those very values are routinely denounced as little more than “white privilege.” Needless to say, the people who want to see Columbus Day banned and call for an accounting of America’s crimes against Native Americans don’t think too highly of those Pilgrims.