Student unrest in many universities demonstrates what is becoming obvious; institutions of higher learning are becoming radicalized and project intolerance for anything but a liberal view. Too few permit conservative or libertarian speakers and far fewer allow a constitutionalist.
I was not surprised, some years ago, to hear a mother share with me her son’s fear that he did not wish to attend college because he did not wish to be politically indoctrinated. Parents increasingly worry about the radicalization of their children as well. As the years go by, I hear this sentiment more frequently. Often when asked my profession, a political science professor, I get that look, “Oh! You’re one of those.” So, the assumption is that professors, especially those in political science, are socialists or worse. Unfortunately, this stereotype is largely true.
College is supposed to be a “big tent,” housing all types of thinking, so that the student can gravitate to what he thinks best after all sides are presented. Although everyone gives lip service to this statement, there still exists a preferred philosophy. Most colleges insist that they adhere to intellectual diversity, but the evidence and textbooks suggest otherwise. The vast majority of colleges and universities are weighted in favor of one ideology and professors to one political party. It is not hidden. Some political science textbooks even acknowledge it.
There exists a consensus of what a “good education” is. Students are immersed in race consciousness, feminism, multiculturalism, environmentalism, collectivism, globalism, political activism, class warfare, global warming, acceptance of sexual deviations as normal and minimization of the importance of Christianity. The end product, the student, must come to accept the above script. It is also in virtually all textbooks. It’s not that any of these notions are bad, in and of themselves, but it is the nearly universal absence of the opposing view that is most troubling parents and students who do not want the indoctrination.
It reminds me of the popular tune from the 1960s, called “Little Boxes” by Malvina Reynolds.
“And the people in the houses… made of ticky tacky. All went to the university, Where they were put in boxes, And they came out all the same,” according to the song’s lyrics.
It’s not fear of political science classes alone in most colleges and universities. Students think they can escape the indoctrination across the hall in a history or sociology class, but that is not so. Such bias permeates most academic areas. An English professor from a large Midwestern university, who did not wish to be identified because of possible retribution, spoke of English classes giving less emphasis on grammar, punctuation or sentence structure and more on the political correctness.
“Everything from theater to philosophy to history to English has, in effect, become sociology,” he said. “Teaching subject matter has become less important than teaching a very political perspective.”
In the end, he said, “They get taught the same thing over and over: a radical critique of the entire American social structure, an indictment of capitalism, anti-Christian propaganda and collectivism over individuality.”
Of course, additional courses reinforce the “good education,” and the result is that if students have not learned to think for themselves or have some opposing information from home or church to think with. They graduate and carry the indoctrination into every segment of society as gospel. New teachers from kindergarten to the universities will pipe the same, or similar, message.
Age and experience may alter the indoctrination, but the twig is already bent in a prescribed direction. The student, like the twig, will give first consideration to returning to the indoctrination when confronted with anything in opposition. Colleges have so much power over “right” thinking.
An extreme example of this indoctrination comes from years ago in a French language and culture class at Penn State University that required students to view the Michael Moore film “Sicko,” which focused on the inadequacies of the U.S. health care system and promoted national health care. Is that what they should learn in a French language class?
The indoctrination begins immediately in some colleges, critics have said, “with orientation where students begin by learning about the evils of ‘white privilege’ in a program called the ‘tunnel of oppression’ and sit through lectures informing them that they are part of a ‘rape culture.’”
University of Delaware forced incoming freshmen to participate in a “treatment” program a part of which informed them that the word “racism” applies only to “all white people.” It also “blamed whites for having created the term ‘racism’” in the first place “to deny responsibility for systemic racism.”
At Hamilton College in New York in fall 2010, male students were required “to attend a ‘She Fears You’ presentation to make them aware of the ‘rape culture’ of which they were allegedly a part and of the need to change their ‘rape supportive’ beliefs and attitudes,” according to an article in New American, Aug. 5, 2013.
No wonder the young man and his mother did not wish him to be subjected to what he saw as indoctrination. Because he knows that there are other views, there is hope for him and more especially if he selects professors who attempt to give alternative views. But it will take personal effort to not come out of the university experience “all the same.” It is the majority of students who have no idea that there exist alternative views that are most in danger.
Dr. Harold Pease is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and to applying that knowledge to current events. He taught history and political science from this perspective for over 30 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly columns, visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.