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The Liberal Elites’ Columbia Meltdown

Posted on Friday, May 10, 2024
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by Walter Samuel
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AMAC EXCLUSIVE

For the last three weeks, the New York Times has run a series of live feeds covering current events. Subjects such as congressional intrigue, the U.S. presidential campaign, and even the conflict in the Middle East have drifted in and out daily, with the Russia-Ukraine war increasingly failing to sustain enough interest to maintain a regular presence at the top of the online edition.

Two stories, however, appear to be considered important enough by the Times’ editors to warrant 24-hour coverage. The first is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the continued judicial pursuit of Donald Trump, which apparently justifies updates every 90 seconds.

The other, which is more of a surprise, is an entire section dedicated to live coverage of the pro-Hamas protests sweeping America’s college campuses. The Times editors apparently feel that their audience is too engaged on the topic to wait until morning to read about the latest on clashes on UCLA’s campus. They need updates at 2 a.m..

The liberal elite obsession with the campus protests, initially focused on Columbia, but now having spread across the country, may seem beside the point to conservatives and moderates who have been warning for years of the rise of anti-American extremism in the education system and the collapse of law and order on our streets. These are phenomena that liberals denied or outright encouraged for years.

However, regardless of whether the earlier stories should have broken through earlier, or whether the current breakthrough represents a genuine turn now that it is things wealthy liberals care about that are being ruined, the fact is that the story is breaking through. Just as the arrival of migrants in Martha’s Vinyard and other northern cities broke liberal enthusiasm for open borders, current events are now forcing liberals to reckon with DEI and woke ideology as a real problem – even if they are still trying to blame everyone else but themselves for what brought us here.

We can witness this reckoning develop in real-time through the Times. Even if it is lousy as a news source, it is excellent as an insight into the collective mind of America’s liberal elite.

Since the Times transitioned to a subscription model, its coverage has increasingly shifted from its traditional model of informing everyone in America what liberal elites would like them to believe, to a new model of telling its subscriber base precisely what they wish to hear. These are not always the same thing.

At times, these two have coincided, such as when it comes to Donald Trump. Liberal elites would both like everyone to believe Donald Trump is on the verge of being carted off to prison, and to hear it themselves.

Yet it has been possible to detect shifts on other issues, such as the Times’s pivot from unquestioning championing of childhood gender transition to near-weekly articles expressing unease with the lack of science and political capture of institutions. This is not the paper’s reporters undergoing a moral awakening, but rather choosing to reinforce a truth their readers already suspected, and thereby providing them a vindication of their own intelligence.

When it comes to campus protests, the Times’s coverage reveals two things about the paper’s readership. One, their panic over the consequences of the protests for things liberals care about—for example, the desecration of landmarks sacred to their class, and the anxieties of parents who have spent hundreds of thousands now missing out on ceremonial events. And two, it reflects a desperate search for answers.

The paper has printed multiple articles detailing the role of outside agitators at Columbia, a striking contrast to the riots of the summer of 2020, when the same paper dismissed the “long history of the outside agitator” claim going back to the civil rights era as a reactionary myth. A reactionary myth the paper itself now carries.

Much of this reflects the difficulty of retreating from a position in the face of people liberal elites view as both their social and intellectual inferiors—conservatives.

For conservatives, the origin of the problem is obvious. Left-wing indoctrination that has now spread to the elementary school level has raised a generation of young Americans to hate their nation. Dissenters—not just conservatives but even centrist and old-style liberal faculty—have been driven out of universities, as they have pursued an ideological agenda above all else. The solution, too, is simple in this conservative view. Because the social crisis of Generation Z is the result of indoctrination rather than any sort of organic economic or societal forces, merely removing the sources of indoctrination will resolve the problem.

Liberals, however, have long rejected conservative charges of ideological indoctrination, even as many grew steadily uneasy in the face of overwhelming evidence that conservatives had a point. This was partially because they did not want to concede anything their critics said might be correct. A core aspect of liberal identity in modern America is the conviction, coined by Jon Stewart during the second Bush administration, that they represent the “reality-based community.” If they are the representatives of logic, science, and common sense against the forces of prejudice, religion, and resentment, then how do they reconcile the possibility they may be wrong?

For years, their response was to dig in. On child gender transition, rising crime rates, the drawbacks of free trade, and school closures during COVID-19, liberal America withdrew into an intellectual fortress, only for the force of reality to eventually break in.

The new line on the left is not that liberalism was wrong, but that it has been betrayed by its high priests. Anti-racism was a noble cause, but sadly, its leading advocates were grifters who betrayed it and liberalism. Liberals would have more easily been able to express their concerns about 12-year olds seeking to change their sex if conservatives had not so rudely associated those valid concerns with right-wing crudeness and bigotry. Mass illegal immigration is a real issue, and it could be solved if conservatives had not made doing so appear racist. In short, to the modern left, conservatives prevented them from dealing with their own extremists by being inconveniently correct in a style the left did not like.

This has allowed the left to embrace the conservative theory of ideological indoctrination in education and society, except in a more conspiratorial form. When it comes to who precisely has been responsible for creating this climate, conservatives can credibly point to those who controlled the institutions, namely liberals. By contrast, liberals cannot do so without taking responsibility, and many genuinely believe that whatever woke corporate HR nonsense they pushed, they never meant it to include bringing back Nazi-level anti-Semitism. So they have a new theory: The kids are being brainwashed by TikTok, by social media, by the Chinese.

In a sense, this is not a new line. The liberal explanation for Donald Trump’s 2016 victory was of course that he had been elected through Vladimir Putin’s use of hacking and probably some form of mind-control aimed at the Rust Belt. It was only natural they would turn to similarly conspiratorial explanations now in the face of another humiliating failure for their worldview.

This is precisely why even the Biden Administration is embracing the “outside agitator” argument that the Times in 2020 condemned. Secretary of State Blinken is now suggesting such foreign agitation partially justified the ban on Chinese-owned TikTok. If it is the Chinese Communist Party through TikTok promoting this extremism, and not the DEI curriculum Democrats pushed, then the Biden administration cannot just continue but must accelerate its ideological agenda, such as with new Title IX rules, which declare not using the preferred pronouns of transgender students and faculty to be “sexual harassment.”

Blaming TikTok and Xi Jinping, who now join Vladimir Putin as the monsters hiding under the bed of every liberal parent in America, might be gratifying for the administration, but it also may not be enough.

Politico, a bastion of the establishment, has begun asking questions about the funding for these radical groups – which sounds an awful lot like what conservatives have been shouting from the rooftops for a decade. The outlet recently carried a feature entitled “Pro-Palestinian protesters are backed by a surprising source: Biden’s biggest donors.”

Mainstream news outlets have also picked up on a 5,000-word piece in Tablet magazine entitled “The People Setting America on Fire,” concluding “the federal government is funneling tens of millions of dollars of public money to a group that understands ‘environmental justice’ to imply the abolition of policing, the perpetual struggle against ‘white supremacy,’ and the liberation of Palestine.”

Conservative vindication at the moment is likely mixed with frustration that it has taken these liberals so long, that they will take no responsibility, and whatever actions they take will stop short of what is needed. However, expecting the liberal elite to take a productive role in the solution was always foolhardy. Imagining they would ever show gratitude for being corrected was delusional.

What is clear, however, is that just as with mass immigration, America’s liberal elite has had enough right now, at least when it comes to their own neighborhoods. If they can get away with moving the protests from the schools they and their children attended and their workplaces, they will be happy to resume virtue-signaling land acknowledgments with the best of them.

However, just as getting migrants out of Martha’s Vineyard and suburban Boston took precedence over demonstrating their belief that “no human is illegal”, elite liberals want order to be restored at their precious institutions and will not forgive Biden if he cannot deliver. It is incumbent upon conservatives not to allow them an easy out, and to force them to contribute to fixing these problems for everyone or face the consequences of the policies they championed.

In the meantime, conservatives should enjoy the popcorn. The elite base of Biden’s Democratic Party, the very wealthy whites with postgraduate degrees on whom the party has based its post-2018 coalition, are demanding martial law on campuses. If Biden gives in, he will fail and cause a backlash that may cost him the election. If he does not, the media establishment which has maintained the Democratic Party’s alternate reality, will turn upon him and become hysterical.

Either way, Biden is in a bind.

Walter Samuel is the pseudonym of a prolific international affairs writer and academic. He has worked in Washington as well as in London and Asia, and holds a Doctorate in International History.

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Gil
Gil
15 days ago

And remember, the youthful indoctrination is going to reach it’s peak when we elect a Hamas/muslim for President. We should have Freedom of Religion except any religion that encourages hate and death, for people and for the country in general, should not be allowed into our country nor allowed to become a citizen. They are currently tearing down our constitution piece by piece and we should not appease these people but enforce our laws and make them abide. Reagan gave a wonderful speech when the protests were taking place across the nation and he said that if we agreed to become the kind of government they wanted, then they would no longer be able to do what they are doing. Personally, I say that we should get firm and strict and start working towards being a “God Fearing” nation and stop this catering to LBGT, etc. and all those that are being paid to ruin what is the greatest nation in the world. God is watching. Those that do this will not like what is to come if it continues.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
15 days ago

They seeded this years ago

Laura
Laura
15 days ago

None of this should surprise anyone. The Leftist Elites have been grooming college students for decades. So far they have succeeded. I’m sure there are lots of high five’s to go around.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
15 days ago

Give them extra credit in they go to Gaza and help out those poooorrrr people. Love to see a “LGBTG+ DAY” in Gaza… and you women: make sure to tell the Hamas men what you THINK! I’m sure they’d appreciate the input!

Ted
Ted
15 days ago

It’s obvious students across the nation aren’t interest in an education if they are protesting and causing damage not to mention the students there actually wanting some kind of education. First step, expel all students not attending class, second step, fire all teachers participating in the rioting and not in class teaching. Third step, but not going to happen, any institution receiving federal money, tax payer money, that allows what is happening their funding stops. Now unfortunately in today’s environment such measures are a pipe dream. I am so glad I don’t have to worry about not hiring any of the students of today’s failed educational system. However, I do feel for those individuals that do.

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