As they say on the TV show “24,” the following took place last week between 9 and 10 p.m. on a flight from Los Angeles to Denver.
I spoke for a few minutes to the 20-year-old woman seated across the aisle from me.
She: What brings you to Denver?”
Me: I am giving a speech.
She: What do you do?
Me: I'm a radio talk show host.
She: Who did you vote for?
Me: Smaller government and the war on terror.
She: Terror is the new communism.
Me: Communism killed about a hundred million people. And who do you think attacked and killed 3,000 of us on Sept. 11?
She: The government.
For the record, as I believe this to be essential to understanding this young woman’s views, she is a student attending the University of California Santa Barbara.
Truth is she had to be a student at a major university. She would never have come up with “Terror is the new Communism” on her own. It is a moral obscenity that one has to learn.
Of course, there is an irony to this statement. Meant in the opposite way she meant it, I could largely assent to the proposition that terror is the new communism. Communism was an enslaving and murderous threat in its time and the Jihadism is such a threat in our lifetime.
But that is not how this young woman meant the statement. As she has learned history and the contemporary world, communism was a bogeyman in its time and terror is a bogeyman in our time.
When I told her that communism had killed 100 million people, I could not tell if she even processed the words. It was as if had I uttered a series of nonsense syllables. She either didn’t believe me or didn’t care.
On the assumption that I had met a person with a normal conscience, the only rational explanation for her non-reaction is that she didn’t believe me and regarded what I said as right-wing propaganda (just as the belief in that Islamist terror threatens us).
In her belief that neither communism nor terror were/are real threats, I suspect this young woman represents many college students. If one wants to understand what left-wing dominance in university social sciences departments produces, one merely had to meet this young woman.