Posted on 7/31/2017, 11:31:55 AM by Thistooshallpass9
The suddenly chic term “snowflake” seems, at first glance, to be an apt insult for the leftist radicals that have become so numerous in American universities in recent years.
But is it a fitting metaphor?
The “beautiful and unique” part of the term works well. Such students have an inflated estimation of their uniqueness, individuality and importance. They are driven partly by the belief that they are special and uniquely enlightened, and that their feelings carry more weight than those of other people.
The “perfect conditions only” aspect of the analogy is also apt. Like snowflakes that can abide only optimal weather conditions, young leftist radicals are notoriously easily offended. Any statement that doesn’t perfectly adhere to the prevailing politically correct orthodoxy triggers them. Any belief that doesn’t perfectly match their own worldview sends them into a rage. They feel themselves to be personally victimized by Brexit, and by the idea that America could be run by a person that they didn’t vote for. And if someone is so obscene as to assert that a fetus is more than a clump of cells, that the sun plays a role in climate change, or that a person with two X chromosomes is a woman and a person with an X and a Y is a man, the campus leftists will be offended to the point of wrath.
But at the “fragility” part of the term, the snowflake analogy breaks down.
Yes, these radicals are easily offended. But unlike nature’s snowflakes, campus leftists don’t melt away under heat.
When a Yale instructor said in 2015 that students should determine for themselves how to dress for Halloween rather than genuflecting to the university’s warning against costumes that were “culturally unaware or insensitive,” were the campus leftists spooked into grief-stricken silence? Did the possibility of them seeing a classmate wearing a sombrero reduce these students to puddles of tears?
No. They waged a seven-month campaign of aggression, painting graffiti outside the instructor’s home, posting degrading images of her and her husband—also a faculty member—online, cursing them out, and generally bullying and harassing them until both resigned from their administrative posts.
When the University of California–Berkeley’s College Republicans invited alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos to speak to them in February, did the campus leftists retreat into safe spaces to cower in fear?
No. They rioted, vandalized facilities, set fires, smashed windows, and beat people in the streets with metal poles until Yiannopoulos was evacuated and his speech canceled. The radicals won the battle against Milo’s speech, but the war wasn’t over. A spokesperson for the College Republican student group said that, in the months since the incident, their members have been “pepper-sprayed, sucker-punched and verbally and physically assaulted for voicing their opinions and beliefs” on campus. One group member caught a leftist student destroying one of the Republican group’s signs and posted a recording of the vandalism online. It was one of many such acts of vandalism against the Republicans. Unidentified individuals also posted signs across campus calling for members of the Republican organization to be lynched or beheaded.
When Middlebury College invited libertarian conservative social scientist Charles Murray to speak in March, did the school’s leftists withdraw to a cry-in on some remote corner of the campus to quietly grieve the decision?
No. They shouted obscenities until Murray was silenced. After Murray had been hurried into a smaller room along with event moderator Allison Stanger, the extremists found them and banged windows and pulled fire alarms until the building’s power was shut down. Finally, when Murray and Stanger tried to leave campus, the mob swarmed them, hospitalizing Stanger.
When House Republicans passed the Obamacare-replacement bill in May, did the University of Georgia’s Young Democratic Socialists recoil, defeated, into their fragility and anxiety?
No. They called for those Republicans to be “guillotined.”
These campus leftists are not fragile students who melt under the heat of opposition. They don’t riot out of maudlin emotional sensitivity. That’s off the mark. Theirs is the fervid indignation of moral virtue. They are extremists of liberal orthodoxy, hell bent on doing whatever it takes to silence heretics who disagree with their sacred tenets—sometimes including using violence.
In this way, these extremists are fiery religious zealots.
They are not champions of such cornerstone liberal American values as free speech, rule of law and due process, but opponents of them. The stakes in their holy war are too high to be restrained by such tedious values. Political morality must be enforced. Heretics can’t be reasoned or compromised with. Debate must be shut down. All anathema views must be forcibly quashed. In this crusade, any microaggression against the sacrosanct leftist creed must be countered with macroaggression.
Of course, not all campus leftists would revert to violence. But this is not about hypersensitivity.
It’s about religious fervor.
Radicals know that their intellect and privileged educational status does not entitle them to self-importance. So they take up causes that do give them the gratifying entitlement to feel superior. This way, their identity is based not on their privileged education, but on moral superiority.
This new religion is the opium of the privileged class.
It is true that within pious progressivism, there is some posturing and duplicity; there are those who have learned to game it for their own political ends. But many adherents are sincere. They’ve gotten swept up in easy religion—an easy cause to fill the aching moral void.
Like every religion, it has a few valid moral tenets. But overwhelmingly, it is shallow, shortsighted and self-serving piety.
It is a religion of zealous demands for social justice (the shortsighted, feel-good justice of popular culture and vapid secular absolutism that is in the long run anything but just), but one that puts no demands on the individual to develop substantive character, humility or sound judgment. And it places no demand on the individual to wage the grueling, lifelong battle against selfishness within his own mind.
The religion requires no deference to an acknowledged higher authority in pursuit of true judgment. The human heart is the highest authority.
Contradiction they view as persecution. Instead of being devastated by it, the campus zealots are galvanized by it. They spill over with rage and sanctimony, all the more fervent to fight for their righteous cause. They are fueled by faith that can be as blind as that of the most benighted religion. No one would call Islamic State jihadists snowflakes. And the fervor of campus leftists springs from that same well.
This type of belligerent piety is nothing new. Jesus Christ encountered its equal some 2,000 years ago, in the Pharisees who were bent on silencing His “heresy.” He called attention to the stark contrast between their external show of righteousness, and their internal decay: “You are like whitewashed tombs that look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead people’s bones and every kind of impurity” (Matthew 23:27; International Standard Version).
These campus leftists are a new brand of radical Pharisees, ready to take up stones to silence opponents of their new religion.
Since the radicals are not fragile individuals in perpetual need of safe spaces, a better term for them than snowflakes might be secular Pharisees………………………………………..