Om Pandya, Columnist
Ideology: Libertarian Conservative | Writing from: Florida
The European left is at it again. Just a week after more than a million French protestors took to the streets and effectively shut down the nation to protect their 30 years of comfortable retirement, British students rioted recently to protect the already dirt-cheap education they receive.
But of course, to protect their future, donning wigs and waving signs wasn’t nearly enough. They proceeded to block traffic, threaten violence, break the windows of the Conservative Party headquarters and throw bricks and fire extinguishers at the crowd, all to tear down the capitalist establishment that is slowly returning to Britain.
Education in Britain and most of Europe has been afforded the status of a human right. But it has been subsidized excessively at the cost of the taxpayer, and tertiary education especially has been a significant part of the education budget. Unlike healthcare and pensions, education has not been “paid into” by students and offers a fair target for cuts. While I can see this scenario occurring if the U.S. Government abandoned payments on Social Security, protests of this scale are unexpected for benefits that citizens are not even entitled to.
The same ridiculous protests occur during every G20 summit, where leftists trash public property to make an argument against globalization that has been abandoned by every rational economist. Even in South Korea, where exported jobs have resulted in the nation’s meteoric growth from an Asian backwater to an economy of a trillion dollars in merely half a century, police are preparing for violent protests from tens of thousands of union workers.
Not to mention the SEIU and other union protests right here in the United States that have ended violently. At my own school, campus radicals led the “Take Back NYU” farce that resulted in a security guard being sent to the hospital, and Fordham’s liberal student body have been known to force conservative guest speakers to rush off stage.
Compare these protests to the Tea Party. Firstly, we are the only of the listed movements of-late to have realized our goals. We actually put members of our movement into office and have at least temporarily changed the direction of political talk. Secondly, however extreme and radical our movement may be called, this still does not change the fact that except for a single incident in Kentucky, almost every single Tea Party has gone off successfully without even as much as a littering citation.
Many point to the weapons that many Tea Partiers openly carry as a threat and symbol of violence, but this argument merely seems to prove our point. Despite the all the guns, the only violence involving guns at all came against Eric Cantor, whose district office had a window shot out. On the right, we respect guns as fundamental to individual American freedom and not merely as threats of violence.
Yes, we can be rude and insensitive at times. As another author pointed out earlier this week, maybe it is because we don’t read big books or use big words. Sometimes we wave signs that cross a line, sometimes we say things that can be perceived as racist or ignorant. But never have we resulted to conduct that is dangerous to those around us or harmful to the fabric of our nation. Maybe the radical left can take some lessons from the “radical” right and learn to fight their battles in more productive ways.
But then again, we have valid points. They don’t. Maybe that’s the crucial difference.