Plato was the student of Socrates, who in turn is widely recognized as “the Father of Western Philosophy.” Socrates, though, was not the West’s first philosopher. In fact, he and Plato inherited a battery of philosophical problems that, courtesy of those thinkers who are today loosely known as “the pre-Socratics,” was already nearly 200 years […]
Those on the right have always recognized that there are indeed legitimate uses of violence, and that the latter are reserved for those who aspire to fulfill their obligation to “fight evil.”
It was the murderous actions of the radicals of the French Revolution that provoked modern conservatism’s “patron saint,” Edmund Burke, to famously declare that the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
It was the murderous, terrorist actions of Islamic jihadists that prompted any number of contemporary self-identified conservative media commentators in the 21st century to support the wars in the Middle East while simultaneously imploring their audiences to “fight evil.”
We could continue endlessly with examples to make the point, which is this: Conservatives recognize the legitimacy of violence in the service of combating evil.
But let’s be accurate:
Since evil is not some abstract concept or force, it is more precise to say that conservatives have always recognized the legitimacy of employing violence for the purposes of combating not evil, but evil people.
Self-declared conservatives in our times also differentiate themselves in tirelessly expressing gratitude for the members of the American military. “Thank you for your service” has become a commonplace for most conservatives.
In a recent article, I commented on the contemporary phenomenon—one of which everyone who has been paying any attention is all too familiar—of leftist thug-activists targeting for harm those of their fellow college students who they deem insufficiently committed to the cause of “Social Justice.”
The campus has become a dangerous place for such students, and I urged everyone, specifically critics of the state of Higher Education, to call things for what they are.
To repeat, while it is indeed they who scream incessantly about the “oppression” to which, they insist, they are systematically subjected, the reality is that it is most definitely not the self-styled “anti-fascist” and “anti-racist” agents of tolerance who are persecuted for their political, religious, and moral beliefs.
It isn’t their invited speakers whose speeches are shut down.
It isn’t they who have to worry about professors punishing them for their political views.
It isn’t leftist students who are routinely threatened, cursed at, surrounded, intimidated, bullied, and beaten.
No, it is they who victimize their peers to their right.
In response to my essay, a commenter expressed, quite understandably, dissatisfaction that it didn’t include a prescription to address this outrageous situation in which conservative students find themselves. “Is that the best he can do?” he asked, referring to the note on which I ended my essay. “Did Roosevelt and Churchill ‘call’ Germany a ‘dangerous place’ [as I described the contemporary college campus vis-à-vis conservative students]?”
The commenter then added: “This is a recipe for failure.”
He continued, reminding other readers that the President, after having floated the idea that he may arrange to have Antifa labeled a terrorist organization, never revisited it.
The commenter ended his commentary with some not so subtle sarcasm: “That’s OK. It is nobler to be the victim, after all. We don’t want to sink to their [the left’s] level and actually, you know, defend ourselves.”
This commenter is absolutely correct on all scores:
(1)It most assuredly is “a recipe of failure” to rest content with simply noting the danger that conservatives face. This is a situation that demands a response.
(2)The analogy with Roosevelt and Churchill is an apt one, for it is becoming increasingly difficult to escape the impression that we are indeed engaged in a war of sorts. Only in this case, it is only one side—that of the left—that is fighting.
(3)President Trump should most definitely do more to prosecute Antifa and other radical, violent leftist operations.
(4)The standard operating procedure of the movers and shakers of the conservative movement—arouse the ire of your audience members over the outrages of the left while offering nothing in the way of a solution (other than to vote Republican)—has become at once comically predictable, inexcusable, exacerbating, and, in fact, reckless.
My critic is among an ever-growing number of conservatives who are growing ever-closer to reaching a boiling point over both the coercion and violence of the left as well as the unwillingness of those in the conservative movement to reckon with this injustice even while concealing their unwillingness behind the veneer of virtue-signaling (e.g. “We can’t become like the left,” or some such drivel along these lines).
To these representatives of the conservative movement who screech over the physical attacks against students (and others) while refusing to so much as hint at the suggestion that perhaps it is time for the beleaguered to fight back, we can pose a couple of simple (rhetorical) questions:
If it was your son or daughter who was continuously being targeted for abuse by bullies, would you instruct them not to defend themselves for fear that doing so would lower them to the level of the bullies?
Should America not have retaliated against Japan following the attack on Pearl Harbor, or against Al-Qaeda following 9/11, lest America lower itself to the level of its self-declared enemies?
The stone-cold truth of the matter is that considering the situation for conservative students on college campuses, it is grossly irresponsible for anyone not to encourage them to defend themselves.
In fact, the case could be made that people who know about these attacks but refrain from supplying potential victims with the encouragement needed to do precisely that which they would implore their own children to do so as to avoid being harmed or killed are complicit in these attacks. They share culpability for them.
Since others will not say it, I will:
Anyone and everyone who deviates even slightly from the radicalism of the campus left and who is considering expressing their dissent, whether through word or deed, should prepare themselves for the increasingly real possibility that they will have to engage in battle—a real, physical confrontation—for doing so.
This, in turn, means that they should, at a minimum, never turn their backs to enraged leftist agitators—as so many conservative student-activists do—even if it is just to walk away. Yet neither should they walk backwards in an effort to escape a heated situation provoked by the agitators, for in backing up, they could lose their balance or trip and wind up on the ground, providing their antagonists with ample opportunities to stomp on them.
All too often we see Youtube videos of leftist barbarians screaming in the faces of conservative students.
And if a screaming student-barbarian gets up in a conservative student’s face, that student should assume that the barbarian means to physically hurt him or her—and preempt the attack by striking, and striking with every intention of neutralizing the threat long enough to escape to a place of safety.
This is the world in which we now live. No intellectually honest conservative or conservative-leaning critique of Higher Ed can any longer omit from analysis either the violence to which non-leftist students are increasingly subjected or a prescription as to how this violence should be met. Perhaps either from fear of incurring the wrath of the leftist Powers-to-Be that are ever-eager to demonize conservatives as purveyors of hatred and violence or a desire to ingratiate themselves to the left, conservative pundits, as far as I’ve ever been able to determine, never so much as recommend, much less urge, non-leftist students (or, for that matter, anyone anywhere who is likely to fall afoul of the left) to physically defend themselves.
Simply put, if you are a conservative college student and you plan on putting your peers on notice that you are conservative, then you must train so as to be able to protect yourself.
In the words of retired United States Marine Corps Lieutenant-Colonel Al Ridenhour, founder of the martial art known as Warrior Flow and my own Senior-Master Instructor:
“Sometimes you’ve just got to kick that ass.”
Conservative (and non-leftist) students who have long been victimized by their left-wing peers have no moral option but to prepare themselves for physical battle as it is just a matter of time before activist thugs target them for violence once more. They should enroll in a combat/self-defense school (as opposed to a pugilistic sport or classical martial art).
Tragically—incredibly—this is the juncture at which we’ve arrived.
But conservatives are supposed to be distinguished from leftists on account of their willingness to reckon with reality in all of its ugliness. And the ugly reality is that the left has grown increasingly violent. Conservatives have no alternative but to accept this.
Then, they can choose to either continue being victimized by those who regard them as non-persons, or else they can choose to defend themselves.