The age of the red hats
Thirty years ago, I found myself on the Kowloon ferry, facing several menacing men carrying four batons. Avoiding an encounter, I moved as fast as I could, ignoring these young men, who continued their angry rants.
What I could not forget was their anger and pointed red hats. These students professed to know better than their own professors. They were the Red Guards, the self-arrogated defenders of puerile Marxism. They were intolerant and belligerent. They also had an edge. Those who challenged that vision could be imprisoned even without a trial, and families could be forced into harsh labor.
Now we have the red pointed hats for the 2010s. Groups such as Black Lives Matter believe that only their will is correct. The hardcore left has checked off all debate. It is not as if evidence has been established to reinforce a claim. Evidence is irrelevant in a commitment to an idea. Anger is justifying this position; in fact, the Lenins of our time believe it's in the national interest to promote anger.
Clearly, there were Lenins before Lenin, but this was a constitutional republic predicated on a Burkean understanding of consensus and stability. The Founders of this republic could not possibly have assumed a coup d'état with elites wearing their pink hats or their metaphorical pointed red ones. The age of the red hat has reappeared, and with it has come a level of predestined anger.
In my judgment, this republic cannot survive this attack. We will be a different state or have no state at all. President Trump rightly concludes that it is a weary time to be a guy in the U.S. "Men are now guilty till proven innocent."
This Kavanaugh case has left America in shambles. Partisanship has reached new heights, and congressmen are insulted and abused. The university is a mere incubator for emerging hardcore leftist views. Yes, there are still stalwarts who stand behind rational positions, but they are seemingly in an alarming minority.
For several years, the Chinese pointed red hats ruled the roost. In a China dominated by party control, this could not last. In an economic takeoff stage, the Chinese authorities could not permit the ravings of a new class.
Will Chinese precedent influence American opinion? Red hats are the first sign. They don't wear them at Georgetown, Harvard, or Yale yet, but based on "course corrections," it is only a matter of a short time before American history programs fall into the interstices of radical sentiment.
This is indeed a moment unlike any other. Hence, reliance on precedent is probably a utopian future. Anger has reached an unknown precipice, and with it comes bombs from the red hats. Clear the decks; one doesn't know what comes next, but it cannot be good.
After 35 years in university life, I didn't think it would all come to anarchy. I was wrong then and am pessimistic about the future. Ladies, return those strange pink hats for the red ones, now selling at a premium.