Panic Attack

Young Radicals in the Age of Trump

[Amazon Link]

An excellent, readable book from Reason associate editor, Robby Soave. His goal is analysis of Young People Today (Robby is only barely older than many of the kiddos he reports on) and what the heck is their deal anyway?

To a rough first approximation, the youngsters on the left wing have fallen prey to the ideology of intersectionality. Everything is viewed on an oppressor vs. oppressed axis; but you get extra points for each checkbox you tick off: African-American, female, gay, transgender, disabled, Muslim, … About the only folks who don't score here are… well, folks like me: cis, white, male, Christian, etc. (I think people of Asian descent are considered "white" for oppressive purposes; Jews get lumped in with Christians, because Jehovah.)

Robby's is a less nuanced analysis than I saw in the Haidt/Lukianoff book The Coddling of the American Mind. But Robby goes out and actually talks to the people he's reporting on, and (like Haidt/Lukianoff) he's a bend-over-backwards guy, listening and trying to understand why the kids have suddenly gone nuts.

He visits various factions: the anti-Trump "resistance", including AntiFa, Black Lives Matter, the radical feminists, the LGBTQ activists. A common thread is intolerance, sometimes edging over into violence, toward the people on the other side.

Robby also visits with some less radical groups. The Democratic Socialists of America, for example; the Greens; the gun-grabbers. But also Turning Point USA (about whom Robby has some deserved criticism).

And finally, the alt-Right. Robby considers it to be a more wretched hive of scum and villainy than Mos Eisley. It's hard to disagree, especially when their victim body count (Heather Heyer in Charlottesville) is probably higher than their lefty counterparts. But (again) the book lets them have their say.