As they say on the TV show "24," the following took place last week between 9 and 10 p.m. on a flight from Los Angeles to Denver.
I spoke for a few minutes to the 20-year-old woman seated across the aisle from me.
She: What brings you to Denver?"
Me: I am giving a speech.
She: What do you do?
Me: I'm a radio talk show host.
She: Who did you vote for?
Me: Smaller government and the war on terror.
She: Terror is the new communism.
Me: Communism killed about a hundred million people. And who do you think attacked and killed 3,000 of us on Sept. 11?
She: The government.
For the record, as I believe this to be essential to understanding this young woman's views, she is a student attending the University of California Santa Barbara.
Truth is she had to be a student at a major university. She would never have come up with "Terror is the new Communism" on her own. It is a moral obscenity that one has to learn.
Of course, there is an irony to this statement. Meant in the opposite way she meant it, I could largely assent to the proposition that terror is the new communism. Communism was an enslaving and murderous threat in its time and the Jihadism is such a threat in our lifetime.
But that is not how this young woman meant the statement. As she has learned history and the contemporary world, communism was a bogeyman in its time and terror is a bogeyman in our time.
When I told her that communism had killed 100 million people, I could not tell if she even processed the words. It was as if had I uttered a series of nonsense syllables. She either didn't believe me or didn't care.
On the assumption that I had met a person with a normal conscience, the only rational explanation for her non-reaction is that she didn't believe me and regarded what I said as right-wing propaganda (just as the belief in that Islamist terror threatens us).
In her belief that neither communism nor terror were/are real threats, I suspect this young woman represents many college students. If one wants to understand what left-wing dominance in university social sciences departments produces, one merely had to meet this young woman.
At most universities, communism is a non-evil, indeed, largely a non-issue. The most enslaving and murderous movement in history is almost never taught as such. When communism is mentioned at all, it is usually solely in order to show how vile anti-communists were. Thus, as little as students may know about McCarthyism, most students far more readily identify it with evil than they do communism. Indeed, more could probably identify Joseph McCarthy than Joseph Stalin.
Nor is this a matter of students not being taught to label anything as evil. They have no problem labeling Nazism, Fascism, George W. Bush, slavery, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, xenophobia, and tobacco companies as evil. It's just that they won't label communism as such.
Does one in 10.000 students know of the communist terror-famine that took about 6 million Ukarainian lives. How many know about the communist Pol Pot, who butchered nearly one-third of his fellow Cambodians? Or how many innocents were murdered in the Gulag Archipelago (or could even identify it)? Or that China's communist tyrant Mao Zedong killed about 60 million of his fellow Chinese? Or that Communist North Korea is essentially a concentration camp in the guise of a country?
The answer to all these questions is very few.
And that, quite frankly, breaks my heart. I am currently reading "Mao: The Secret Life," almost universally regarded, even in the mainstream media, as the most important book on Mao ever written. According to the authors, in 1930-31 alone, Mao and his gang developed 120 types of torture for use on innocent people he wanted to force into phony confessions so as to rule by terror. They included burning the vaginas of wives of opponents and pulling wires through men's penises, which were then attached to their ears and plucked.
These poor souls have no memorial. Least of all at an American university.