Monday, April 21, 2003

RANT OF THE WEEK -- I STILL THINK CHURCHILL WAS PROBABLY RIGHT

"If a man is not a socialist by the time he is 20, he has no heart. If he is not a conservative by the time he is 40, he has no brain." - Winston Churchill


Haven't seen a poll since Baghdad fell. What's your guess as to the public support for the War in Iraq now that it's pretty much over? 80%? 90%? 95%?

And though Bush was elected in a squeaker, his approval ratings are about as high as anyone's has ever been. America, in general, appears pleased with a more conservative view of our place in the world. Washington, and politics in general, have become less radical. There are no major policital movements afoot to make sweeping changes in the way America works.

So how do you think that this "era" is going to be treated by history? How do you think it will be taught to our sons and daughters in another 10 years? 25 years? 50 years? Will it be taught matter of factly, or will it be skewed? And who writes history, anyway?

As Robert & Molly are getting older, helping them with homework is getting more interesting as they are studying stuff that's a little more complicated than "2+2=4". Now, they're studying history, the social sciences and other topics, which can be very open (with the passage of time) to "coloring". I must say, however, that I have not detected any significant bias in their textbooks -- you know, Hitler's still a bad guy and "war is hell".

So, what am I concerned about?

When I think back to my college days (spanned 1964-1972), the more radical elements in the schools I attended were generally a small group of students. The demonstrations were small, though often raucous. And I think I remember seeing, maybe, one faculty member get up and make an anti-war speech (or whatever it was they were protesting).

Fast forward 30 years. The news reporting of current demonstrations on campuses seem like they are being orchestrated by both faculty members and non-student groups external to the institution. I've highlighted some news stories that address the fact that funding and organization activities behind many of the recent anti-war demonstrations have had support from organizations that would relish American failure on any level.

The key is it doesn't seem like the students are running things anymore. They used to, but what happened? For one thing, I'm thinking that some of the kids who were protesting when I was in school are now running the school, or are on the faculty.

I've read a lot in the past few months about something which I've thought about and believe should be addressed, but by whom and how? The issue is the extreme bias which is now extant in virtually every major college and university, often in public institutions, supported mostly by tax dollars. And the degree to which thought (other than the political thought subscribed to by the faculty and adminstration) is suppressed is astounding. It was lovely to hear a couple of weeks ago that Cal Berkeley banned the display of American flags as it was viewed solely as a "political" symbol? What? Or, as someone said who reported on it, you could probably whip out an American flag and burn it in a protest (protected everywhere as "free speech"), but please don't just wave one or the campus police will arrest you!

Please read David Horowitz's scary article about this profound change which has occurred on campus and ask yourself if you shouldn't be concerned, too.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting that every child should only be taught by teachers who are conservative. I would be just as concerned if I heard that 99% of all academics were neocon Republicans. I do think there's a lot to be said for Churchill's view, but as it is now, it seems that most students (at the college level) will only be taught by teachers who are liberal Democrats. And, thanks to the concept of tenure, these teachers almost always dictate what the textbooks will be. And if you've seen some of the stories about how history is now being written, sorry, re-written to fit the writer's viewpoint, you have to be concerned.

Am I nuts or aren't the inmates now running the asylum?

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