Liberal college indoctrination: fiction?

There’s absolutely no reason major media outlets should devote any more time to smearing professors.

Jake Perron

Perhaps the old adage, “if you aren’t liberal in your 20s, you don’t have a heart, and if you aren’t a capitalist by your 40s, you don’t have a brain” is more of a truism than witty paternal advice… or at least that’s how it seems.

A University of California- Los Angeles study conducted in 2005 indicated that about half of the class of 2005 identified themselves as “middle of the road” politically, 20.7 percent considered themselves conservative or far right, and 29.9 percent said they are liberal or far left. What becomes of this overwhelming majority? That is, what’s the explanation for the conservative predominance in corporations, the White House, church halls and small towns?

To deny that a sufficient majority of University professors lean to the left on the political spectrum would be nearly as preposterous as saying that the Earth is no older than 6,000 years. Despite this, media gadflies treat the issue as if they were audacious revolutionaries, altruistically defending America’s future in education.

Sean Hannity invites students to tape-record these “propaganda artists.” Bill O’Reilly compares the staff of Columbia University to the University of Havana. David Horrowitz, a once radical Marxist turned neoconservative, made his contribution with a book titled, “The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America.” The fact that professors and academic institutions are liberal is old news. And in fact, when there is a left-leaning bias in an academic institution, it means the system is functioning properly.

But what does that say about the professors who cater to the vulnerable and idealistic youth? One reasonable explanation is that these pedagogues are stuck in their college heydays of honor rolls and Campus Dems pizza parties, like the former high school hockey captain who spends his Friday nights at the local ice arena.

Or is there something inherent in academia that nurtures and encourages this type of thought process? The further you remove yourself from academia, the less you think like a student or professor. If a fundamental purpose of academia is to foster progressive ideas, while diminishing antiquated theories, of course you’re going to have a progressive mind.

The conservative curriculum would offer geology classes that teach the Earth is in fact 6,000 years old, and if you sail too far in any direction you’ll fall off the planet. Geography professors would scoff at the idea that a super-continent once existed. And psychologists would still insist that different fissures and bumps on our heads determine behavior, criminality and personality.

The White House is perhaps the best example of this disconnect between preserving traditional thought and refuting new evidence. President George W. Bush and James Inhofe, the ranking minority member in the Senate Committee on Environmental Works assert, “The jury is still out” on global warming evidence, and refuse to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

Further, Inhofe believes that “global warming is the second-largest hoax ever played on the American people, after the separation of church and state.” Mind you, this is coming from the man who contributed to one of theSenate floor’s prouder moments when he used a large photograph of his 20 children and grandchildren as evidence in the Federal Marriage Amendment debate. “I think this is maybe the most important prop we’ll have during the entire debate. My wife and I have been married 47 years. We have 20 kids and grandkids. I’m really proud to say that in the recorded history of our family, we’ve never had a divorce or any kind of homosexual relationship.”

With that sort of data-collecting tactic, it’s hard to refute John Stuart Mill when he said, “Stupid people are generally conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.”

These conservative conspiracy theories that fear the infiltration of our education by left-wing propaganda has grown stale. There’s absolutely no reason major media outlets should devote any more time to smearing professors and attacking our nation’s most prestigious academic institutions. The very idea that so much time is devoted to attacking liberal professors stems from concerns about dissent, and what will happen when students realize the potential granted by the First Amendment.

The irony is that they – O’Reilly, Hannity, Horowitz – feel there is a lack of free speech in our education system. But it is not free speech they support, its ideas that confirm their beliefs.

So it’s about time that conservatives stop whining and make something of their university experience.

If you’re dismayed by the curriculum, be proactive instead of reactive. Arguing with a professor is not going to affect your grade, for these professors who have faced such criticism actually believe in the rights granted by the constitution.

The smear campaigns, attack books and rhetoric do nothing but show incompetence by having to resort to name-calling and questionable accusations.

If you believe that you have something better to say, then say it. Otherwise, let those who know how to teach do the talking, and watch your heart grow.

Jake Perron welcomes comments at [email protected]