Dear college student(s)—this is an open letter to you from us here at WOOF, (that’s Watchdogs of Our Freedom in long form). Of course, that doesn’t mean everyone shouldn’t read it. As a matter of fact, everyone should read all our articles—but that’s not important now. What’s important is that even though the world is currently hurtling toward the Apocalypse, and the United States of America is being reduced to the approximate socioeconomic status of, say, El Salvador, and despite the fact that myriad domestic and international matters of devastating magnitude demand our immediate editorial attention, we’ve decided to set all that aside for the moment, and have a little chat with you instead! Naturally, you may be wondering why.
If we tell you it’s because you young college students and you high-school graduates about to enter a college or university are vitally important to us and to the fate of your planet, you may think we are flattering you. At the same time, you may grimace at what you perceive to be our prosaicism, since everyone you know or hear from is probably telling you approximately the same thing—you know, how important you are and your whole generation what with the fate of the world being yours to shape and salvage from the mismanagement of your predecessors. We know it sounds prosaic—because we were all told that stuff too, some of us quite a while ago, some of us fairly recently, but believe us, the spiel hasn’t changed much. And believe us, we aren’t about to flatter you. In fact, we’re going to be brutally honest, because in case you haven’t noticed (and you may not have) things are going to Hell much too quickly for any time-consuming effusions of flummery!
When you get to your college graduation, in however many years that may take you, you will also receive the mandatory speech about challenges. These speeches are always pretty cosmic sounding. Perhaps you’ve heard some. The speakers always tell you that the challenges of the future involve titanic social and environmental issues, and often that’s the truth—but let us assure you, by way of inviting your attentiveness, that just as often that’s nonsense—and the biggest challenges you’ll contend with are never—absolutely never—mentioned. So we here at WOOF are going to run them by you. Honestly, we know that most of you won’t believe us, and quite a few of you will take offense (unnecessarily, by the way) and quit reading. We’re sorry about that. Very sorry. But we owe it to those who continue reading to plant some seeds (okay, now that was prosaic). What we mean is, those of you who read this open letter and take it to heart are the ones who don’t really need it. (Read it anyway, though; like we said, everybody should read our stuff.) It is those of you who keep reading despite your qualms and the impulse to snort derisively and click elsewhere whom we are truly addressing—because a small percentage of you will, given more time and experience, begin to suspect we weren’t crazy after all—at least not as crazy as we seemed!
Your first challenge…you’re not ready!
Maybe you think we’re calling you stupid. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, clinical psychologists will tell you that IQ levels of Americans are on the rise. Experts differ as to precisely why this is so. We think it’s all those McDonalds French fries and burgers you ate, but hey, we’re only guessing! The problem is, your IQ doesn’t matter much if nobody ever teaches you to read or write, and the chances are nobody has—at least not as expertly as was once considered the norm. You don’t have to take our word for it. Commenting in the Washington Post, American Library Association President Michael Gorman declared, “”It’s appalling — it’s really astounding. Only 31 percent of college graduates can read a complex book and extrapolate from it. That’s not saying much for the remainder.” [Skeptics may click here for confirmation]
The Post writer insisted that “Experts could not definitively explain the drop [in reading performances],” but that’s ridiculous. We can explain it, and the Post could too, if it wanted to tell you the truth. We are going to tell you the truth. Here at WOOF we “only speak right on!” (That’s Shakespeare, by the way.)
Reading and math skills of America’s 15-year-olds rank “average” at best, and largely “below average” among developed nations, according to CNN. (Yes, we’re citing liberal sources so you’ll believe us—which in and of itself is a problem, but that’s not important now!) Here are some reading and math proficiency rates for students entering Cal State four years ago. Check them out if you like—[by clicking here]–they are actually better than average! No, really, they are!
And in case you were wondering, yes, the latest statistics say that you also probably know less about science as an overall topic than your grandparents knew in high school. Sure, you know all about global warming and you’re brimming with extreme environmentalist agitprop, but set that aside for a moment. Rating the readiness of high-school graduates to enter professions involving science, businesses surveyed for the report Employers’ Perspectives on the Basic Knowledge and Applied Skills of New Entrants to the 21st Century U.S. Workforce [clickable here] reported that 62.1 % of graduates entering the manufacturing professions were “deficient,” and zero percent could be rated “excellent.” Maybe you are the exception. Possibly you are embarking upon a science scholarship, or maybe your writing is spectacular, or you are a math wizard. We are thrilled if this is the case; but if it is, you are surely aware that many of your fellow students are conspicuously ill-prepared for the rigors of college-level academics. This isn’t because you are a generation of blockheads—it’s because you were never taught what society expects you to know.
Grades one through twelve are no longer taught effectively because the curriculum has been dumbed down to an embarrassingly abecedarian level, and this because teachers are no longer allowed to enforce discipline or impose order in schools filled with students to whom the slightest threat of meaningful restraint, control, or punishment would result in mommy (and daddy if the parents haven’t split up) marching into the principal’s office with their attorneys. This creates the proverbial vicious cycle (a negative feedback loop in systems theory) in which a lack of discipline and order results in poorer and poorer academic performances in light of which academic standards must be lowered more and more. How did this happen? The answer is liberalism—or progressivism, if you prefer. We know this will make many of you snort contemptuously, but we promised you the complete truth, remember? We didn’t promise to be cool or fashionable—just honest, and honestly, you do have one point in your favor: If you are ready to begin college or are already enrolled, you missed out on progressivism’s latest brainchild, “Common Core.” That’s right; things may have been bad when you were in grade school, but they just got a whole lot worse for those who follow!
Your second challenge: Your teachers will be crazy!
Trust us, we know college professors—the majority of us are college professors. We hang out in faculty lounges and listen to table conversation amid our peers—and they are, to an alarming extent, dogmatically, angrily, sanctimoniously, left wing. And what’s wrong with that? Well, the best one can hope for when one’s higher education is provided by a faculty that espouses a single sociopolitical philosophy is that opposing or differing points of view will be included in the curricula in the interest of intellectual ballast. This is not going to happen.
Opposing points of view to liberalism are almost always treated bombastically and derogatorily by liberals, and particularly by liberal college professors. Any philosophies extraneous to your professors’ leftist beliefs will be set up and shot down like ducks in a carnival game. To make matters worse, you will be expected to agree with these professors. You may hear “critical thinking” praised in theory, but in practice you will be expected to conform to the liberal/progressive views of your proctors, or you may well find yourself singled out for criticism, and your grades will suffer accordingly. You will also be ostracized by your fellow students, most of whom will find it unbelievable that you would express dissent in the first place. Granted, most of you reading this probably already consider yourselves progressive—we’ll explain how we know this later. You may wonder why you should object to communing with a like-minded faculty upon entering college. Probably your high-school teachers were liberals, so it won’t be all that different, you may be thinking. And you’re right, it will simply be more concentrated and rarified. But college is supposed to be different. No less an authority than Robert A. Scott, president of Adelphi University in Long Island, wrote:
“I believe undergraduate education is and must be as much about character and citizenship as about careers and commerce. I comment [here] on the structure of general education and give emphasis to four key elements. These four include the “liberating” aspects of general education, including: (1) a focus on history, i.e., what came before; imagination, asking “what if?”; and compassion, understanding and appreciating another’s perspective; (2) the need for an emphasis on questions more than on answers; (3) the meaning of a global education; and (4) the connections of each of the above to extra-curricular experiences and engaged citizenship.”
Isn’t that beautiful? We think so. And meaning no disrespect to President Scott, whose musings we find laudable, it is almost as though these defining aspects of the University experience were taken at some juncture as the antitheses of what the modern undergrad experience should consist of. It is as though some myopic despot misread “liberating” as “liberalizing” and ordered America’s universities into lock step as a force for the subornment and indoctrination of students through a form of education that celebrates cynicism, not citizenship, collectivism, not compassion, and by “global” means to imply a sickly, intellectually unsupportable form of moral relativism that is first and foremost anti-American. Do you doubt us? (Well you should! We are working on critical thinking here, right?)
We think you should know that a 2007 report by sociologists Neil Gross and Solon Simmons found that 80 percent of psychology professors at elite and non-elite universities are Democrats. Additional studies indicated that a mere 5 to 7 percent of total faculty openly identify as Republicans. Contrast this with polls showing that slightly better than 20 percent of the general population calls itself “liberal” whereas almost 40 percent describes itself as “conservative.” And by the way, a peer-reviewed survey of a “roughly representative sample of academics and scholars” found that “In decisions ranging from paper reviews to hiring, many [professors] admit that they would discriminate against openly conservative colleagues.” This finding [available here] amazed the researchers, by the way, one of whom remarked, “the questions were so blatant that I thought we’d get a much lower rate of agreement. Usually you have to be pretty tricky to get people to say they’d discriminate against minorities.” And on most college campuses, trust us, you will be a minority if your politics place you anywhere to the right of Che Guevara, or at least you will perceive yourself to be a minority because all the other students to Che’s right will be keeping their heads down too! This won’t seem much like what Dr. Scott meant when he advocated, “understanding and appreciating another’s perspective,” but let’s face it, that dude’s a dinosaur!
Even if you are quite liberal, you may be wondering, why would so many college professors openly admit they’d punish conservative students with poor grades? Well, the answer is simple. In his brilliant 1987 best seller The Closing of the American Mind, Allan Bloom, himself a Harvard professor, took his peers to task, explaining, in effect, that their ideological blinders focused them so intensely on their shared biases that all else was dismissed as narrow mindedness. He offered the example of a psychology professor at Cornell who told him “it was his function to get rid of prejudices in his students.” Prejudices in this instance may be construed as all views and opinions not of the prescribed, progressive pedigree. Can intellectuals really be so “out there” that they see a willingness to engage students in a variety of ideas as counterproductive? Let us review the comments of Noam Chomsky (a Marxian socialist whom your professors will all adore, by the way) regarding Professor Bloom’s book. Chomsky called it “mind-bogglingly stupid” for “basically saying… you just march the students through a canon of ‘great thoughts’ that are picked out for everybody” when “the effect of that is that students will end up knowing and understanding virtually nothing.”
Is Chomsky serious? Yes, of course he is. He is saying, isn’t he, that the random exposure of students to a plethora of philosophies and possibilities will leave them “understanding nothing”—because they will not have been adequately indoctrinated in the one true faith of progressivism. The belief that liberalism is the only key to open-mindedness and that any opposing philosophy must be, ipso facto, narrow minded and must therefore be excluded from consideration, is the closing of the academic mind. It amounts to the axiom that any views other than liberalism must be quashed, eradicated, and stricken from the record…all in the name, mind you, of open-mindedness. Does that sound crazy? We warned you at the beginning, didn’t we? Your professors will be crazy.
Your third challenge: Your courses are mostly ridiculous!
Occidental College’s Critical Theory and Social Justice Department offers an undergrad class in “Stupidity.” Yes, that’s the name of the course. You are invited to discover why so many of your unenlightened fellow Americans and farther-flung denizens of planet earth are so stupid. (WOOF actually addressed this issue somewhat less philosophically last year, clickable here) You’ll find out why we allow ourselves to be stupid, a characteristic that Occidental calls an “artifact of our nature as finite beings and one of the most powerful determinants of human destiny.” One way to find out if you’re stupid, in our opinion, is to check to see whether you enrolled for this course—but Occidental takes a rather different view of the matter. And you’ll never guess who’s stupid. Oh wait, yes you will, because all the people the liberal media spent the last ten years telling you are stupid are on the list!
“Stupidity,” Occidental declares, “…has been evicted from the philosophical premises and dumbed down by psychometric psychology, [but] has returned in the postmodern discourse against Nation, Self, and Truth and makes itself felt in political life ranging from the presidency to Beavis and Butthead.” The course takes its name, by the way, from a book by a semi-interesting lady, Avital Ronell, a postmodernist and feminist who explains that George Bush is stupid (there’s a gutsy assertion!) and compares his “inability to produce rhetorically stable utterances” to the decisions he made and to the “reactionary and reactive effects of his administration.”
Quite possibly you think Bush is stupid too. If you watch media, how could you believe otherwise? If so, you won’t mind that Ronell also writes that Reagan “got away with it” or that her (avowedly not-stupid) analysis flows from “the culture that has been inscribed by Marx and Nietzsche…” (Marx and Nietzsche? Really, Avital? Neitzsche should sue, in our opinion, except that unlike God, he’s dead!) If you love postmodern gibberish, and maybe you do, you may in fact find Avital Ronell an engagingly fresh breeze across the fetid swampland of postmodern discourse—but hey, just read her book if that’s the case, it costs a lot less than the course, and if you elect to squander your time in college sitting through courses like this, you are either stupid or at risk of becoming so!
And before you decide that only a thoroughgoing intellectual could truly fathom the offerings of a mind as reticulate as Ms. Ronell’s, consider this: In 1996, Alan Sokal, a physics professor at New York University, published a peer-reviewed article in the highly-regarded postmodern journal Social Text entitled “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity” that was peer-reviewed, praised and roundly circulated until Sokal revealed that it was total gibberish comprising “a pastiche of left-wing cant, fawning references, grandiose quotations, and outright nonsense…structured around the silliest quotations [mainly from postmodernist philosophers that he] could find…” because Sokal just wanted to see if they’d go ahead and print it. What a scamp, eh? We bet Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush would’ve read a little bit of it and said, “Hey, this doesn’t make sense!” But they’re stupid.
Okay, so maybe you won’t be tantalized by the flower of postmodern thought during your college years, but “Stupidity” is not the only course we’d advise you to steer clear of. There’s the University of Virginia’s new course offering a lengthy review of Lady Gaga’s music videos as part of the syllabus. It’s an introductory-level course offering students an opportunity to study Lady Gaga’s impact on feminism and gender expression while preparing for a “more in-depth writing class” on the same topic.
Not interested? How about underwater basket weaving? WOOF is not making this up. Sign up at UC-Santa Barbara, or if you’re matriculating elsewhere, eat your heart out! You may have to settle for “Philosophy and Star Trek.” But that’s only available at Georgetown University. Professor Linda Wetzel assures us that “Star Trek is very philosophical,” and then asks, presumably rhetorically, “What better way, then, to learn philosophy, than to watch Star Trek, read philosophy, and hash it all out in class?” Of course, you might prefer “Star Trek and Religion” at the University of Indiana…. Get us out of here, Mister Sulu!
If you are at University of California, Berkeley, you may wish to enroll in “Queer Translation,” which “aims for both a familiarization and a potential reworking of selected contemporary debates in queer theory [pssst, they mean Gay people]: those concerning migration, race, globalization, and movements of theory. How do queer theories, queer theories-as practice, queer practices travel? Furthermore, do critiques of stability found in queer theory invite presumptions of mobility? We will interrogate the shadow of ‘mobility’ in queer theory by considering queer tourism, gender identity, sub-class labor migration, and the outer zones of citizenship.” And no, so far as we know, Alan Sokal did not write that course summary.
And yes, it’s “queer” nowadays on hip campuses, rather than “homosexual” or “Gay.” Unless you say it outside class and you aren’t “queer,” in which case you’re probably homophobic. Try to keep up! And if you are homosexual, or intensely interested in the topic, we hope you find better uses of your time than this rubbish—you can’t throw a rock on a college campus nowadays and not hit somebody involved in LGBTQ studies, so at least be picky!
But if you don’t feel like interrogating the shadow of mobility, Ohio State has a literature course entitled Harry Potter Lit that explores the complex themes and symbological structure of the Harry Potter novels—if you think this sounds really exciting, stop reading this right now! (Just kidding, stay with us. It’s okay.) The University of Rochester is offering Alien Sex Studies (That’s alien as in Klaatu, or Spock, not as in ‘illegal.’) Why not begin your science education by examining sexual encounters between humans and space aliens? And if you’re looking to fulfill that pesky language requirement, you can choose between “Invented Languages: Klingon and Beyond” at University of Texas, or perhaps “Elvish, the language of ‘Lord of the Rings’” at University of Wisconsin.
But we most appreciate the return to normality and relative conservatism displayed at Amherst, where the revolutionary (sorry!) idea arose to construct a course in economics called “Taking Marx Seriously,” which is at least the most drolly appleated class of recent vintage. It would, in fact, require a prolonged effort to locate an American university at which Marx is not taken seriously. In fact, in the wake of the devastation his prescriptions wrought everywhere from the USSR to North Korea, it is probably fair to say that he is taken seriously almost exclusively on college and university campuses. We were half hoping that Amherst really meant Groucho, but no—it’s Karl, the inventor of communism, whose first name is the obvious solution to the riddle, “Who was the least funny Marx brother?”
Will all your courses be this bizarre? No, not titularly. But even in the most traditional scholastic venues, seemingly distal in the academic constellation from political concerns, you will be incessantly harangued by liberal professors driving home the vital points of the progressive agenda. It really won’t matter much what you’re studying. Everything reminds leftists of politics, and you will be expected to absorb the dicta of liberalism whether you are studying history, biology, or Mongolian deontology. Really. It pervades academe. A typical example is reported by Linda Cook, a student (and a Republican activist) who asked for a refund from North Idaho College because her English teacher, Jessica Bryan, reduced every class to an anti-Republican, anti-conservative rant. The last straw for Cook was when Professor Bryan smilingly advocated the death penalty for anyone who votes Republican. It is a noteworthy earmark of contemporary pedagogic liberalism that its practitioners fantasize about killing everyone who disagrees with them.
Not so at Temple University, however, where the F-bomb seems to be the weapon of choice. For instance, professor Joseph Schwartz recently led a band of followers into a campus meeting of Young Republicans and ranted obscenely until the meeting ground to a halt. “Oh come on,” Schwartz explained, (several expletives deleted) “I believe in the religion of foul language.” So far, somewhat disappointingly, Dr. Schwartz has not offered a course on this subject, but WOOF remains hopeful.
Meanwhile, at Marshall University, which, as one inhabitant of the WOOF cave knows particularly well, is located in Huntington, West Virginia (go Herd!) there is a professor of journalism named Christopher Swindell who made recent headlines by advocating the mass extermination of all Americans in the National Rifle Association by military force. This means, in case you haven’t checked recently, that Swindell would like to have American soldiers kill 5 million American citizens, and why? Because, Swindell explained, the NRA is “calling for armed resurrection,” which just as a matter of fact, it isn’t, and never has. Swindell might be disappointed in any case, since his vision consisted of having the NRA obliterated by “An M1A Abrams tank, supported by an F-22 Raptor squadron with Hellfire missiles.” Apparently Swindell hadn’t noticed that President Obama cancelled the F-22 in 2009, donated most of our Abrams tanks to his peeps in the Muslim Brotherhood back in 2013, and cancelled the Hellfire missile earlier this year…what a break for the NRA.
Okay, we could go on showing you stuff like this, but let the views of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni suffice: “Throughout American higher education, professors are using their classrooms to push political agendas in the name of teaching students to think critically. In course after course, department after department, and institution after institution, indoctrination is replacing education. Encouraging students to think independently has been too often supplanted by the impulse to tell them what to think about some of the most pressing issues of our day.”
And sure, we know, if you agree with the Left about the most pressing issues of the day, you may see no reason to fret over anything we’ve told you. Liberalism may be how you were raised. It is certainly how you are trained by the media, so if it emanates also from your professors at college, you may think, so much the better. And that fact brings us to our next point…
Your fourth challenge: You’re a conformist!
As early as 1955 William F. Buckley Jr. observed the formation of a monolithically liberal academic mentality in his book God and Man at Yale. (No, it won’t be on any of your reading lists.) He explained that “…the ideologues, having won over the intellectual class, simply walked in and started to run things. Run just about everything. There never was an age of conformity quite like this one, or a camaraderie quite like the Liberals.”
Nowadays the conformity is absolute and fast approaching totalitarianism. At the Harvard Crimson an editorial writer named Sandra Y.L. Korn, recently called for an end to academic freedom, demanding that it be replaced by “academic justice.” Miss Korn expatiated, “If our university community opposes racism, sexism and heterosexism, why should we put up with research that counters our goals simply in the name of ‘academic freedom’?” This is also the apparent view of Erin Ching, a student at Swarthmore College, which exhibited an ecumenical impulse all the more remarkable for its rarity by inviting the conservative Princeton professor, Robert George, to debate Cornel West. But George’s inclusion in an exchange of ideas infuriated Miss Ching. “What really bothered me is, the whole idea that at a liberal arts college we need to be hearing a diversity of opinion,” Ching told the school’s newspaper, adding “I don’t think we should be tolerating conservative views, because that dominant culture embeds these deep inequalities in our society.”
Now honestly, wait a minute here! What dominant culture is Miss Ching discussing? Think hard about this, and consider it honestly for a moment. The news media are entirely liberal, except FOX, and every media outlet you connect with makes fun of FOX, doesn’t it. The people making films in Hollywood are all liberal, except for a handful of stars too famous to completely sideline, just as the people making the TV programs you watch are all liberal, the news magazines you see on the stand are slanted dramatically to the left, all the tony fashion and personality glossies are liberal left, and even sportscasters are now devout liberals, witness the recent performance of Bob Costas who interrupted himself while broadcasting a football game to make a speech castigating the Washington Redskins for refusing to conform to political correctness and ditch their 81-year-old name, which Costas denounced as an insult and a slur against American Indians, 90% of whom say they don’t mind the name at all—but liberals do.
Seriously, the president is a dogmatic leftist, his cabinet is ultra-liberal, almost all major daily newspapers are liberal, the Senate and about half the House is liberal, the arts are liberal, rock and roll singers are liberal, and the National Education Association, a union that got its own cabinet position from the liberal Jimmy Carter, is ultra liberal. It is they who preside over grades K through 12 before handing you off to the liberals in the colleges and universities. So who, may we ask, constitutes this “dominant culture?”
And please don’t try that “corporations” line on us, either, because the massive ones, the ones they’ll teach you to despise in college, are international conglomerates whose politics are almost entirely opportunistic. In fact, many large corporations are dedicatedly left wing, including commercial banking which breaks left repeatedly in its political donations. The technology sector is almost unanimously left wing. Publishing houses are mainly liberal. Big corporations tend to feel safer in partnerships with big government, and that’s what Democrats represent. Really rich people like Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg (now on track to become the richest man in the world)—are all liberals.
The CIA and FBI are now largely organs of Mr. Obama’s socialist left, (click here for details) although this dominance by Democrats is nowhere so obvious as in the ranks of the NSA and the IRS—noticed?—while the TSA and Homeland Security are being turned into heavily armed janissaries of the socialist agenda. It may be remarkably difficult for you to accept that the establishment you’ve been raised to despise and stand up against, the oppressive power to which your left-wing icons are always “speaking truth,” is actually the Left itself, nowadays. But think about it.
Granted, we of the political right have a toe-hold on Capitol Hill, a footprint on the Internet, and yes, a strong representation on radio. And the establishment is working to eliminate all these enclaves with pleasant-sounding ideas like “net neutrality,” and at least a half dozen attempts under Obama to re-launch some mutated form of the “fairness doctrine.” They are behind the surveillance to which you are increasingly subjected and they are working even as you read this to get rid of us, control the Internet, turn radio back into a snore fest (you are too young to remember ‘Tradio,’ count your blessings), and eliminate FOX news, which they taught you to laugh at because frankly it scares the crap out of them. Did you ever see that movie, The Usual Suspects? Do you remember Kevin Spacey’s oft quoted line, “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist”? Well, the devil can perform many subtle permutations of that axiom, dear friend, and here’s one of them: The greatest trick the liberal establishment ever pulled was convincing you that joining it makes you a rebel.
It doesn’t, of course. How could it? Do you ever think of resisting all the propaganda the establishment is burying you in and demanding an actual education in a community of free thought and open discussion? We have no intention of telling you how to vote or what party to belong to, or how to view the issues. But your college professors are bound and determine to tell you. Why not consider resisting, at least to the extent of gathering all the facts—and if your professors are right about everything, why will the possibility that you might gather all the facts reduce most of them to insensate rage? (You’ll see!)
Your fifth challenge: Surviving if you agree with us!
So, if you find yourself contemplating a shift to the philosophical right, or if by some beneficent stroke of fate you are already there, the fact is you will be confronting all sorts of abuse resulting from your decision to resist the establishment. Let us tell you a quick story about Susan Sontag, a leading leftist author and intellectual. Nobody on the left had any problems with Sontag until she sided against Russia with the Polish solidarity movement during the Cold War. Then she really messed up: She told a rally packed with liberal writers and artists something so glaringly factual that she was never really forgiven. Here’s what she told them:
“Imagine, if you will, someone who read only the Reader’s Digest between 1950 and 1970, and someone in the same period who read only The Nation, or the New Statesman. Which reader would have been better informed about the realities of Communism? The answer, I think, should give us pause. Can it be that our enemies were right?”
By enemies, incidentally, she meant the American political right, not the communists. That’s how the American Left thinks—Sontag couldn’t help herself–but anyhow, she got booed and jeered and then the entire intellectual Left attacked her in every journal of opinion at their disposal, which was nearly all of them. Only National Review, William F. Buckley’s conservative fortnightly, esteemed her remark—and as for the avalanche of scathing denunciations heaped upon her by her colleagues, the Review observed, “Sometimes you have to leave the left to meet it.” Keep that epigram in mind if you are contemplating apostasy! Nothing angers the Leftist Establishment more than the appearance of an authentic rebel!
When Jason Veley, a student at Eastern Connecticut State University, heard his creative writing professor referring to Republicans as “racist, misogynist, money-grubbing people [who] have so much power over the rest of us and want things to go back, not to 1955 but to 1855,” he got mad. Through the College Republican National Committee he helped launch the #MyLiberalCampus hashtag. The professor, Brent Terry, was obliged to issue an apology after the audio that Veley recorded during class became public. Exposure to light is the “fix” for liberal haranguers at University level—remember our vampire analogy? That’s right. And enough conservative media exist that you can count on some help. The existence of YouTube alone (politically neutral for now at least) makes exposing professorial ravings simple. Like Our Dear Leader, you have a pen and a phone, and you know how to use them.
And hey, maybe you’re not the hero type. We understand that. Maybe you just want to keep your head down and get your degree—that’s okay too. We just want you to know that unless you are attending an anomalously conservative campus, you will need to keep your head down. Find others who sympathize. You are bound to find other students, and maybe even a professor or two, who furtively concur in your views. There really is strength in numbers, and now the Internet provides reinforcement at the stroke of a few keys. Don’t isolate, that’s just how Saul Alinsky wants you! (Your professors can tell you who he was!) Nobody expects you to take over the Dean’s office, that’s so 1968; but you might consider taking over a student publication or two—or starting your own– but say, don’t let us push you into anything, we’ll just get you in trouble.
The most important aspects of your college experience should be learning as much as you can, making lasting friendships, getting your heart broken a couple of times, and obtaining the sheepskin, naturally. And if you want to cowboy up and give your liberal faculty and administration the blazes while you’re at it, we say let the devil take the hindmost! But as we’ve also said, you’re free to choose your own future without any nudging from us—so if you’re okay with sitting around 50 years hence, when your grandkids ask you, “What did you do when you were in college, Grandpa/Grandma?” and telling them, “Well kids, I just toed the liberal propaganda line, repeated the schlock my professors expected me to parrot, and got through by conforming to the very political agenda that eroded all the freedoms and privileges you might otherwise have inherited,” then that’s okay with us. Don’t let us bother you further. And no matter whether we’ve moved you, or simply moved you to annoyance, remember to enjoy your professors for their finer human qualities—everybody has some—and for the knowledge they may fairly impart to you as you pass through the hallowed halls of academe. But remember too how correct William F. Buckley Jr. was, way back in 1977, when he said:
“I’d rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.”