College protests reflect a 'mass psychosis' – time for a reset, says Bachmann

College protests reflect a 'mass psychosis' – time for a reset, says Bachmann

Anti-Israel protesters on the campus of Columbia University (AP)

College protests reflect a 'mass psychosis' – time for a reset, says Bachmann

Anti-Israel demonstrations and protests on America's college campuses have quickly moved from free speech to threats of violence against Jews and Americans. Former Congresswomen Michele Bachmann says the chaos must be stopped – starting perhaps by revoking the visas of some of the protesters.

Bachmann, former House member representing Minnesota and 2012 presidential candidate, joined House Speaker Mike Johnson on Wednesday in calling for the resignation of Columbia University President Minouche Shafik (pictured below).

Johnson called for immediate change at the top of Columbia's administration but was willing to give Shafik one final chance to create order from chaos. He made it clear that campus protests that are calling for death to America and death to Israel, and endangering the university's significant Jewish student population, cannot continue.

As Johnson and other House members visited Columbia Wednesday, Johnson did not rule out sending National Guard troops to restore order on campus.

"There is executive authority that would be appropriate. If this is not contained quickly, and if these threats and intimidation are not stopped, there is an appropriate time for the National Guard," Johnson said in his news conference remarks. He added that he would express his views quickly to President Joe Biden.

It's a contagion infecting many colleges

Columbia is not the only elite college campus facing unrest, but its images of tents dotting campus lawns have been the most visible in news coverage. Bachmann, who carries a Juris Doctor degree from Oral Roberts University, is now dean of the Robertson School of Government at Regent University.

"We're not in the realm of free speech anymore," Bachmann said on Washington Watch Wednesday. "I remember from my law school days in constitutional Law, you can protest an action or a policy – but once you cross the line into calling for violence, then it's over … and we're at that point, at Harvard, at Yale, at Columbia, at Cal-Poly and Humboldt.

"At college after college, it's moved into violence, especially with these encampments, these tents popping up," she continued. "Now the protestors are taking over the physical property and the land. In fact, at Cal-Poly in California they've taken over buildings."

Bachmann, Michele (Regent Univ.) Bachmann

Bachmann compared today's campus protests to social unrest in the late 1960s when protests, many centered on America's involvement in Vietnam, called for violent overthrow of the U.S. government.

"We're seeing calls for the overthrow of the United States government when they call for death to America, death to Israel; so at this point, action needs to be taken. Control needs to be brought back for those who run the universities," Bachmann told show host Tony Perkins.

According to Bachmann, 40% of the protestors are foreign nationals. She suggested revoking their visas would be appropriate action.

"We're now at a point where a corner has been turned. Now we're seeing Jewish students violated and violence brought against them and verbal attacks against them that would also be considered harassment and incitement to violence. A line has been crossed, and action needs to be taken," she said.

Johnson: It's time to bring order to chaos

Bauer: Where was Schumer?

Chad Groening (AFN)

Conservative activist Gary Bauer is chairman of the Campaign for Working Families and has served on the board of Christians United for Israel. He tells AFN he's glad Speaker Mike Johnson and other Republicans recently visited protest-torn Columbia University.

Bauer, Gary (American Values) Bauer

"For the life of me, I can't figure out why Chuck Schumer, who is the highest-ranking government official who also is a Jewish American at this moment in our history, [didn't join them]," he says. "I would think that he would have wanted to be at Colombia in solidarity with those young Jewish students who are being intimidated, threatened, hiding in their rooms."

But Bauer says he's not sure what Republicans in Congress can do about the protests. "Some of them have brought up that federal funding ought to be cut to these universities," he points out. "I would agree with that, but I don't see how you get that by the United States Senate and then President Biden and so forth."

In Bauer's eyes, this is another example why the upcoming presidential election is so important.

"The next president is going to be four more years of Joe Biden, or it's going to be four more years of Donald Trump – and all these problems we're facing will have dramatically different outcomes depending on what the answer to that question is."

Johnson said Shafik should resign if she cannot "immediately bring order to this chaos." The Speaker's take is on the mark, said Bachmann.

"I commend Speaker Johnson and the Republicans who went to Columbia University. They rightly told the president of the school to regain control of the school, and they heard nothing positive in response from the president – so they rightly called for her resignation," she said.

The student protests come amid a backdrop of Biden working to cancel billions in student loan during an election year. The Department of Education estimates Biden's plan would cancel student debt for 30 million borrowers, Fox News reports.

The DOE estimates taxpayer cost at $150 billion for a decade, but the nonprofit Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget predicts cost could be three times the DOE estimate.

"When you have our President Biden giving out billions of dollars, against what the Supreme Court ruled, to students who are calling for death to the United States and death to Israel, things have to stop. We need to reset," Bachmann said.

"Unbelievably, in America in 2024 we're hearing calls for death to Jews and death to America in our own country, and we're bailing out these students with billions of dollars of our money. This is absurd to the point of absurdity – and it has to end," she argued.

Today's protests don't only mirror 1960s U.S. unrest, Bachmann said. She also compared them to college campuses during the rise of Nazi Germany in the 1930s "when academics and students on the college campuses were calling for death to the Jews."

Netanyahu, Bachmann on the same page

Bachmann is not alone in that comparison. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made similar remarks in a Wednesday speech, noting that in the U.S. "anti-Semitic mobs have taken over leading universities." The protests are "reminiscent of what happened in German universities in the 1930s," he said.

It's been a rapid descent into madness, Bachmann said.

"This is way out of the norm. This approaches something I think you can call mass psychosis. Literally in a couple of weeks' time, they went from the 'river to the sea' [chant] to quite literally on these campuses calling for violence by calling for people to become martyrs, martyrs like [they say] the Arab Palestinians were martyrs on Oct. 7."

Editor's note: Sidebar added after story was originally posted.