I have told my children that unless there is a drastic change, I can’t recommend they send their children to public schools. It was a close call even for our last one, who is a junior this year. We spend a bit of time on a regular basis discussing some of his classes and the unabashed indoctrination that is being attempted. Thankfully, we have taught him to think for himself, to check sources, and not believe everything he is told. He appears to be doing that well so far.
Unfortunately, in today’s politically correct and intolerant climate, students with conservative values are increasingly ridiculed on college campuses, and even in high school. Values are being taught, tested, and their acceptance used for successful advancement. I have heard a conservative student comment that in a Sociology class he has learned to “say what people want to hear”, on tests and in classroom discussion, because otherwise he would not get a good grade or be subject to ridicule from the instructor. I find this very sad.
An education is supposed to open your mind to other possibilities and many points of view across a broad range of subjects. That was the purpose and definition of a “liberal” education. With that foundation, we are all in a better position to understand and respect one another, even when our opinions and values may be quite different. Persuasion and discussion about even emotional topics was more likely. Regrettably, a “liberal” education, in many instances, has become taught only by “liberals”, as defined by their progressive social values.
A recent study by the National Association of Scholars that evaluated registered Democrat and Republican affiliated professors at top rated liberal arts colleges that 39 percent of them had no registered Republican professors at all. Zero. The rest had so few, that the conclusion was 78 percent of the colleges were essentially influence free from registered Republican professors.
This should scare everyone. I watched with disbelief during the 2016 presidential election cycle as outright Marxist and communistic principles and proposals were suggested by candidates, and were then embraced by a large percentage of the population. I was horrified. I would suggest that even some of the Democrat candidates were shocked.
How could this happen? I am a scientist and have been trained in the art and science of finding the “root cause” of a problem. In this case, I believe the reason that so many are open to policies, programs, and ideas that a very short time ago would have been unthinkable is because of a failure of our educational system. Specifically, we have allowed a very limited viewpoint to become essentially the only thing taught. Since this has been the progressive viewpoint, it is entirely unsurprising that as time continues, more and more will be open to these changes.
What does that mean? For some of us, we are very careful about what our children are allowed to be taught. For myself and my wife, we like a balance of all sides. One ideology, taught as the truth and that there can be no other, never works. It is becoming harder and harder to follow the traditional route of education for our children and avoid a path of their pure indoctrination.
I had an intern work for me several years ago who made the comment one day that she only reads The New York Times, as it was “the only paper that mattered”. I laughed, and then realized she wasn’t joking. Any world where people think one source of information is sufficient is heading for a problem. This, of course, is how dictatorships control their population, by controlling what they think by controlling what they are taught. We must check our sources determine for ourselves what is truth and what is propaganda.
Take the above-mentioned study from the National Association of Scholars as an example. I saw the headline in the news and, as is typical for me, questioned the data. Before including it in this article, I did some research on the organization itself, who the wrote it, what methodology they followed, who is influential in the organization, and their history. I found them to be mostly credible, but also found reference to them from left leaning sites that try to discredit them. I was sufficiently satisfied of the objectivity of the study in the 30 minutes or so of research I did to include the data, and in fact found data I thought was even more compelling than what has been quoted in the media. Taking these steps takes a little bit of time. It is required for our liberties to remain intact.
I am worried for the future of our country. This isn’t actually something hard to figure out, and we have many examples from history of what is next for our country if we continue down this path. At this point, with generations having been taught as truth viewpoints I believe are dangerous to our way of life, with no exposure to other ways of thinking, our way forward is going to be difficult. The alternative, however, is even more difficult, and I have faith and confidence in the American people that when taught correct principles, they will embrace them. Freedom is what made our country great, and it must be preserved.