FLASHBACK: Ronald Reagan Calls In National Guard to Deal With UC Berkeley Riots
Nearly half a century ago, approximately 3,000 hooligans stormed the University of California at Berkeley to protest the school’s decision to erect a fence around a then-vacant plot of property that leftists had been using to protest the Vietnam War.
According to U.C. Berkeley’s NewsCenter, this rally quickly turned into a full-blown riot, transforming the university campus to an effective war zone that pitted the left’s mob against 250 local police officers.
“That day, known as Bloody Thursday, three students suffered punctured lungs, another a shattered leg, 13 people were hospitalized with shotgun wounds, and one police officer was stabbed,” notes the NewsCenter.
This happened in 1969, when Ronald Reagan — considered to be one of America’s greatest presidents — was in office as California’s governor. As a man with zero patience for such buffoonery, Reagan responded to the riots by declaring a state of emergency and sending 2,200 National Guard troops to Berkeley to restore order.
Moreover, during a news conference, the then-governor defended his actions and also excoriated university administrators for having played a role in inciting the riots.
“Those people told you for days in advance that if the university sought to go ahead with that construction they were going to physically destroy the university,” he said, only to be interrupted by a professor who then tried to claim that the students had wanted to negotiate.
“What is to negotiate?” an annoyed Reagan replied.
“All of it began the first time some of you who know better, and are old enough to know better, let young people think that they have the right to choose the laws that they would obey as long as they were doing it in the name of social protest.”
Did that Reagan encounter sound familiar? His tone of voice and willingness to take others to task mirrors that of President Donald Trump, who since stepping into office on Jan. 20 has shown no qualms about bucking the status quo.
Following the riots that broke out this week in response to a conservative speaker who had been slated to speak at this very same university, for instance, Trump threatened to revoke the school’s federal funding:
If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view - NO FEDERAL FUNDS?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017
This is real leadership, and it is something that has been sorely missing from America for the past eight years — if not since Reagan left office in 1989.
H/T The Daily Wire