Op-Ed

Bob Ehrlich: I've Got to Believe the Number of Decent College Kids Outweighs the Woke Brats

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the first president and vice president to campaign — and govern — on an ignoble critique of America.

An unusual governing theme for sure, but one that the administration clearly intends to highlight in the lead-up to the 2022 midterms. Such a critique ensures that race- and class-based indictments are an essential part (with few exceptions) of every administration initiative.

Here, “systemic racism” is the predicate upon which every Biden policy remedy proceeds.

That this charge worked so well in 2020 and continues to be employed by the president and Democratic leaders in every conceivable context speaks to its wide appeal within the Democratic Party base.

It also reflects how far afield the party is from FDR’s “New Deal,” JFK’s “Ask what you can do for your country” and Bill Clinton’s “The era of big government is over.”

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Note that these popular Democratic presidents did not veer away from America’s shortcomings. But their central pitch framed America as an essential force for good in the campaign to make the world a better place.

In this respect, the foundation was not so far removed from Trump’s “America First” theme. Each was built on the premise that America — warts and all — was (still) the place where people from all over the world would and should risk life and limb to get to.

Mask Wearing Has Rapidly Devolved Into a Major Cultural and Political Dividing Line

I’m not claiming 100 percent accuracy, but it’s getting pretty easy to guess a person’s political party simply by watching their mask-wearing habits.

Do you think higher education in America is hopelessly broken?

Take outdoor mask wearing for example. It’s no secret that many Republicans indulged in outside activities sans mask well before the CDC announced its new guidance.

Conversely, those double-masked roadside joggers you see from time to time are almost assuredly Democrats. For these good — but at times suffocating — folks, the mask has morphed into a status symbol of the way obedient citizens are obliged to act, even when “the science” does not necessarily follow.

The uber-blue state of Oregon may be a logical destination for these willing subjects as that state entertains the notion of a permanent mask mandate for its citizens. Indeed Portland is a lovely city — when between riots.

A further note: The president’s recent comment that even fully vaccinated people should continue to wear masks and socially distance because such actions are “patriotic” says all you need to know about the edict-friendly crowd’s mindset.

I suspect the majority of flyover-country citizens have a different view of patriotism — and so the cultural divide only deepens.

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Americans’ Acceptance of Socialism — Especially Among Young People — Continues to Rise

What has been somewhat acceptable in the ivory tower world of higher education has remained political kryptonite in real-world politics — until recently. Polls reflect the upward trend, despite the enormous body counts and economic disintegration that so often follow socialist regimes.

The problem was less pronounced when indoctrination was less prominent on our college and university campuses; when undergraduates were exposed to Smith, Hayek, Solzhenitsyn, Mises and Friedman. Our impressionable young minds were accordingly at least made passingly familiar with the inhumane brutality of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro and so many other repressive socialists.

But, again, times have changed. Revisionist narratives are now marketed and taught as objective history. Book banning and burning is newly acceptable on some campuses, as are speech codes. Indoctrination increasingly trumps instruction. And the American experience is thereby further marginalized in favor of a critique of “systemic racism” and charges that America is inherently evil.

A remarkable aspect of the movement is its popularity with upper-crust kids. Indeed, it is generally the children of privilege — ensconced in elite schools — who take to the streets on behalf of the “oppressed.”

They supposedly do this to oppose privilege and seek to prove their bona fides by throwing rocks and cursing at African-American police officers and degrading the very same capitalist system that built their elite schools and pay for their expensive educations.

My takeaway: I just gotta believe that the majority of college kids in school on some form of financial aid — enjoying fraternity/sorority life, living for the big football game on Saturday night and preoccupied with their next step into the real world — far outnumber the aforementioned brats all dressed up in commando gear.

These then are the kids who do not think to act out when simply confronted with a different opinion, who would never think to vandalize a Target in the name of social justice or disrespect those in uniform, blue or green. Geez, a fair share of them may even register Republican.

How is that to bring you back from your cultural-chasm depression?

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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Robert Ehrlich is a former governor of Maryland as well as a former United States congressman and state legislator. He is the author of “Bet You Didn’t See That One Coming: Obama, Trump, and the End of Washington’s Regular Order,” in addition to “Turn This Car Around,” “America: Hope for Change" and “Turning Point.” Ehrlich is currently a counsel at the firm of King & Spalding in Washington, D.C.




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