“March For Our Lives” Co-Founder Quits Amid Profound Realizations
"March For Our Lives" co-founder Cameron Kasky has left the organization that he helped create, and has some regrets about the way he carried himself in the public spotlight with regards to the gun-control debate. Can we all learn something from 17-year old Cameron Kasky's journey from arrogance to humility that could inform our own personal development? “March For Our Lives” co-founder Cameron Kasky told Fox News radio last Wednesday that he has left the organization that he helped create. Perhaps it is the profound learning process he has gone through since being cast into the spotlight that makes him feel that his newfound ambitions and those of the #NeverAgain mov ement are no longer compatible. Or perhaps it is something more.
‘Innocent Email Throws #NeverAgain Narrative Into Question,’ the point was made that the inaugural “March For Our Lives” gun-control demonstration that took place in Washington, DC had been planned months in advance, long before the Parkland shooting, and that those students who considered themselves the ‘organizers’ of this march were actually (wittingly or unwittingly) walking into a gun-control marketing campaign that already had a firm and steady foundation. Nonetheless, whether or not Kasky even realizes the extent of influence of a powerful hidden hand on the gun-control campaign is secondary. What is important is the growth in the young man’s consciousness since the movement began. In the beginning, Kasky’s rhetoric was far more polarizing than that of the forces he was fighting against. He now looks back at the things he said with some perspective: I’m very regretful of a lot of the mistakes that I’ve made along the way. Looking back on that it’s like you said, I’m not going to kick myself for it because I’m 17. Despite the fact that I thought I did at the time, I don’t know everything. This is seminal wisdom at any stage in life, let alone at 17. Not unlike Socrates’ dictum ‘All I know is that I know nothing,’ a statement that inevitably secured his position as the wisest man in 5th century B.C. Athens, Kasky has hit upon the kind of humility and self-awareness that is essential to help us make our way out the polarized climate of the gun-control debate and of left-right politics in general. Perhaps the difference for Kasky came as a result of being willing to listen to people on the other side rather than continuing to simply rant on the virtues of his side of the polarity (or the vices of the other side) during his summer crusades: This summer when March For Our Lives went on the summer tour that we embarked on, I met that person in Texas who’s got that semi-automatic weapon because that’s how they like to protect their family. I met the 50 some-odd percent of women who are pro-life, even though I thought it was preposterous that a woman could be pro-life and not pro-choice at the time. I learned that a lot of our issues politically come from a lack of understanding of other perspectives and also the fact that so often young conservatives and young liberals will go into debate, like I said earlier, trying to beat the other one as oppose to come to an agreement...I’m working on some efforts to encourage bipartisanship or at least discussion that is productive and help a lot of people avoid the mistakes that I made. If everybody on both sides of the political debate would heed these simple words, indeed virtually all of our political problems would vanish, and we would all be working together, despite maintaining some differences about how we should live, in order to create a better environment for everyone.
The reality, though, is that those who run the political game from behind the scenes know that division and polarization helps them maintain control over our society, and far from trying to remedy it, they constantly stoke it to advance their agenda. Kasky will be parlaying his newfound equanimity into a new podcast entitled “Cameron Knows Nothing” which, at the risk of repeating myself, is a characterization that strikes to the heart of true Socratic wisdom and the pursuit of truth and understanding above all else. He will be bringing people together from both sides of the aisle, and will attempt to foster mutual respect and a meeting of the minds: I want to encourage people to take an intellectual journey, to hear both sides of the argument, I’m not asking people to change their opinions, I’m asking people to change their opinions on opinions. Perhaps thinking back to the recklessness of his early days in the spotlight, Kasky speaks of and to his peers when he says, ‘We’re young, and if we want to be engaged that’s great, but let’s learn together.’ Although I’m not making any predictions, Kasky may find, to his surprise, that his intellectual integrity might lead him down a slow path to obscurity–at least relative to the high profile he enjoyed as part of a partisan, youth-fueled gun-control movement. And the reason I say that is because there is currently very little high-level support for moderation and wisdom in the world, especially not in politics, with all the big money from the likes of George Soros and Sheldon Adelson on down the line funding the polar extremities, because up to now that’s where their profits have come from. But perhaps all that is changing. Maybe if a critical mass of us gravitate towards the kind of discourse Kasky is advocating, we will crowd out the voices of extremity, and help the political pendulum swing back to the middle. Certainly it is inspiring to see someone so young to have reached such a point of consciousness, and the hope is that this consciousness will rub off on many of his contemporaries. And so I wish the young man the best of luck in his new endeavor.
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