by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
In the twenty years since, there has been so much focus on preventing more airplanes from being hijacked for evil purposes that other, more devastating hijackings have gone unnoticed. Today, it is not four airplanes, but a host of civic institutions that have been hijacked for evil.
Institutions, like airplanes, have been built to be powerful for the accomplishment of much good. But when control of these institutions is ripped from the people they were built to serve, the havoc they can wreak on civilization is proportional to their power for good. Institutional abuse is more than a danger to an institution’s membership. Once hijacked, it can be an existential threat to innocents who are only vaguely aware of its existence.
For decades, the enemies of civility have long marched through America’s institutions. The cockpits of corporations, professional associations, trade unions, charities, NGOs, political parties, and government bureaucracies have been invaded by people intent on destroying our world. Those who have poured out their talents and treasure to make these institutions strong are suddenly astonished to find themselves aboard so many missiles aimed at the heart of America.
For too long we have reacted to this situation like the hijacked hostages of old: staying calm and waiting for the professionals to act. But America is beginning to realize that the good guys have been neutralized. Their self-policing mechanisms have, themselves, been co-opted so that malignant behavior is no longer punished by forced resignations, firings, and public humiliation.
Like Todd Beamer, once you see the pattern, you can no longer escape the truth. But also like him, you likely find yourself inside one of these hijacked institutions. It may be a school system, your church, or your place of employment (government or corporate). You may be the only one positioned to prevent that institution from being used as yet another weapon against civilization.