Most cable news shows Wednesday night — at least those out here on the Left Coast — featured live coverage of the demonstration against Breitbart columnist Milo Yiannopoulos’ planned speech at Berkeley for its student Republican club. The more violent demonstrators, wearing the requisite black masks while breaking the usual windows and setting the usual fires, characterized themselves, not surprisingly, as anarchists. They even so informed the San Francisco Chronicle.
“The cops shot me with pepper balls,” said the 26-year-old man who called himself Zombie. “It hurt”
Carrying a thick black shield and wearing a milk-soaked kerchief over his face, Zombie said he is one of “hundreds” of black bloc activists who were behind the breach of metal barriers.
“We’re anarchists,” he said as fellow protesters unfurled a banner reading “This is war,”
Ah, anarchists. How romantic. Smash the state and all that.
But wait….Isn’t Milo Yiannopoulos — the man they were so vehemently protesting — something of a libertarian and therefore vastly more of an anarchist than, say, Barack Obama, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Jerry Brown, Bill de Blasio etc, etc., all of whom are stone — to use the aging parlance — statists? Even Donald Trump — that American Schicklgruber in a fright wig — is considerably more anarchistic than they are, already rolling back regulations willy-nilly. And he’s just getting started.
But no matter. It’s not about anarchism-anarchism. It’s about…
Actually, like the recent Women’s March, nobody really knows — but it’s bad. And this guy Milo, he’s racist. I mean he has to be. He’s a blonde. And he’s rude to people and insults them (unlike the demonstrators, who are polite). Moreover, he’s a homophobe!
Okay, I’ll come out of the closet. (No, not that way.) These demonstrators — the Berkeley crew, the ones at the airports, the Women’s Marches, violent, non-violent, whatever — are operating out of world views so old (actually the ghost of the ghost of those world views) they should only be allowed to protest at assisted living centers in slippers and bathrobes while on liquid diets.
No wonder they want to shut up Milo. He’s something new with something original to say (relatively, anyway), whether you like it or not. The demonstrators have nothing to say. (Therefore it’s logical they don’t like free speech.)
Also, he’s funny and they’re not. Unless you think Whoopi Goldberg is funny. (Well, she was — forty years ago.)
So it’s all about envy — envy of the rich (except for the ones financing the demonstrations), envy of someone with something productive to do, envy of those who really think about the future and want to help make it. In other words, envy of those having fun. (Yes, the demonstrators appear to be having fun, but you don’t have to be Nostradamus to predict it’s not going to last long and will have a helluva hangover.)
Finally, when it comes to strategy, the Berkeley demonstration at least (probably all of them) had a reverse effect. In the Berkeley case, they were able to prevent the dreaded Milo from speaking, but the result was he ended up on Tucker Carlson’s hugely successful new cable show, wittily commenting via phone about the ongoing demonstration for about a half an hour to an audience of about three million. Beats the Berkeley Republican Club.
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His latest book is I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already. You can follow him on Twitter @rogerlsimon.