by Rabbi Prof. Dov Fischer
“The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border. . . .‘Never Again’ means something.”
AOC is so very much like so many tens of thousands of young Americans who now receive an education that costs families $40,000-$60,000 per year and yet fails to teach how to think instead of spouting the false narratives they are taught.
"Concentration camps were places where Nazis inflicted slave labor, torture and death upon innocent Jews removed from their homes at gunpoint and transported there in cattle cars. To use Holocaust terminology regarding the refugee situation at the border is deeply offensive, and for Rep. Ocasio-Cortez to first use the term 'Never Again' and then deny making the comparison is compellingly dishonest."
- Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, Chairman of the 1,000-member Rabbinic Circle of Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV)
"Trivializing the Holocaust is a form of Holocaust denial. Jews were not sneaking into countries illegally, nor did they anticipate incarceration like these illegals do. Neither are illegal immigrants forced into labor or tortured, much less being systematically murdered. It is doubly shameful that she is trying to excuse or justify her statement, rather than apologizing."
- Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, CJV Senior Rabbinic Fellow
1. The Difference Between Teaching Law and Being a Life-Tenured Marxist College Professor of the Social Sciences
Among my roles as law professor, I teach a course in California Civil Procedure. Although that course entails teaching lots of fascinating chess-like theory and strategy, it also includes conveying mundane rules. One must serve a complaint within 60 days of filing. One must answer, object, or otherwise respond to that action within 30 days of being served. An opening brief should not exceed 15 pages and must be received by the opposing party at least 16 court days before the hearing. Stuff like that. Lots of stuff like that.
I have to teach the right law. I cannot just throw in my own law, like “Hey, serve whenever you like. Don’t sweat deadlines. And if you feel you need 19 pages to tell Your Truth, then take the darned extra four pages. Big deal! And, geesh, serve that opening brief eight days before the hearing because, what the heck!”
I cannot get away with that, and I never would contemplate doing so. I have to teach the right law, the correct law.
Now let us shift to a tenured college professor in political science. He / She / It / Ze basically can say whatever the moment feels like. Tenured college professors cannot get fired, no matter how incompetent, deathly boring, and intellectually stale, as long as they (i) do not say the “N word,” and (ii) do not sexually violate a student. So a tenured college professor can tell a class that the Soviet Union was a model of freedom, that Stalin is completely misunderstood because he really was as kind as Mother Theresa, that AmeriKKKa is the center of fascism and Nazism, that up is down, in is out, and Trump is a Nazi.
2. Morons? Idiots? Or Ignoramuses Victimized by the Deconstruction of American Higher Education?
We all have seen the televised street interviews: Jay Leno “Jaywalking” at Universal Studios, Jesse Watters, all the others. The first reaction we have when we see those is to say: “Oh my L-rd! Where do they find such idiots?” But we are missing a point when we react that way.
Many of those people, particularly those under 30, are not as stupid as they seem. That is, their abstract intelligence is not lacking. Give them squares and circles, and many of them will be able to figure out which shapes fit into which cut-out segments on the board that accompanies the pieces. There is something deeper going on than “Stupid.” The problem is that they are being taught ignorance.
If you take a smart mind and teach it nonsense, it will spout forth nonsense for many years until the sheer experience of life itself ultimately teaches otherwise. There is a reason that all polls find that voters become more conservative as they mature. If you go through four years of Columbia University without ever learning American history, after not having it learned it through the prior twelve years, you will not know it. If — even worse — you do not learn from objective books but instead from the jaundiced lectures of life-tenured Marxist professors of “soft sciences” like political science, sociology, philosophy, and “Identity Studies” — tenured professors who call themselves “Socialists” but actually are “Marxists” or “Communists” — then you come out learning what they teach you to memorize and to spout back to them on final exams and in term papers.
Less than she is a person, Ocasio-Cortez is a Specimen. (AOC, if you are reading this, a “Specimen” is not someone who flies to the moon.) The Left Media and their Democrat patrons make a grave error when they present O-Cortez as a person of thought. She is not an original thinker. Rather, she is a metaphorical Laboratory Rat who demonstrates repeatedly what happens when someone born with a mind that seems capable of operating properly emerges from the present-day American university system. Thus, she is not an “idiot” or “moron” in the objective sense — not unless she truly has come up with all her “ideas” on her own, a highly doubtful proposition. Having observed O-Cortez’s public communications for a year, I am more convinced than ever that she simply is the product of a broken education system that deconstructs facts and reality, teaching instead that there are no facts at all. Rather, I have “My Truth,” and you have “Your Truth.”
Remember: She attended Boston University on a John F. Lopez Fellowship. She interned in Ted Kennedy’s office and was smart enough never to ride in a car alone with him. She graduated cum laude from Boston University's College of Arts and Sciences in 2011, majoring in international relations and economics. Because she got good grades, she clearly reflects the “education” she received. If you are served the most wonderful steak imaginable, and then they pour a gallon of grabage on it and grind that garbage into it, you better like garbage because that is what your steak will taste like. Her grades mean that she absorbed the pablum she was spoonfed.
Thus, in one apparent self-parody, her revealing PBS interview with Margaret Hoover, O-Cortez condemned Israel — one of the Five Basic Food Groups of American College Education (along with condemning Trump as a Nazi, berating America as the World’s Perscutor, prasing Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib as “Misunderstood,” and recognizing that “Gender Is Fluid”). Ms. Hoover probed gently beyond the college slogans, asking O-Cortez to explain her “thoughts.” Dead silence. Crickets. Deer in the headlights. And then The Hyphen found the words that a college professor had pre-programmed in her years earlier: Y’know, uh, the Settlements, whatever. Watch her here for the minute and a half that she demonstrated the point.
She did it again recently when she told a packed room of clapping seals at an MSNBC Forum that the American Constitution’s 22nd Amendment had been passed by right-wingers trying to prevent Franklin Roosevelt from seeking reelection: “They had to amend the Constitution of the United States to make sure that Roosevelt did not get reelected.” Go ahead — treat yourself here to these 22 seconds. Now for reality: FDR already had won four terms, and O-Cortez was taught that a right-wing conspiracy stopped him from more. She was not stating an opinion but what she saw as a fact. An opinion entails thought; a fact is teachable and can be spoonfed. For example: 1492 is when Columbus sailed. 1776 is when America declared independence. And 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, and 1982 are adjoining rooms in the Palestine Hilton.
Rather than see O-Cortez’s MSNBC Forum comments about FDR and the 22nd Amendment as “stupid,” she really was more the Laboratory Rat with Makeup and Lipstick proving what happens when a higher education aims at deconstructing facts, obfuscating reality, and granting unbridled authority to spout “Your Truth” no matter how absurd. As older Americans who went to school in prior decades know, FDR died April 12, 1945 while in office. The 22nd Amendment was proposed well after his death on March 21, 1947. It was ratified February 27, 1951.
Thus, we have a John F. Lopez Fellow, majoring in international relations and economics, replicating itself/herself/zerself by the dozens as a room of nodding, assenting clapping seals drink in her ragweed and nod their agreement, thanking her for teaching them history.
Thus, there is something going on with O-Cortez that transcends “stupid.” Rather, she is so very much like so many tens of thousands of young Americans who now receive an education that costs families $40,000-$60,000 per year and yet fails to teach:
1. How to think logically
2. The imperative of checking facts before pronouncing them to audiences
3. The skill of thinking critically and incisively, transcending the surrounding Groupthink and Mass Media Hysteria
4. The courage to disagree with Common Wisdom and to challenge Totalitarian Indoctrination
If college professors can spout any foolish, false narrative they wish, safe in the knowledge that their life tenure grants them a safe harbor to mislead, to lie, and to brainwash their defenseless minions who must get good grades in their courses, it is not surprising that O-Cortez emerged as she did. She can string sentences together coherently when she speaks. She can communicate in 140 characters. Her problem is not that she is “stupid” per se but, rather, that she is emblematic of too many peers among a generation that spouts nonsense as “My Truth,” peers who do not know what they are talking about, and — much worse — lack the humility to recognize that they do not know that they do not know what they are talking about.
3. On Concentration Camps and “Never Again”
Her latest trick in the Rat Laboratory came this week when The Hyphen commented on the humane and lawful facilities in which the United States temporarily detains people who brazenly defy America’s laws and break into the U.S. illegally, overwhelming all available resources. America provides the Illegals with food, shelter, and health care at taxpayer expense. The Illegals are held only a few days before being released. But The Hyphen compared those facilities to “concentration camps.” Earlier above I invited you to view The Hyphen for ninety seconds as she demonstrated her ignorance of Israel and then for twenty-three seconds as she spouted ignorantly on FDR and the 22ndAmendment. I am not going to invite you now to watch Claude Lanzmann’s ten-hour movie, Shoah, nor even to visit a Holocaust museum.
I have warned for thirty years that, when you build Holocaust museums, you end up teaching ignorant people just enough so that now they can place their lesser issues alongside the martyrs of Dachau and Auschwitz. Thus, Climate Extremists screech that advocates of American energy independence, oil and gas exploration, and hydraulic fracturing are bringing a Holocaust because the “whole world will end in twelve years.” Suddenly, amid such madness, temporary shelters for Illegals become denominated as “concentration camps.” I wonder what The Hyphen will say when she learns they have showers in them. Donald Trump gets called a Nazi. Police and other protective “First Responders” are called Storm Troopers. And in such an insanely deconstructed reality, I guess Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez becomes Anne Frank.
Is O-Cortez an idiot? Maybe. An imbecile? Maybe. A moron? Maybe. Technically, those who have an IQ between 0 and 25 are idiots; IQs between 26 and 50 are considered imbeciles; and those who have an IQ between 51 and 70 are considered morons. So, maybe.
But more reasonably, when she starts invoking a term like “Never Again” to characterize “concentration camps” that are nothing of the sort, The Hyphen demonstrates what American university education now is producing: Young people who are utterly ignorant beyond tears, have no concept of historical reality, are unable to compare and contrast reasonably, and yet who are all-too-willing to pontificate “Their Truth” on any bullhorn or into any cable camera that will provide the makeup, the lipstick, the wardrobe, and the hair-arranging needed.
The added irony, of course, is that the O-Cortezes who populate the Left Media and their Democrat Patrons always protest against “Cultural Appropriation” any time a Caucasian makes the mistake of wearing a kimono or eating Mexican food or attending a culture-themed party. “You are stealing our culture, our symbols!” Well, honey, the term “Never Again” is not yours. This book may not have been on the John F. Lopez Fellows Reading List, but it will begin your education as to the term’s origins. From there, try this. Or this. Or this.
Rabbi Prof. Dov Fischer is adjunct professor of law at two prominent Southern California law schools, Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Coalition for Jewish Values, congregational rabbi of Young Israel of Orange County, California, and has held prominent leadership roles in several national rabbinic and other Jewish organizations. He was Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review, clerked for the Hon. Danny J. Boggs in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and served for most of the past decade on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. His writings have appeared in The Weekly Standard, National Review, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Jerusalem Post, American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, and Israel National News. Other writings are collected at www.rabbidov.com .
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