In the life of a nation, there are moments of crisis and, in this nation, those crises have been blessedly few.

The war to end slavery and hold the union together.

The attack on Pearl Harbor.

September 11, 2001.

Its sons and daughters have stepped up to serve, to protect and defend, risking their lives to preserve a system of government that was the first in history to acknowledge the unalienable rights of mankind – among them, the right to elect their leaders.

After Pearl Harbor, a Brooklyn, New York high school senior dropped out and enlisted at age 17 – he survived the war and made some of the most revered comedies of all time, including “Blazing Saddles,” and “Young Frankenstein.”

The recipient of every military combat award for valor, including the Medal of Honor at 19 for holding off an entire company of Nazis during the liberation of France, Audie Murphy, had the help of his older sister making a fake ID so he could join the Army.

In fact, it was so common for teenagers to lie about their age to enlist during World War II that there is even a group, the Veterans of Underage Military Service, which includes dozens of women veterans.

Today, however, after the legitimate election of a new president following a campaign waged in public and in the media over an 18-month period with televised debates, countless public appearances, and radio and print interviews, many college students are unable to emotionally cope with a result that they never expected.

Today, some of the best and brightest young Americans run and hide, riot and destroy, and post videos of themselves sobbing because a free and open election didn’t turn out their way.

Cocooned in echo chambers where they are exposed only to ideas and beliefs that reflect their own, shielded from rigorous intellectual debate, coddled by university administrators who provide “safe spaces” where they can hide from a single surname written in chalk, and indulged by cowed professors who cancel exams in deference to their delicate emotions – today’s students are unable to discern the difference between disappointment and the end of the world.

In the wake of the surprise victory of Republican candidate Donald Trump, universities saw themselves not as a forum for debate or even protest, but as babysitters charged with comforting students who were unable to deal with reality.

Tufts University made an arts and crafts center available.

The University of Kanas invited therapy dogs to campus for comfort.

The University of Michigan had a play area with coloring books.

Cornell hosted what it termed a “cry-in” where faculty and staff handed out hot cocoa and tissues.

Thank God the fate of the free world, including the liberation of a continent, didn’t hinge on the response of young men and women who – although old enough to marry, sign contracts, pilot a plane, give consent for surgery, open a bank account, buy a home, donate blood, learn to skydive and apply for their own passport – prefer to remain children rather than take their place as adults in a world where sometimes things just don’t go as planned.

 

 

 

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