Istook’s Insights: Bad lessons from the University of Missouri resignation

America is getting an education from the University of Missouri.

When that university’s president resigned, did he wimp out and thereby embolden student protestors all across the country?

The protestors’ goal always was to grab more power for their political agenda. Those isolated acts of racist speech were blown out of proportion and were not linked to university officials.

A claim that the KKK was on campus was quickly proven false. But the truth meant nothing once the football team threatened to boycott, which could cost the school millions of dollars.

Nobody mentioned that this violated the terms of the players’ scholarships. Instead of suspending players, the football coach surely breached his contract by supporting the boycott. Nobody insisted that people keep their commitments despite disagreements.

Education should teach principles, but instead the officials in Missouri only taught us that giving in to bullying never solves anything.

A broader point: Too many decisions are being made by individuals or by mobs, not by the public.

This month, a court told President Obama he cannot change immigration laws on his own. He cannot decree legal status for millions of illegal immigrants, nor grant them work permits and public benefits. Presidents are not dictators.

Black activists got the University of Missouri football team to threaten a boycott unless the school’s president resigned and admitted he was guilty of white privilege, although nobody accused him of any actual racist acts or statements.

Decisions should not be made at the extremes. One person must not usurp the democratic process, whether they’re a president or a judge. Nor should mobs usurp how we decide matters in a republic.

Americans are rightfully upset that our constitutional system is not working — the system is supposed to let the people make the decisions.