Lessons to learn from Kyle Kashuv, the 2nd Amendment–supporting Parkland survivor
Recently, one Mr. Kyle Kashuv of Parkland infamy had his admission most unceremoniously rescinded from Harvard by its admission committee, which acted under its own weight and under additional pressure from a concerned citizenry (read: political enemies from both the Left and the right). This was the climax of an incident that began with the unearthing of certain disreputable and highly inflammatory comments made during Kashuv's secondary school days. Mr. Kashuv had already for some time before this been taking quite damaging shrapnel from his fellow conservatives, particularly from fellow right-wing wunderkind Mr. C.J. Pearson. Finally, Harvard took it upon itself to deliver the coup de grâce.
Now, it is obvious that this was the result of certain political machinations, as Harvard, along with all other institutions of higher learning, seeks only the merest pretense to take part in the great societal struggle against conservatism and by extension conservative individuals, especially up-and-coming young influential conservatives. Although most definitely Mr. Kashuv does not have highly developed racial sensitivities, the case of whether he was or is a bona fide racist instead of just a renegade "edgelord" is currently quite nubilous.
What is quite clear is that if Mr. Kashuv had been a political cleanskin, there is no doubt that his impressive academic credentials, consisting of a 1550 SAT along with a weighted GPA of 3.9 that earned him the rank of second in his class, would have been enough to enter the pearly white gates of Harvard with no one the wiser regarding past errancies.
The illuminating lessons that can be distilled from this event can help tremendously to sharpen the strategic mind of the conservative movement.
What are these lessons? Let us begin first by stating simply, "Don't trust anyone under 30," which happens to be antithetical to the little quip that serves as the rallying call of the heroes and heroines of many a young adult novel nowadays. This is tongue in cheek, but there is a sort of wisdom in it. The case of Mr. Kashuv is Exhibit A: here was an affable and articulate young man singing all the right political tunes who was immediately, because of rare qualities, catapulted into a position of prominence and largesse among the right. The unfortunate thing for Mr. Kashuv, as any one past a certain age comes to understand, is that youth giveth, and youth taketh away.
Dangerously standing in an elevated position of fame, a promising but totally unseasoned young man would have had to sooner or later participate in political battles that would challenge even the most veteran of politicos. There can be no doubt that if these repellent adolescent scribblings had come out a decade or so from now, both Mr. Kashuv's newfound maturity and the time elapsed would have allowed a somewhat satisfactory conclusion to the whole sordid affair instead of the debacle that has occurred.
Unfortunately, the political equivalent of robbing cradles appears to be becoming the norm among the right, where fresh young faces ("under 30s") are being picked from the garden before they are ripe. It as unseemly an act as it is unwise, because one can ruin a perfectly good thing in this way. Young conservative men and women should be allowed to roam free and sow their wild political oats before being thrust or attempting to thrust their way into positions of responsibility.
The second lesson to take from this situation is that "edginess" and "trolling" are tools, not pastimes. "Owning the libs" and chevauchées against political correctness are a means to an end. Therefore, unless such things are part of an overall life or political strategy, they accomplish nothing except leaving one wide open to damaging social and political denunciations. It is extremely tempting to gratify such short-term rhetorical pleasures, but a serious mind understands such foolishness and acts accordingly.
Unfortunately, such things come much more naturally to those of age than to striplings in or fresh out of secondary school, which ties into the first lesson. The youth wing of the conservative movement (including Mr. Kashuv) has some growing up to do. Offense should not be taken, nor it is implied by this remark, because after all, good things come to those who wait.
Ernesto J. Antunez is a conservative writer and student of political science residing in Miami. He can be reached at email@example.com or via Facebook (facebook.com/ernestojantunez) or Twitter (@ernestojantunez).