A Clarion Call for Reason

That the Left could besmirch the gentle heroism and kindness depicted in this picture should be evidence enough of the malignant growth that is now casting a pall over America. It is time for Americans to put the vile genie back in its box.

In his slim volume titled A Trumpet for Reason, written in 1970, Leo Rosten gives a "ringing answer to the New Left, the New Right, the militants and extremists and romantic demagogues who have been tearing our country apart." He writes that America stands "in peril of being stampeded by the over-simplifiers, however honest; the fanatic, however idealistic; the unstable, however eloquent; and the naive, however appealing."

Why did we not learn that the "glittering nostrums of spellbinders" such as Obama would prove so disastrous to this country? Rosten wonders if "each generation [must] learn for itself that "when altruists turn militant they become self-righteous tyrants." Thus, "a few days prior to the January 20, 2017 inauguration of Republican President Donald J. Trump, James O'Keefe's investigative journalism organization, Project Veritas, released undercover video footage exposing a cohort of hard-left, self-described 'anarchists,' 'anti-capitalists,' and 'anti-fascists' who -- in an effort to undermine Trump's presidency and strike back at the 'Nazis' who they said supported him -- were plotting to disrupt the inaugural festivities with a massive protest dubbed 'DisruptJ20.' Specifically, the conspirators planned to: (a) create a series of 'clusterf**k blockades' sealing off ingress points all over the capital; (b) shut down the Washington, DC Metro lines by chaining the trains to other physical structures; (c) inject butyric acid into the vent shafts of the National Press Club; and (d) physically assault Trump backers with well-placed, debilitating punches directly to the throat."

In fact, "one of the activists… told the Washington Post, the violence 'was purposeful in its symbolism' – meaning… that 'vandalism at a Starbucks shop and a Bank of America branch were executed as attacks on capitalism and corporate greed.'"

Antifa members dress entirely in black, and their faces are covered by black masks, hoods, and scarves. According to organizers 'Antifa combines radical left-wing and anarchist politics, revulsion at racists, sexists, homophobes, anti-Semites, and Islamophobes, with the international anti-fascist culture of taking the streets and physically confronting the brownshirts of white supremacy, whoever they may be.'"

Actually, "[a]t its heart, the Antifa movement is… a communist phenomenon whose adherents – consisting predominantly of upper-middle-class white males -- believe that conservatives, particularly those who supported Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, are the moral equivalent of Nazis and are therefore not entitled to the free-speech protections guaranteed by the First Amendment. Moreover… the movement has a strong element of anarchism as well; thus its members are commonly seen waving the red and black flag of anarcho-communism." Their intent is to totally destroy America.

Sadly, "[m]ainstream media outlets have typically refrained from acknowledging just how radical and revolutionary Antifa's objectives and practices are, portraying the movement instead as a well-intentioned alliance of idealists who seek nothing more than to thwart the evils of right-wing 'fascism.' The Washington Post, for instance, has benignly referred to Antifa and its allies as 'antifascist groups'" as has the Los Angeles Times and the New York Daily News. Other sources -- both mainstream and far left -- have painted Antifa in openly complimentary tones. For example, an April 2017 Esquire magazine article lauded the movement's 'anti-fascist' vigilantes for crashing pro-Trump demonstrations [.]"

Moreover, instead of a social order that promotes free speech, and free thought, we have university campuses becoming bastions of intolerance, violence, and sheer terror as professors assemble a "Campus Antifascist Network (CAN) to serve as a 'big tent' for 'anyone committed to fighting fascism.'" And despite the fact that Antifa groups employ violence to shut down opposing speakers, "the professors insist that they only support 'self-defense' by 'those who are being threatened by fascists.'" Their syllabus, for example, highlights writings from the Southern Poverty Law Center, (SPLC) which has become notorious for the suppression of speech. The SPLC listings of so-called extremists have included Dr. Ben Carson, Rand Paul, the Family Research Council, Charles Murray, Frank Gaffney, Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media, Dinesh D'Souza, and Jeff Sessions as well as tea party and patriot organizations.

It is poignant that at the end of his book, Rosten wonders whether faculty members will ever wonder about the effect on America when a campus becomes "a sanctuary for lawbreaking and an inviolable base, a 'neutral' staging ground, for hit-and-run guerilla raids off campus." Will they have any "guilt about students who were beaten, teachers who were vilified, lecturers who were shouted down by neo-Nazi mob chantings"? Though this was written almost a half a century ago, one is reminded of Professor Melissa Click of the University of Missouri who, in 2015, demanded "some muscle" as she tried to knock down a cameraman and eject a journalist.

That the "guardians, both in the universities and elsewhere, have lost the will and the self-confidence to defend the institutions they are meant to lead… will by their own actions destroy the universities and everything they stand for." And, in fact, enrollment is down in universities. Whereas in 1970 Rosten reminded us that "if a whiff of the Weimar republic lies over Britain today, it is not difficult to discern where the blame lies," Melanie Phillips chronicles the eclipse of reason in the West today.

Ever prescient, Rosten emphasized that "the products of 'liberated' curriculums will be bitterly disappointed, unless they retreat into a permanent break with reality.'"

Think snowflakes, perhaps?

In the book titled Cartoonists Against the Holocaust authors Rafael Medoff and Craig Yoe collected cartoons of American political cartoonists who highlighted the acts of real Nazis. A 1933 political cartoon from the Jewish Daily Bulletin where Hitler, Goebbels, and Goering watch as a Nazi thug stomps on an innocent is a mirror image of what the Antifa thugs do today as they repeatedly prove that they are the true totalitarians.

And the black-clad hoodlums who claim allegiance to Marxism need to be reminded that "wherever [their] heroes -- Marx, Mao, Che -- have prevailed, students, writers, teachers, scientists have been punished with hard labor or death. For what? For their opinions, For their poems. For their stories. For insufficient subservience to monolithic dogma."

Yet one of "Antifa's modus operandi is deplatforming -- i.e., depriving conservatives (whom Antifa calls 'fascists') of a speaking platform, by drowning them out with bullhorns, airhorns, and group chants, or shutting down their events with 'human walls' that block anyone from attending. Moreover, Antifa encourages and practices 'doxxing,' the use of cyber attacks to first ascertain the identity of an Internet user, and to then access and make public his or her valuable personal data. Some of those digitally hounded by Antifa members have been forced virtually to seek new identities." Actually, Antifa exemplifies a "hidden, liberal-radical bigotry" often found among middle-class militants.

And then there is the intense desire to erase history. As Rosten explained, "history is not a barren chronicle of dates and names; it is the retracing of human problems, efforts, errors, successes by which we may have some context within which to think and judge, some light to guide our search for causes and effects, some signals of warning, some tested beacons with which to light our voyage toward a wider, deeper humaneness." Larry Elder explains this very well. But as statues and other American historical objects are destroyed, those who engage in this assault are no better than ISIS which obliterates historical artifacts dating back thousands of years.

In fact, "Antifa's propensity for using violence as a means of silencing its enemies is particularly significant. Utterly rejecting any notion of a free and open exchange of ideas, the movement views anyone who holds a contrary political perspective as The Enemy that must be crushed by any means necessary. Thus, in the final analysis, it can accurately be said that the Antifa communists who so passionately denounce fascism, are in fact fascists themselves."

The only force Rosten feared more than "human irrationality [was] irrationality armed with passion." He emphasized that "[i]t is time for those who believe in freedom to come to the defense of freedom -- and reason. Neither can survive if either is destroyed. And both can be destroyed if we allow demagogues, vandals, terrorists, bombers, blackmailers, and romantic bubbleheads with political hallucinations to go unchallenged."

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com

That the Left could besmirch the gentle heroism and kindness depicted in this picture should be evidence enough of the malignant growth that is now casting a pall over America. It is time for Americans to put the vile genie back in its box.

In his slim volume titled A Trumpet for Reason, written in 1970, Leo Rosten gives a "ringing answer to the New Left, the New Right, the militants and extremists and romantic demagogues who have been tearing our country apart." He writes that America stands "in peril of being stampeded by the over-simplifiers, however honest; the fanatic, however idealistic; the unstable, however eloquent; and the naive, however appealing."

Why did we not learn that the "glittering nostrums of spellbinders" such as Obama would prove so disastrous to this country? Rosten wonders if "each generation [must] learn for itself that "when altruists turn militant they become self-righteous tyrants." Thus, "a few days prior to the January 20, 2017 inauguration of Republican President Donald J. Trump, James O'Keefe's investigative journalism organization, Project Veritas, released undercover video footage exposing a cohort of hard-left, self-described 'anarchists,' 'anti-capitalists,' and 'anti-fascists' who -- in an effort to undermine Trump's presidency and strike back at the 'Nazis' who they said supported him -- were plotting to disrupt the inaugural festivities with a massive protest dubbed 'DisruptJ20.' Specifically, the conspirators planned to: (a) create a series of 'clusterf**k blockades' sealing off ingress points all over the capital; (b) shut down the Washington, DC Metro lines by chaining the trains to other physical structures; (c) inject butyric acid into the vent shafts of the National Press Club; and (d) physically assault Trump backers with well-placed, debilitating punches directly to the throat."

In fact, "one of the activists… told the Washington Post, the violence 'was purposeful in its symbolism' – meaning… that 'vandalism at a Starbucks shop and a Bank of America branch were executed as attacks on capitalism and corporate greed.'"

Antifa members dress entirely in black, and their faces are covered by black masks, hoods, and scarves. According to organizers 'Antifa combines radical left-wing and anarchist politics, revulsion at racists, sexists, homophobes, anti-Semites, and Islamophobes, with the international anti-fascist culture of taking the streets and physically confronting the brownshirts of white supremacy, whoever they may be.'"

Actually, "[a]t its heart, the Antifa movement is… a communist phenomenon whose adherents – consisting predominantly of upper-middle-class white males -- believe that conservatives, particularly those who supported Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, are the moral equivalent of Nazis and are therefore not entitled to the free-speech protections guaranteed by the First Amendment. Moreover… the movement has a strong element of anarchism as well; thus its members are commonly seen waving the red and black flag of anarcho-communism." Their intent is to totally destroy America.

Sadly, "[m]ainstream media outlets have typically refrained from acknowledging just how radical and revolutionary Antifa's objectives and practices are, portraying the movement instead as a well-intentioned alliance of idealists who seek nothing more than to thwart the evils of right-wing 'fascism.' The Washington Post, for instance, has benignly referred to Antifa and its allies as 'antifascist groups'" as has the Los Angeles Times and the New York Daily News. Other sources -- both mainstream and far left -- have painted Antifa in openly complimentary tones. For example, an April 2017 Esquire magazine article lauded the movement's 'anti-fascist' vigilantes for crashing pro-Trump demonstrations [.]"

Moreover, instead of a social order that promotes free speech, and free thought, we have university campuses becoming bastions of intolerance, violence, and sheer terror as professors assemble a "Campus Antifascist Network (CAN) to serve as a 'big tent' for 'anyone committed to fighting fascism.'" And despite the fact that Antifa groups employ violence to shut down opposing speakers, "the professors insist that they only support 'self-defense' by 'those who are being threatened by fascists.'" Their syllabus, for example, highlights writings from the Southern Poverty Law Center, (SPLC) which has become notorious for the suppression of speech. The SPLC listings of so-called extremists have included Dr. Ben Carson, Rand Paul, the Family Research Council, Charles Murray, Frank Gaffney, Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media, Dinesh D'Souza, and Jeff Sessions as well as tea party and patriot organizations.

It is poignant that at the end of his book, Rosten wonders whether faculty members will ever wonder about the effect on America when a campus becomes "a sanctuary for lawbreaking and an inviolable base, a 'neutral' staging ground, for hit-and-run guerilla raids off campus." Will they have any "guilt about students who were beaten, teachers who were vilified, lecturers who were shouted down by neo-Nazi mob chantings"? Though this was written almost a half a century ago, one is reminded of Professor Melissa Click of the University of Missouri who, in 2015, demanded "some muscle" as she tried to knock down a cameraman and eject a journalist.

That the "guardians, both in the universities and elsewhere, have lost the will and the self-confidence to defend the institutions they are meant to lead… will by their own actions destroy the universities and everything they stand for." And, in fact, enrollment is down in universities. Whereas in 1970 Rosten reminded us that "if a whiff of the Weimar republic lies over Britain today, it is not difficult to discern where the blame lies," Melanie Phillips chronicles the eclipse of reason in the West today.

Ever prescient, Rosten emphasized that "the products of 'liberated' curriculums will be bitterly disappointed, unless they retreat into a permanent break with reality.'"

Think snowflakes, perhaps?

In the book titled Cartoonists Against the Holocaust authors Rafael Medoff and Craig Yoe collected cartoons of American political cartoonists who highlighted the acts of real Nazis. A 1933 political cartoon from the Jewish Daily Bulletin where Hitler, Goebbels, and Goering watch as a Nazi thug stomps on an innocent is a mirror image of what the Antifa thugs do today as they repeatedly prove that they are the true totalitarians.

And the black-clad hoodlums who claim allegiance to Marxism need to be reminded that "wherever [their] heroes -- Marx, Mao, Che -- have prevailed, students, writers, teachers, scientists have been punished with hard labor or death. For what? For their opinions, For their poems. For their stories. For insufficient subservience to monolithic dogma."

Yet one of "Antifa's modus operandi is deplatforming -- i.e., depriving conservatives (whom Antifa calls 'fascists') of a speaking platform, by drowning them out with bullhorns, airhorns, and group chants, or shutting down their events with 'human walls' that block anyone from attending. Moreover, Antifa encourages and practices 'doxxing,' the use of cyber attacks to first ascertain the identity of an Internet user, and to then access and make public his or her valuable personal data. Some of those digitally hounded by Antifa members have been forced virtually to seek new identities." Actually, Antifa exemplifies a "hidden, liberal-radical bigotry" often found among middle-class militants.

And then there is the intense desire to erase history. As Rosten explained, "history is not a barren chronicle of dates and names; it is the retracing of human problems, efforts, errors, successes by which we may have some context within which to think and judge, some light to guide our search for causes and effects, some signals of warning, some tested beacons with which to light our voyage toward a wider, deeper humaneness." Larry Elder explains this very well. But as statues and other American historical objects are destroyed, those who engage in this assault are no better than ISIS which obliterates historical artifacts dating back thousands of years.

In fact, "Antifa's propensity for using violence as a means of silencing its enemies is particularly significant. Utterly rejecting any notion of a free and open exchange of ideas, the movement views anyone who holds a contrary political perspective as The Enemy that must be crushed by any means necessary. Thus, in the final analysis, it can accurately be said that the Antifa communists who so passionately denounce fascism, are in fact fascists themselves."

The only force Rosten feared more than "human irrationality [was] irrationality armed with passion." He emphasized that "[i]t is time for those who believe in freedom to come to the defense of freedom -- and reason. Neither can survive if either is destroyed. And both can be destroyed if we allow demagogues, vandals, terrorists, bombers, blackmailers, and romantic bubbleheads with political hallucinations to go unchallenged."

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com

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