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What if the Left’s Campus Meltdown Reflects Their Growing Sense of Doom?

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What if the Left’s Campus Meltdown Reflects Their Growing Sense of Doom?

Over at Commentary, Noah Rothman writes:

At the heart of the collective liberal angst over the pesky burden of free speech is the nagging perception that they have lost the argument. There is no great progressive era about to dawn; we may never see a more liberal presidential administration than this in our lifetimes. While the dangerous impulse to silence their critics is merely sad in fully-formed adults, it is terrifying to witness in the generation just coming of age. When asked if he had built for ensuing generations of Americans a republic or a monarchy, Dr. Benjamin Franklin was said to quip “A Republic, if you can keep it.” That is a proposition set to be tested like never before.

There’s good reason to look at what’s going on in America’s college campuses with incredulity, befuddlement, anger, disdain, and repulsion. But what if the leftist temper-tantrum that we’re witnessing is in fact something of a last gasp, a sudden recognition that their long-awaited nirvana is never going to come?

Deep down, they must realize that the only real career path for the campus radical is to join some leftist organization in a professional capacity or to stay on campus and attempt to become a professor. Corporate America may pay off an agitator, but they aren’t terribly eager to hire them or give them any real responsibility. The audience for leftist agitprop is pretty limited, while works they see as trigger-inducing, right-wing propaganda, like American Sniper, find large audiences.

Sure, leftists have gained tighter and tighter control over the academic world over the past generation, but they’re recognizing obvious limitations on their ability to influence the culture at large from there. They police micro-aggressions while the culture grows coarser. They call for racial justice while the state of black America slips further and further into self-described crisis. They fight for feminism while “sugar daddies” have become in vogue in some circles of young women; advertising is as objectifying of women as ever, millions of women obsess over celebrities’ bodies, and women put 50 Shades atop the bestseller lists. Their effort to divest from oil and natural-gas companies is flopping; divestment from Israel has passed in only a handful of schools.

In fact, radical leftists are taking over colleges and universities just as the higher-education bubble is bursting. What’s the point of controlling the world’s most distinguished schools at the precise moment many Americans decide they’re not worth the debt to attend them?

For today’s leftists, careers in government aren’t as certain as they were supposed to be, particularly in the lawmaking process. As Rothman notes, Democrats are getting slaughtered at the ballot box beneath the presidential level.

Chuck Todd this weekend:

Well, let’s start with Congress. Since 2009, Democrats have lost a net of 13 Senate seats and a whopping 69 House seats. Now let’s put this in some historical context.

You have to go all the way back to Eisenhower to match this many losses for a party that controls the White House with Senate seats, 13 of them. And in the House, it’s been 100 years since a two-term president’s party suffered worse losses. That was Woodrow Wilson and the Democrats, 99 House seats.

Let’s go to the state level with President Obama. Under him, Democrats have lost control of 12 governorships, including just this past week in Kentucky.

Plus they’ve given up 30 state legislative chambers. And ready for this? Over 900 state legislative seats. No administration since Nixon-Ford saw more governor and state legislative chamber losses in the president’s own party.

(Guest Rachel Maddow tried to blame this on gerrymandering, but you can’t gerrymander Senate seats or gubernatorial elections.) Perhaps the grassroots-level progressive activists are suddenly realizing what Marc Caputo spells out — that Obama’s presidency isn’t the epic, nation-changing win for the Left that they thought it would be:

I mean, the big thing is that the Barack Obama political machine and the old world big data, it’s a lie. The Obama political machine without Obama is no machine. They don’t win. That was largely a personality-based campaign in two different cycles.

Hillary: Everyone Deserves Higher Wages . . . Except My Campaign’s Interns

Hillary Clinton said in New Hampshire that she wants the national minimum wage to be $12 per hour.

“We’ve got to raise the federal minimum wage to have a higher floor,” she said. “I favor a $12 an hour minimum wage at the federal level and the reason is that would be that would be setting it at a level that would be equivalent to the point in our history where the minimum wage was at its highest, and in inflation-adjusted terms that was in 1968.”

Of course, interns on Hillary Clinton’s campaign continue to be paid . . . nothing.

As a disappointed Hillary volunteer observed:

Unpaid work is common in campaigns, and as secretary of State, Hillary worked for the Obama administration. At the same time the administration was cracking down on unpaid internships in the private sector, it continued not paying the 300 annual interns in the White House.

Guess who denounced unpaid internships just a few years ago?

“Businesses have taken advantage of unpaid internships to an extent that it is blocking the opportunities for young people to move on into paid employment,” she lectured at UCLA in 2013. “More businesses need to move their so-called interns to employees.”

Wait, it gets even better. Hillary Clinton’s campaign wants one of their unpaid interns to receive college credit and to be paid by university funds:

The Hillary Clinton campaign asked the Federal Election Commission if an unpaid intern could get college credit and a stipend from her university for her work on the campaign.

According to paperwork filed with the FEC on Oct. 29, the DePauw University student would receive college credit as well as a grant from a summer internship grant program at the school’s Hubbard Center which offers money to students who do unpaid internships.

Clinton campaign lawyers argue that the student should be permitted to accept the $3,000 stipend and the college credit without either being designated as in-kind contributions to the campaign because the university “did not condition the availability of the stipend upon the political nature of the internship.”

Every time Hillary Clinton talks about the need to tackle income inequality, recognize that this is something she could make happen with one instruction to her staff. It wouldn’t require any law or regulation or national consensus. All she needs to do is say, “Let’s pay our interns.” (Obviously, Hillary Clinton would need to pay those interns $12 per hour, right?)

Of course, the Clinton Foundation — located in legendarily expensive New York City — uses unpaid internships, too.

To Dream the Impossible Dream . . .

Alright, here’s the deal. First, thanks to all of you who have bought Heavy Lifting so far. If you’ve read these pitches in Jolt after Jolt, I’m sorry. Marketers tell me somebody has to hear a message seven times before it sinks in. (Pretend I repeated that sentence six times.)

Ever wonder how so many books get listed as New York Times bestsellers? It’s because there’s two lists — the weekly lists and the monthly lists. A book could miss the top 20 each week and still make the monthly list. What’s more, the monthly lists are divided into a lot more categories — i.e., family, relationships, politics, humor.

Heavy Lifting didn’t hit the weekly lists — that’s what happens when the online orders through Amazon arrive one week, and the book hits Barnes and Noble shelves another — but for obvious reasons, I’m hoping for a solid November. If you feel like purchasing a copy, thanks much. As Jonah mentioned in the Goldberg File, this is probably the biggest way a reader can thank a writer.

ADDENDA: I’ll be one of the emcees for the Young Conservative Coalition’s Sixth Annual Young Conservative Leadership ‘Buckley Awards.’ (After 40, it’s really flattering to be invited to any event with “young” in the title.) The event is Thursday, November 19, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Capitol Hill Club‘s Eisenhower Room, 300 First Street, S.E., directly across street from Capitol South metro stop.


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