Thursday, September 03, 2015
Thomas Sowell, noting later that Donald Trump is not a good candidate
for the presidency, nevertheless realizes
some utility from his candidacy:
After [Jeb] Bush's speech, hecklers from a group called "Black Lives Matter" caused Bush to simply leave the scene. When Trump opened his question-and-answer period by pointing to someone in the audience who had a question, a Hispanic immigration activist who had not been called on simply stood up and started haranguing.Sowell is right to point out the culpability of spineless leaders in our national decline and the danger they pose to rule of law. But he's not the first to mention this problem, which Ayn Rand saw during the campus riots of the 1960's.
Trump told the activist to sit down because someone else had been called on. But the harangue continued, until a security guard escorted the disrupter out of the room. And Jeb Bush later criticized Trump for having the disrupter removed!
What kind of president would someone make who caves in to those who act as if what they want automatically overrides other people's rights -- that the rules don't apply to them?
Trump later allowed the disrupter back in, and answered his questions... [bold added]
Unlike Sowell, Rand considers the origins of the problem, and finds them in the fundamental philosophical, anti-reason ideas taught to generations of students, and on which the campus "radicals" and impotent college administrations fundamentally agreed. In part, Rand concluded her essay on the matter ("The Cashing-In: The Student 'Rebellion'") as follows:
The philosophical impotence of the older generation is the reason why the adult authorities -- from the Berkeley administration to the social commentators to the press to Governor Brown -- were unable to take a firm stand and had no rational answer to the Berkeley rebellion. Granting the premises of modern philosophy, logic was on the side of the rebels. To answer them would require a total philosophical reevaluation, down to basic premises -- which none of those adults would dare attempt.It comes as no surprise that Bush, a collectivist who panders for the Hispanic vote, would criticize Trump for his actions. But what of Trump? We have to take his action in the greater context of his campaign: He is already doing the equivalent of interrupting a Q&A or staging a campus "take-over." His equivalent has been his threat to run independently -- unless he is treated "fairly" by the GOP, the whole of which has capitulated, hoping that happenstance will bail it out. (The fact that none dare stand up to him reveals that none know how: The public is obviosuly hungry for someone who will take a stand.) Trump's firmness with his disrupter isn't based on the moral certainty of defending what he knows to be good, but that of one thug protecting what he sees as his turf from another.
Hence the incredible spectacle of brute force, hoodlum tactics, and militantly explicit irrationality being brought to a university campus -- and being met by the vague, uncertain, apologetic concessions, the stale generalities, the evasive platitudes of the alleged defenders of academic law and order. [Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, pp. 252-253]
Sowell is perhaps more correct than he realizes regarding what these episodes have taught us.