Anthony Dick, at NRO, discusses the University of California tuition hike protests, which is being led by students which he refers to as “Whiney Brats.”
First and foremost, the protests are about privileged kids demanding subsidies from working people. The UC system will continue to be heavily subsidized by taxpayers, and the students who attend are among the most naturally gifted, with the highest future earning potential, in the country. This is especially true at the system’s flagship schools of Berkeley and UCLA, where the protests have been most intense. Narcissism and self-absorption are the norm on college campuses, but it really is pushing the limits to throw such a tantrum at the idea that you will be getting a smaller amount of free money taken out of the paychecks of strapped taxpayers, most of whom could never dream of the advantages and opportunities you enjoy.
Second, these protesters claim the mantle of the free-speech movement, but it is a betrayal and a subversion of the principles of free speech to forcibly occupy a school building and block out its rightful owners and occupants (including other tuition-paying students). The very idea of free speech is to facilitate the peaceful exchange of ideas, without allowing the use or threat of force to distort the process. The whole enterprise suffers when thugs begin breaking out the chains and barricades and committing property crimes in order to get their way.
As I recall, virtually everything about college was about not accepting the reality of the effects of actions. Government money was supposed to be spent without limits; it’s origin was not to be questioned. Policies should never benefit the rich in any way; never mind that rich people create jobs. Christianity bad, Muslim good; just disregard the towers that fell so dramatically during my junior year. And so on, and so on.
Why does Mr. Dick expect these students to think any differently?