Halfway into today's column about flag burning on college campuses, the Intelligencer's Editor, Mike Myer, tells us that:
(F)lag burning is a protected form of free speech, under the First Amendment. That is right and proper. One thing that safeguards our freedom is our right to say just about anything, as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else.
Yes, the matter is settled. That said, the remaining 690 words of Myer's column are an attack upon the flag burners and their enablers -- America's colleges and universities where leftists reign supreme with their "hotbeds of selective outrage" and where "self-described intellectuals" wish that Fidel Castro had been running the country. (Hey, what about the West Virginia Band? Nevermind.)
After reading the column, I decided to do some research and learn more about this epidemic that had Mike Myer so angry. My research found that a flag may have been burned by students at the University of Missouri, one each was burned at Hampshire College and at American University, and some may have been thrown away at Brown University on Veteran's Day. That's it -- four incidents in a country with 7,000+ colleges.
Flag burning shouldn't be an issue for as even Myer admits, the First Amendment protects such speech. But Myer and our president-in-waiting, Donald Trump, know there are lots of points to be scored by stoking this fire or, to switch metaphors, beating this dead horse.
In my research, I came across an excellent op-ed in Thursday's L.A. Times in which writer Mark Oppenheimer asks the question:
Who cares if students burn flags? We pay too much attention to campus life
Here's his conclusion:
Radical, safe-space-obsessed students are a minority within a minority, and it’s time for politicians, and the rest of us, to cease writing, or legislating, about what they drink, whom they bed and what they do to their American flags.
And here he seems to be describing a local columnist:
But if students (a small number, anyway) love flag desecration, conservatives love it, too. They’re always eager to whip the sad, broken-down mule of flag-burning panic, happy to ruthlessly drive that tired beast a few yards farther down the road.