The Trouble With Higher Education
To sum it up, the 10-1 disparity between leftist and conservative academics is a huge problem.
American higher education is in crisis. And not just because of $1.45 trillion in crippling student loan debt or declining enrollment or the even the violence that seems to pass for accepted behavior on college campuses.
The real crisis here is a complete lack of intellectual diversity in America’s colleges and universities. Faculty and administration in a vast majority of America’s institutes of higher learning are not just overwhelmingly left of center politically but nearly unanimously so. A 2016 study found that America’s left-of-center college faculty outnumber right-of-center faculty 10 to one. That used to be two to one.
To be clear, we are not talking about people who lean left. In most cases, these academics are unapologetically, vocally and even militantly leftist if not outright Marxist. And they are in positions of power in many of America’s colleges and universities, teaching our children, shaping their academic curriculum, and running the student life of college attendees.
This is a trend that has been going on for 50 years. When the protest era of the 1960s came to an end, a number of avowed leftists were forlorn that they did not achieve their dream of tearing down the United States of America. They realized that direct confrontation would not work. They didn’t have the numbers, and their arguments supporting the leftist political viewpoint were intellectually and morally bankrupt. What to do?
They stayed in school. The protesters became professors. They wormed their way into the higher education apparatus and changed the rules of the game. Over the intervening decades, they slowly but steadily slipped their ideology into the curriculum of America’s colleges and universities. They taught their leftist propaganda to students, who grew up to become professors, who taught their leftist propaganda… You see where this is going?
We are now at a point of critical mass. This leftist takeover of the American education system, which also includes public grade schools, has been going on for years. It has become painfully evident since the election of Donald Trump. Leftists thought they were assured victory when Hillary Clinton was within reach of following Barack Obama into the White House. But the country came to its collective senses, and the Left did what it does best: It got really angry.
The damage from the leftist takeover of American higher education is immense and growing. In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, University of California, Santa Cruz, professor John Ellis points out, “The imbalance is not only a question of numbers. Well-balanced opposing views act as a corrective for each other: The weaker arguments of one side are pounced on and picked off by the other. Both remain consequently healthier and more intellectually viable. But intellectual dominance promotes stupidity. As one side becomes numerically stronger, its discipline weakens. The greater the imbalance between the two sides, the more incoherent and irrational the majority will become.”
This is why we don’t see intellectually stimulating debate when Ben Shapiro or Milo Yiannopoulos appear on a college campus. Leftists would rather shout down and attack people. They are constantly surrounded by like-minded views, so they don’t have the intellectual capacity to frame their thoughts in a coherent way when challenged. In short, their brains don’t get exercise.
Of course, any free-thinking person knows that the Left’s viewpoints are generally indefensible anyway. And leftists know that, too. That’s why they have purged America’s college campuses of intellectual opposition. And this has had a ripple effect that has impacted our whole society.
The anti-male, every-man’s-a-rapist meme and the hostile social environment pushed by radical feminists on campus plays a major role in the 30% dropout rate among freshman males. A Brookings Institution study revealed that one in five college students believe that violence is an acceptable response to unacceptable speech. No wonder college enrollment is down. Who would want to put their family in massive debt sending their kid to school in such an environment?
If the American higher education system remains in the grip of rabid leftists posing as academics, then the whole country will suffer. The social squishes who emerge from these institutions are ill-prepared to handle real life, shrinking back from every “micro-aggression” they experience, unable to take criticism and learn from it, and unable to be the leaders that this country’s next generation will need.
Ellis points out that there is a solution — making these institutions of higher learning accountable. “What if voters were to insist … answers to some elementary questions? For example: How can a department of political science that excludes half the spectrum of viable political ideas be competent to offer degrees in the field? How can a history curriculum be taught competently when only one extremist attitude to social and political questions is present in a department? How can these extraordinary deficiencies deserve either accreditation, or support by state and federal funds?”
Americans need to take back their schools and stop letting the Left run them as re-education camps. Higher learning is supposed to prepare you for a better life where you have the freedom to make your own choices and plan your own way to success as you define it. It’s not supposed to serve the ends of a bankrupt ideology whose only way to win an argument is to beat down the opposition.