I’ve been writing this column for a while now – I can’t even remember how long. And I’ve really enjoyed it. Townhall gives me the freedom to write about whatever I want in whatever way I want, and never has rejected or complained about any of it (some of the commenters have, but that’s the beauty of the comment section). I am grateful for that.
Two columns per week for a few years adds up to a lot of columns, a lot of words. And I tend to run long because, well, I can. But I’ve written every one of those words, with the exceptions of quotes, until now.
Last week some pampered progressive brats at the University of California at Irvine tried to ban the American flag from campus buildings. They’re idiots, but then I already called them progressives, didn’t I?
These entitled losers are what you’d expect from college kids who run for student government – pompous, self-entitled jerks who, while everyone else is going to class and trying to get dates, realize they are awful and unpopular. As such, they try to “make a difference” by making asses of themselves. Then again, I did already mention they were progressives, so I’m repeating myself again.
Anyway, I was going to write a column eviscerating these losers, but what’s the point? I also could explain to the boys who supported this “cause” what it’s like to kiss a girl and explain to the girls what an attractive woman is like. But that would be like Neil Armstrong explaining what it’s like to walk on the moon – no matter how much detail he provides, you’re never really going to understand it because you’re never going to do it.
Then I thought to myself, “Wait a minute. This flag story reminds me of what my fiancé went through while she was in college. Long before I met her, back when I was fresh out of college and working in the bookstore at the Heritage Foundation, she took on these types of mutants in the state of Florida and helped push through a law that required the American flag be displayed in every classroom in the state, from kindergarten to college. Why not have her tell her story?
Sure, I could write it up, but I’d probably swear. And I didn’t live it, she did.
So, ladies, gentlemen, transgendered pan-sexuals and Bruce Jenners around the world, I present to you the first (and possibly only) guest writer of my column – my fiancé, Heather, telling the story of how she took on a bunch of progressive mutants who were offended by the American flag and won. (You can follow her on Twitter here, if you’re so inclined.):
University of California, Irvine's student government leaders met Saturday for an emergency session and reversed an American flag ban on their campus.
The flag ban effort was led by a student legislator Matthew Guevara who wanted to make the university more "culturally inclusive" by eliminating the flag.
Many alumni, students and university staff were outraged over the measure and the push for the ban was stopped in its tracks.
Actor Gary Sinise wrote on Twitter in response: "Thanks 2 the UC Irvine students who stood up 4 Old Glory & reversed this silly ban. Many have fought & died 4 the freedoms & ideals the colors represent."
I experienced a similar battle over the American flag as a college student 12 years ago at the University of Central Florida. I heard numerous stories of how several schools were not replacing the American flag physically in classrooms but instead the flag was being replaced with a graphic of a flag on the television screen.
I also saw how a student group at the University of Florida had been denied putting American flags on their campus.
My main plan was to push for the community to donate flags to classrooms, kindergarten through university, across the state. So I first began raising the issue as an idea for my university to be the first university in the state to fly the flag in every classroom.
When I proposed the idea of flags in the classrooms at my university to a forum of student leaders, the criticism and backlash began.
Progressive student group leaders denounced having the American flag in classrooms and said the flag stood "for violence, oppression and the rise of fascism." Other student leaders worried the flag would "bludgeon" critics of America and students wouldn't be able "speak freely" about America with the flag in the classroom.
They also argued the flag would "offend international students."
I knew the campus progressives were organized and had the financial backing to make this effort impossible. I did my research, studied the tactics and talking points of anti-flag activists and created a strategy.
A member of my organization walked with me and we counted every classroom at the university. We walked through and sized up the proper sizes of the flags for each size room. I met with flag distributors and gathered estimates of the cost for the flags. Finally, I went to the university administration with our research and asked that if I could find a way to pay for the flags, would they be willing to accept the flags and install them? The university administration agreed.
Our first stop was the UCF Student Government Association. I asked several student legislators if they would be willing to sponsor a bill in support of funding the flags, but they were opposed. A friend at the SGA gave me the phone number list of the student legislators. I called all of them. Finally, one student agreed to sponsor the flag-funding bill.
My sources inside the SGA kept me in the loop about the counter moves of the student legislators. After his sponsorship of the bill became public, progressives pressured the student legislator to drop the bill. The sponsoring student legislator honored his commitment to sponsor the bill, but he also publicly spoke out against it.
"Placing a flag in every classroom is redundant and, I suggest, somewhat disrespectful," the flag bill sponsor wrote in a letter to fellow SGA officials and students.
At my group's public events in support of the flag, progressive students and even my college professors came out to protest my efforts for the American flag, organizing die-ins and chanting loudly at our rallies.
On the night of the final vote for the flag-funding bill in the SGA, students lined up for hours to express their opposition to the flags at the university.
One student sporting a mohawk told the student government, "The flag that flew over the American colonies as they won their independence is the same flag that flew over Georgia during the Trail of Tears. The flag that is on the Girl Scout uniform is the same one on the KKK's uniform."
That night the UCF Student Government voted 20-13 to deny funding for the American flags.
The student government's rejection of the flags was a blow, but I was not deterred.
During the debate on the flags, I had been working at a top Orlando morning-drive radio show "The Shannon Burke Show" and I regularly gave updates on air about the campus fight against the flags. Local news reporters tuned in to the show for the updates, and alumni of the university listened to find out the latest news.
The morning after the SGA denied funding for the flags, Burke brought me on the show to talk about the vote. Listeners from all over the Orlando area began calling in asking how they could help and donate for the flags. We raised the money for the flags for UCF in one hour on morning-drive radio in Orlando.
Within a week, Shannon and I presented the American flags to the university outside the UCF Student Union.
The progressive groups wrote a letter to the university president with several questions including:
· "What are the consequences for anyone caught removing or damaging the flag?"
· "Are you against open and critical dialogue and academic debate about American values in the classroom?"
Despite the opposition, the UCF president told a student forum that student input wasn't required on the flag issue and it was his call.
The university kept its promise to install the flags. Less than a month later, the flags were installed.
Several nights after the flags had been installed, vandals tore down nine of them – either leaving Old Glory hanging in shreds or simply stealing them. The vandalized or stolen flags were promptly replaced with the surplus flags.
We continued our work to help other schools acquire American flags, but we also now had another important task at hand.
In the spirit of Thomas Paine, we published a newspaper "The Compass" just in time for the Student Government Association election.
On the cover of the newspaper read: "Is It Time To Clean House in SGA?"
Inside the newspaper had a section called "SGA Watchdog." We listed the vote of every student senator who voted against the American flag funding.
Some senators had argued that the $3,000 for American flags was "not worth" the money.
So we listed in the newspaper how the SGA was spending students’ fees:
· SGA spent $2,500 to send eight students to a marijuana conference
· Plasma screen televisions for SGA offices - price tag: $10,000
· Anti-war protest trip to New York City - $2,000
The newspaper was distributed all over campus on Election Day. Several SGA members listed as having voted against the flag begged for my support. That day, the student body cleaned house at the SGA and voted out many of the opponents to the American flag funding.
Several months later, I received a phone call from a Florida state legislator's office who told me they had heard about our flag effort. They said they were going to put forward the Carey Baker Freedom Flag Act, a bill that would require a flag of the U.S. to be displayed in every classroom in every public educational institution in Florida. The bill passed the legislature and then-Gov. Jeb Bush signed it into law on May 25, 2004.
A law student at the University of Arizona heard of the work we did in Florida and was inspired to do the same at his university. Then-Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano signed the bill into law on June 28, 2006.
The battle for the American flag on college campuses is real, but the story of UC-Irvine, University of Arizona and UCF are proof that it can be won.
It’s me, Derek again. I’m back. See, they can be beaten by sanity, you just have to be willing to fight them, and fight them to win. Progressives are not easy to beat because they don’t constrain themselves with facts or reality. They’re paying a lot for an “education” they firmly believe is the gospel truth. The more they pay, it would seem, the more sure of themselves they are. UC-Irvine is $14, 576.97 per year for California residents and illegal aliens, $37,454.97 for non-California Americans dumb enough to want to go there. That buys a lot of stupid.
These losers lost – this time anyway. But they’ll be back. They always come back. Activist progressives aren’t distracted by things like a social life, dating, showering or friends. Seeking to impose their idiotic beliefs on others is as close as they come to fun, and that awkward moment when their hand touches the hand of someone they’re giving a pen to so they can sign a petition condemning America is the closest they come to a date.
They have nothing better to do, at least until Hillary Clinton starts staffing up for her 2016 run. Now that the applications they’ve emailed her have mysteriously been deleted, their time is even less occupied than usual.
Stupidity spreads like a cold on a plane, and progressives are the sick kids who never cover their mouths when they cough. They lost this round, and they’ll lose more rounds, but they’ll eventually win if you don’t stomp them down every single time they raise their vacuous heads and try to impose some crackpot idea their sociology professor thinks would be really “neat.”
So celebrate this small victory at UC-Irvine, then gear up for battle again. Because stupid never rests.