Pick A Damn Side

There are only two sides to this particular argument. One side despises America and the West, and the other side really likes America and the West.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 30: A counter-demonstrator wears an Israeli flag while carrying an American flag near a pro-Palestinian encampment at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus on April 30, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. Pro-Palestinian encampments have sprung up at college campuses around the country with some protestors calling for schools to divest from Israeli interests amid the ongoing war in Gaza. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Mario Tama/Getty Images

When it comes to the college protesters roiling America’s campuses and roiling America more generally, it’s time for Americans, and particularly their political class, to pick a side.

There are only two sides to this particular argument. One side despises America and the West, and the other side really likes America and the West. That binary decision is not particularly tough.

It is happening on college campuses all over America.

You get to pick which side you think the American president ought to stand on and which side you think the American people ought to stand on.

The first side includes a UCLA protest spokesperson saying, “I think, given the fact that the University of California is founded on colonialism, it’s inherently a violent institution. There needs to be an addressment (sic) of U.S. imperialism and its ties to the UC system, and how it perpetuates war and violence abroad. Not only abroad, but also here locally.”

The case they are making is that the United States is bad. When they say the University of California is founded on colonialism, what they really mean is that the United States is founded on colonialism, imperialism, exploitation, and rape of the native peoples — and all the rest of this garbage.

That’s what they mean. They mean the United States is bad when they say that what’s happening in Gaza is connected to this.

What they really mean is there is a coalition of people who are pseudo-oppressed, who are losers in life, who have now decided that the American system, the Western system, and meritocracy, are bad. Anybody who is successful in the system has designed the system for their own benefit.

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This is the intersectional conspiracy theory taken to the extreme. And what it really means is these people — who are the most privileged people in human history, sitting on a beautiful campus at the University of California at the most beautiful time of the year, outdoors, enjoying their lives on the public dime because tuition is subsidized at UCLA by the state — believe they are the victims of American society or standing in solidarity with the victims of American society. 

The complaint is not about Israel. You don’t even hear the word Israel once in that statement.

The complaint is about the United States.

That’s one side. They hate America. They burn the flag. They take it down. They put up the Palestinian flag because the Palestinian flag has become the rallying point and tip of the spear in favor of this perverse view of the universe.

This has happened because revolutionary movements need to show skin in the game. The way they show skin in the game is by picking the worst victims, people who are least sympathetic, and declare they have sympathy for those victims.

That’s why the Black Lives Matter movement was founded originally around the death of Michael Brown, who tried to shoot a police officer before he was killed by a police officer. If you could declare your fealty to a false narrative about Michael Brown, suggesting that he died at the hands of American white supremacy, then you could sell those people anything.

The same thing is true with regard to the Palestinian cause. The Palestinians are a perfect example of a group of people who have elected terrorists, who are sympathetic to terrorists, who support terrorism, who hate Jews, who hate America, and who have made their own bed. They’ve been offered everything and they’ve taken nothing. They’ve decided they’re not going to take any deal over and over. Every dollar that has gone into Gaza has been used to build up a terror epicenter.

And these people declare solidarity with Palestinians because if you can declare solidarity with people who are obviously not victims and declare they are the victims of Western imperialism, you can declare virtually anything. That is why the keffiyeh and the Palestinian flag are substitutes for the American flag.

That’s side A. You can pick side A, but those people don’t love America.

Then, there’s side B.

The second side includes the frat boys at the University of Mississippi who showed up to sing the Star-Spangled Banner in front of people who hate the United States. This side includes the frat boys at the University of North Carolina who actually tried to prevent the American flag from being brought down. It includes people like my friend Ami Horowitz, who went to a protest at City University of New York with an American flag and got beaten up for the privilege.

You can either side with the statue of George Washington or with the people who deface the statue of George Washington.


But you do have to pick a side.

And if you pick the side that hates America, you should be held accountable, politically and otherwise. It turns out you should, in fact, love this country. It is an amazing country. It is the greatest country in the history of mankind. If you don’t, then there should, in fact, be some public opprobrium for you.

It doesn’t mean you don’t have a right to say these things. You do have the absolute right to say whatever dumbass thing you want to say. It’s the United States of America.

That does not mean people have to look at you as though you are anything but a moral idiot.

And these people are moral idiots.

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