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It’s Time to Make America Great Again


We are rotting from the inside out. The unmistakable stench of decay is wafting from shore to shore across this great country and the enemies of freedom are ecstatic. Campus protests of the Israel Hamas war are disrupting universities across the country, providing the latest evidence that the meaning of freedom is being debased and we are at serious risk of losing the precious way of life we inherited through the sacrifice of others.


Protest encampments cropped up across the country in response to the aggressive response of Israel to the Hamas attack that slaughtered 1,200 in Israel last October 7. Hamas shields itself among civilians in Gaza and they are caught in the crossfire of Israel’s determination to free the hostages taken on October 7 and destroy Hamas. Outside agitators have played a significant role in the protests. The rights to free speech and lawful assembly have been bastardized to include breaking and entering, destruction of property, violation of university rules, and  intimidation and assault of Jewish students. Protestors are demanding universities divest from all investments in companies that do business with Israel, our greatest ally in the middle east.


Some faculty have joined in the protests demonstrating through their behavior that they are unfit to teach. Scott Galloway, a Professor at New York University, one of the protest sites, described the devolution of higher education as moving from centers of educational excellence to centers of political orthodoxy and social engineering. He went on to say they push an oppressor/oppressed orthodoxy in which whiteness and wealth are equated with oppression. Galloway pointed out that the tolerance of the hatred being expressed toward the Jewish people would not be so nuanced it were someone donning Ku Klux Klan garb saying Blacks should be lynched.


Most university administrators are showing themselves to lack the leadership clarity, courage, and skill to manage the unrest. They coddled, tolerated, and negotiated and, as the violence escalated, they were forced to call in the police. There have been at least 2,300 arrested or detained and, of those, a significant number are not students. There have been some suspensions and expulsions and commencement ceremonies have been cancelled at a number of universities including Columbia and the University of Southern California.


In a shameless example of knuckling under to outrageous demands from faculty and students, the President of Dickenson College disinvited Michael Smerconish as commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient. He is a journalist, talk show host and author of 7 books. Faculty and students demanded he be cancelled because of his first book, published in 2004, entitled Flying Blind: How Political Correctness continues to Compromise Airline Safety Post 9/11. In it he exposed how the Department of Transportation prohibited secondary screening of more than two individuals of the same ethnicity at the same time. He pointed out that if this policy had been in place on 9/11 the hijackers could not have been singled out for suspicious behavior.


In perhaps one of the most disgusting illustrations of our decay, the students of the Law School of Columbia University, considered to be among the most elite schools in the country, demanded that final exams be postponed. They said they were traumatized by all of the police presence on the campus and they had already been unable to focus and highly emotional before the police arrived because of what is happening in Gaza. Hearing this sickened me. It brought to mind a sharp contrast with my dad at that age. One of 5 brothers fighting in World War II, he was a 24-year-old fighter pilot, shot down, badly wounded and taken prisoner. When he was liberated at the end of the war, he learned his oldest brother, a tank commander, had been killed. A resilient man, he loved this country and the freedoms he fought for and went on to recover and, in partnership with my mom, created the American dream for themselves and their seven kids. They taught us how to live. Just 3 generations later, as I watch these weak, ignorant, indulged, and self-important children, I see nothing but a pathetic excuse for the future of this country and wonder how we could have gone so wrong.


Anyone watching the protests can see that the tents and signage on the encampments look similar. Politico has investigated their funding and reported that some of Joe Biden’s biggest donors are involved through convoluted webs that are not easy to trace. They include names we all recognize: Soros, Rockefeller, Pritzker, Zuckerberg, and Gates. The very people who have been enriched by the opportunities of this great country are using their wealth to try to destroy it.


Joe Biden laid low as long as he could and, when the political pressure became too great, he made a brief statement weeks after the disruption started. He spoke in platitudes: we have the right to free speech and peaceful assembly and must also uphold the rule of law. Order must be preserved. This isn’t a moment for politics. Violent protest is not protected. There is no place for antisemitism, islamophobia, or racism. In seeking to appease everyone, he said nothing. Leadership requires action and outcomes. What he should have said …International students who are in violation of our laws, rioting against our country or violating university rules will have their Visas revoked and not be allowed to return; he supports the arrest and full prosecution of all lawbreakers; he supports the suspension and expulsion of students who violate the law and university rules; and he supports the firing of faculty who do the same.


There are some beacons of light through all of this darkness. The President of the University of Florida managed his campus protests effectively. His clarity and willingness to lead made the difference. He proclaimed himself to be a “zealot of free speech” and was clear that everyone has the right to say whatever they wish but there is a difference between speech and actions. There is a time, place, and manner to exercise free speech and students are not free to “spit at cops, barricade themselves in buildings or disrupt graduation ceremonies.” He made it clear the university has rules and students must comply with them. When asked if he was open to the students’ demands to divest in investments in Israel, he was equally clear. He said the students are free to try to persuade but “we just don’t negotiate with people who scream the loudest.”  He noted that universities around the country are giving the most attention and voice to the smallest, loudest group.


The University of Florida has the most Jewish students in the country. Protests of the Israel Hamas war are underway and campus rules are being followed. The university has 17 colleges and schools and their commencements have all been celebrations without incident.


There is a wise, prophetic saying befitting of this moment in history: Bad times make strong men. Strong men make good times. Good times make weak men and weak men make bad times. Our lives were made good by the strong Americans who came before us and we have squandered too many of the opportunities we have been given. We have produced weak men and women and they will destroy our country if we let them. We do not have forever to change course. It’s time to make America great again.

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