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FILE - In this Thursday, March 2, 2017, file photo, Middlebury College students turn their backs to author Charles Murray during his lecture in Middlebury, Vt. The college says it has initiated an independent investigation into the protest in which the author of a book discussing racial differences in intelligence was shouted down during the guest lecture and a professor was injured. (AP Photo/Lisa Rathke, File)
some text Ron Hart

Back when I was in college, a "rager" was a wild party. Now the only "ragers" college kids have is when a speaker they disagree with comes to campus. They manufacture rage, all at the expense of the First Amendment. With such rage on its campus, a $70,000-per-year Middlebury College degree just went down in value — again.

The Cliff Notes version of the latest college "snowflake" movement happened at leafy Middlebury in Vermont. Well-respected author and academic Charles Murray was set to speak. The kids wanted no part of him, and a spineless administration would not take a stand for free speech. The rage was so bad, the mob assaulted a woman faculty member who was escorting Murray on campus; she had to be hospitalized.

To celebrate their accomplishment, I suppose the students then went into the campus quad and played hacky sack (with helmets, for safety) because it just felt right. I never trust a college that doesn't have a real football team.

A friend's daughter has a liberal arts degree from Middlebury, which means she is a receptionist at her dad's friend's law firm in New York.

The First Amendment has died a slow death on college campuses, strangled over time by their left-wing bureaucracies. If our founders were around today (after visiting the Times Square theater district to catch the musical "Hamilton"), they would be appalled by what happened at Middlebury College.

Colleges, which I have long said have priced themselves out as a value proposition for many, are the front lines of the war on free speech. College professors were supposedly tenured so as to protect their speech and ideas that might be controversial, but they are the ones who are diminishing the First Amendment for others.

Parents, students and employers must continue to ask themselves if taking on so much student loan debt for such lame "educations" is smart or dumb. Sadly, the middle-class is hurt most by such prohibitive costs.

The left, represented by its perpetually enraged leaders, including Elizabeth "Pocahontas" Warren, owns the education system. This is a woman who got a job at Harvard by pretending to be Native American. She made $429,981 per year and taught one class — and then somehow blamed others for the high cost of college.

Campuses were supposed to be places where ideas were debated. Today they are places where opposition speech is labeled "hate" and shut down.

The sad fact is that, in a recent poll, 41 percent of millennials said there should be limitations to free speech if it is viewed by them as "hateful" or might offend someone. Hey snowflakes, that is what free speech is. Speech we don't agree with. How badly has the education system failed us that 41 percent of those kids do not understand that?

This weak millennial generation grew up receiving participation trophies, expecting us to applaud and positively reinforce what little they do. Jugglers, street mimes and community theater actors need applause — real leaders don't. I cannot imagine Gen. George Patton or Gen. Dwight Eisenhower putting up with this. I just hope this generation does not have to go to war.

Russia is taking over other countries, ISIS is marauding and killing, we have an unsustainable $20 trillion in debt, and we spend our time fretting over PC silliness. We may look weak and feckless as a world power these days, but we are still the world's undisputed superpower when it comes to televised singing and dancing contests.

Even Yale's Calhoun College has been embroiled in a PC-led name-change battle because Sen. John C. Calhoun owned slaves around 1800. Shocker! I'd suggest they change the name to Trump University; that name became available recently. Bet they won't.

Contact Ron Hart, a syndicated op-ed humorist and TV/radio commentator, at Ron@RonaldHart.com, Twitter @RonaldHart or visit RonaldHart.com.

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