"Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government." Thomas Jefferson

Kindergarchy and Our Clash of Civilizations

Melanie Sturm | @ThinkAgainUSA Read Comments - 12
Publish Date: 
Thu, 12/03/2015

With the civilized world reeling from the Islamic State’s “no-lives-matter” terrorism, it’s worth recalling how General George Patton inspired college-age G.I.’s to vacate their safe spaces for D-Day’s virtual suicide mission. Rallying them to Think Again about their lives’ purpose, Patton’s micro-aggression-laced appeal established, “Americans play to win.”


Could college students cocooned on today’s morally confused campuses appreciate such stridency in defense of liberty, or would they banish Patton as they have other unfashionable voices, including former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice?


“We’ll win this war,” Patton proclaimed, “by fighting and showing the Germans that we’ve got more guts than they have…. We’re not going to just shoot the bastards,” he clarified, “we’re going to rip out their living goddamned guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks.”


Responding more fearlessly than today’s campus “crybullies” could fathom, Patton’s troops helped crush Nazism while others extinguished Imperial Japan, ending tyrannical threats to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”


Seven decades after winning World War II, the greatest threat to individual rights is not Islamic radicalism, but a fading commitment to bedrock democratic values – free expression, equality under the law, and pluralism.  


As Abraham Lincoln understood, "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms,” he predicted, “it will be because we destroyed ourselves."


To appreciate the freedoms we’re in jeopardy of losing – and the medievalism to which jihadists want to return – recall humanity’s condition before our rights-assuring ideals civilized the world. As 17th-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes described, life was “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”


Oscar Wilde once observed how America’s youth, “are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience.” Proving Wilde’s point, 40 percent of millenials support government restrictions on offensive speech, according to a recent Pew poll, compared to 12 percent of seniors.


That America’s youth disproportionately favor speech suppression explains headline-grabbing campus meltdowns – and refusals by Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld to perform for students too sensitive to take a joke.


Most distressing is how adults charged with teaching the young to thrive in a world of potential offenses are ceding control to children who are ill-equipped to govern themselves never mind society, creating what essayist Joseph Epstein calls “Kindergarchy.”


Instead of learning how to cope with divergent ideas, values, and speech, many young adults in our Kindergarchy invert the Golden Rule, doing unto others what they wouldn’t want done to them. Increasingly, they’re disrespectful – even hostile – to those with different viewpoints.


Consider these campus absurdities: Mount Holyoke canceled “The Vagina Monologues” for lack of “transgender inclusivity”; Wesleyan’s student government cut funding for a newspaper that published an “offensive” op-ed; Columbia students claimed Greek mythology “marginalizes student identities,” requiring trigger warnings; Brown created a secret group for discussing controversial topics freely; Amherst activists demanded banning free speech posters.


Under pressure to promote the toxic concept of “microaggression” (subconscious bigotry), University of California campuses discourage phrases deemed offensive, including “America is the land of opportunity,” and “There’s only one race, the human race.”


Missouri’s recent protests over alleged racism devolved into demands for the now former university president to write a handwritten resignation letter apologizing for “white, male privilege.” 


Yale’s debate over potentially insensitive Halloween costumes morphed into outrage after a faculty member suggested, “free speech and the ability to tolerate offence are the hallmarks of a free and open society.” Is there room, she wondered, to be “obnoxious,” “inappropriate,” or offensive” on campuses that are increasingly “places of censure and prohibition?” In response, a student whined, “I don’t want to debate. I want to talk about my pain.”


In their widely-discussed Atlantic essay, “The Coddling of the American Mind,” co-authors Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff argue “teaching students that their emotions can be used effectively as weapons…may be training students in thinking styles that will damage their careers and friendships, along with their mental health.”


Herein lies the problem with the “victimhood culture” that permeates our Kindergarchy – it disempowers and hurts people.  Wouldn’t young adults “be better prepared to flourish,” Haidt and Lukianoff ask, “if we taught them to question their own emotional reactions, and to give people the benefit of the doubt?”


Ultimately, coerced silence kills democracy for as Edmund Burke noted, “the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”  Americans have always been a people willing to do something about evil, but as Patton understood, defeating evil is a choice, not a destiny.


To secure the open and vibrant society from which America’s creativity, prosperity and decency spring, we must continuously defend our democratic values, at home and abroad.


Think Again – without America as a bulwark of liberty, how will the Islamic world ever embrace freedom and modernity?



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1. In 1968, Bobby Kennedy was

1. In 1968, Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by a Muslim male.

2. In 1972, at the Munich Olympics, Israeli athletes were kidnapped and massacred by Muslim males.

3. In 1972, a PanAm 747 was hijacked and eventually diverted to Cairo where a fuse was lit on final approach. Shortly after landing it was blown up by Muslim males.

4. In 1973, a PanAm 707 was destroyed in Rome, with 33 people killed, when it was attacked with grenades by Muslim males.

5. In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by Muslim males.

6. During the 1980's a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by Muslim males.

7. In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by Muslim males.

8. In 1985, the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70-year old Jewish American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by Muslim males.

9. In 1985, TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a US Navy diver trying to rescue passengers was murdered by Muslim males.

10. In 1988, PanAm Flight 103 was bombed by Muslim males.

11. In 1993, the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by Muslim males.

12. In 1998, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by Muslim males.

13. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles to take down the World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one crashed into the US Pentagon and the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers. Thousands of people were killed by Muslim males.

14. In 2002, the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against Muslim males.

15. In 2002, reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and beheaded by - you guessed it - a Muslim male. (Plus two other American journalists were just recently beheaded).

16. In 2013, the Boston Marathon Bombing resulted in 4 Innocent people, including a child, being killed plus 264 people injured by Muslim males.

So don't be the idiot trying to say everything is going to be okay and these rednecks don't need all their guns. These fuckers are infiltrating our country daily and settling down here and setting up shop. Their religion is a religion of hate and intolerance, always has been always will be. Not sure how many of you realize this country is FULL of Jews, but that and Christians as well as the American infidel are the favorite target of our dear friends from Africa and the Middle East

Has history taught us

Has history taught us nothing?

They left one part of history out. In the 7th century the Muslims invaded Spain (Just a short hop across the Mediterranean). They occupied Spain for 800 years. It took Spain 800 years to drive them out and by 1492 they finally did it. I'm sure you have heard of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabela). You would think that after 800 years the Spanish would all be Muslims but yet they retained their identity, their culture, Christian religion their language, etc. That shows the character of the Spanish people.

My knowledge of my history has made me sensitive to the Islamic threat (have been long before many others) and why I feel we should react in the strongest possible way to eliminate the bastards.

0bama's crap about "reducing their capabilites" is just stupid.

This is right on. We are collectively stupid as a society.

The war started in the 7th century and lasted through the 17th century. I would contend it never stopped but historically the facts below are correct.

This is why I choke when I hear someone say we will defeat or contain these Islamic terrorists in a few years or even 30 years as recently stated by Leon Panetta.

If the latest batch of murders, beheadings, and killing of innocent Christians has shocked you, maybe you should read this compilation of historical facts about the hatred of Muslims.

In 732 A.D., the Muslim Army, which was moving on Paris, was defeated and turned back at Tours, France, by Charles Martell. (Charlemagne)

In 1571 A.D., the Muslim Army/Navy was defeated by the Italians and Austrians as they tried to cross the Mediterranean to attack southern Europe in the Battle of Lepanto.

This is all factually (and historically) correct and verifiable

Our children are being taught

Our children are being taught in our public schools from kindergarten on that America is really not the great place it is.

They are taught that Columbus was evil, our founding fathers were hypocritical white men, we've become prosperous at the expense of other nations, and we've done much more harm than good in the world. Very few of our young people have a strong sense of patriotism and love of country and have been indoctrinated into believing that they should be given everything in life without working for it.

Unless we are able to convince these youngsters that they have been lied to by their teachers and others and teach them and show them the truth of America's positive impact upon the world, we will continue to deteriorate as a society and a nation. And if America - with her high and noble ideals of personal liberty, equal opportunity, and moral responsibility - dies, who will be the shining light on the hill? There is no other light because there is no other America.

When we forsook God, our light diminished. If we don't seek Him again, our light will grow dimmer and dimmer until it is finally extinguished.

I don't believe the Islamic

I don't believe the Islamic world will ever embrace individual freedom and modernity, regardless of America's actions or in action. For the Islamic movement to do otherwise would be suicide for the religion. There are but two paths to the future, world wide Islamic domination or complete annihilation of the Islamic movement.

Amen! Although we clearly

Amen! Although we clearly enjoy the freedom to participate in national discussions of issues that are deemed important, I cannot help but feel nearly hopeless since these discussions are often framed by forces that have lost the ability to know what we should be talking about. Thankfully, there are exceptions, like yourself.

Well written and on target.

Well written and on target. My interface with young teenagers in terms of their willingness to work and question how things are done, reveals that basic education regarding science and civic history is seriously lacking. And this is Aspen High students.

This is such an important

This is such an important column. I speak on campuses and remind them that the First Amendment protects the right to offend. If it's truly offensive, consider the source and move on. This business of suppressing things people don't like is ridiculous. Thanks for this great piece!

Absolutely Brilliant! Only

Absolutely Brilliant! Only Joseph Epstein matches Miss Sturm's common sense prose.

I´m surprised they event

I´m surprised they event printed this in Aspen. So many great points, and supported with excellent quotes. I think the bottom line is that we do not translate and transfer American values to those who are born here. In fact, we do a rotten job of it.

Generations of wealth have

Generations of wealth have created a nation of babies who prefer feeling to thinking--frozen in front of their fireplaces convinced Santa is about appear. It is left only to see what emerges from the ashes.

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