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Conservatives &Culture wars Richard Falknor on 12 May 2009 07:51 am

Radical University Empires vs. Clueless State Lawmakers

For if we do not get our act together sooner rather than later, we will have been complicit in subsidizing not universities but animal farms feeding the multitudes with tainted provender.David Solway

This post is about what is happening to colleges and universities in the United States and about the incapacity of Republican state legislators in Maryland and, apparently, also Virginia, to cope with the dangerous direction our own taxpayer-supported universities have taken.

We got yet another warning rocket on the university peril, this time from National Review on Line’s (NRO) Candace de Russy last week pointing us to David Solways “A Huge Serving of Academia Nuts – How radicals rule the modern university”

Explains Solway – – –

“The fact is that the university, as we now know it, has become a major contributor to the dissolution of the foundational values upon which the life of the West has been erected.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

Solway continues- –

“Edward Bernard Glick, author of Soldiers, Scholars, and Society: The Social Impact of the American Military, trains his sights on the American university in particular. ‘American universities,” he writes, “have been transformed into the most Marxist, postmodernist, know-nothing, anti-American, anti-military, and anti-capitalist institution in our society. It is now a bastion of situational ethics and moral relativism. … American academia is now a very intolerant place.'” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

Solway’s prescription? (Read his entire article here.)

“Far too many professors and their nominal superiors have forgotten or have simply overridden the proper business of the university. It is surely time to initiate a public campaign of watchdog legislation and purse-string vigilance to address the monumental aberration embodied in the modern academy.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

And what about our state legislators? Sadly, only a few have risen to the challenge.

Just last year,  the Maryland General Assembly approved so-called cultural-diversity legislation for “institutions of higher education.”  We wrote at that time – –

“’Cultural diversity’ legislation advances the destruction of core American culture in Maryland colleges and universities. The measures are intrusive, reaching many private as well as public Maryland colleges and universities. They will likely result in an additional loss of free speech in higher education in the Free State, and more enforced programs of multiculturalism, i.e. anti-Western values, taught to students with no depth in the study of history. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), for example, last year named Johns Hopkins University as its first-ever “Censor of the Year“ for 2006. Read this for more detail.

.   .  .  .  .

“Some Republicans might be shocked to realize that by their voting to clamp ‘cultural diversity’ even more broadly and firmly into the life of Maryland’s colleges and universities, they sent just that signal of indifference to our heritage to a wider public. And cultural Marxism or so-called multiculturalism is nothing to be trifled with. Maryland universities, private or even community colleges should not be official collectivist reeducation camps for our captive sons and daughters.”

The scandal is that last year seven out of fourteen Republican state senators voted for this dangerous diversity measure (two Republicans took a walk), and fourteen out of then-37 Republican delegates also supported it.

Does this mean that these Republican supporters of enforced diversity were closet America-haters and Marxists?  Of course not — only that these state legislators have little idea about the origins of the trouble America is in.

In Virginia, we have seen the “diversity” plague spread through Virginia Tech — a matter we have written about here and  here.  Yet one rarely if ever hears the voice of the Virginia Republican establishment challenge such systematic attacks on freedom and western values as we see in this major land-grant university.

And George Mason University’s Walter Williams in “Fraud in Academia” here warns of a national problem – –

“Academic fraud is rife at many of the nation’s most prestigious and costliest universities. At Brown University, two-thirds of all letter grades given are A’s. At Harvard, 50 percent of all grades were either A or A- (up from 22 percent in 1966); 91 percent of seniors graduated with honors. The Boston Globe called Harvard’s grading practices ‘the laughing stock of the Ivy League.’ Eighty percent of the grades given at the University of Illinois are A’s and B’s. Fifty percent of students at Columbia University are on the Dean’s list. At Stanford University, where F grades used to be banned, only 6 percent of student grades were as low as a C.”

NRO’s de Russy noted Walter Williams’ piece, and George Leef expands on the “fraud’s” value to the Education Establishment here

“The combination of high grades and low learning is a good strategy for the success of educational institutions, however. High grades keep students and parents happy, thus increasing the inflow of revenue. The less students learn, the longer they will need to remain in the educational system, again helping to increase the inflow of revenue. Non-profits like to maximize their income just as much as for-profit entities do.”

NRO’s Leef also highlight’s professor Richard Vedder’s analysis of the Obama program for higher education —

“Writing today at Minding the Campus, Prof. Richard Vedder takes a look at Obama’s higher-education plans and does not like what he sees at all.”
. . . . . 

“The nation’s productivity won’t be improved one bit by putting more academically marginal kids through college. Shoveling resources into higher ed, however, supports a fanatical Democratic constituency and also puts more people within the ambit of educators who are far more likely to extol the statist path the country is hurtling down than to criticize it.(Underscoring Forum’s.)

We wrote along these lines about the consequences of the capture of the universities by the Hard Left in our article on the recently passed House of Representatives “Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009” – –

“A longer-term challenge is coming to grips with the fact that many colleges and universities accustom their students — many of whom are bound for managerial and professional positions — to so-called speech codes at the formative period of their education.  Don’t think this is going on at Maryland or Virginia schools you know and love?  Click here [updated to May 2015]to find out for yourself from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. American higher learning should nurture our traditional freedoms which make critical thinking possible, not suppress them in the name of some ideology discredited in the last century.”

Unfortunately, we simply cannot depend on the Republican establishments of Maryland and Virginia to deal with serious threats like the transformation of our taxpayer-supported universities into mechanisms for the dissolution of our way of life. Not just in the culture wars but across the spectrum of key issues, long-time conservative Richard A. Viguerie offered his perspective last Sunday – –

“Conservatives should no longer look to Republican politicians for leadership and should assume the role of leading the opposition to Obama and the Democrats. We believe we have a party and a country to save, and the GOP establishment is in our way.”

Read the entire Viguerie piece here.

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