Higher education is America is a mess. No post or simple op-ed could ever convey the depth and breadth of the problem that is our University system, our flawed American psyche about education, and our insane government policies that subsidize often valueless degrees. Today, I will tackle the most grave issue on college campuses, and the is the Left’s war on thought … or more accurately … the war on critical thinking. It’s not just the kids, I warn you. This is a war propagated from Board of Visitors or Regents, to Presidents, down to faculty, and through administrators. The kids are the manifestation of the broken education system and an American value system in steep decline.
The war on critical thinking has been replaced by a call to emotional hysteria. We don’t think, we feel, we emote, and we lash out. Our higher education system is now like romper-room. It is tantrums, tears, fits, and foot-stomping. Where is the thinking? Where is the analysis? Where is the honest effort to challenge first our own assumptions and prove them out using logic and reason? Why are our kids, now less informed than just 30 years ago, when they have more information at their fingertips than in the history of humanity? The reason is simple; we don’t teach students how to think. At the youngest ages, we teach them not to question. In middle school we teach them tolerance and acceptance … or more accurately, acquiescence. In high school, we begin giving them information to remember, but not tools to analyze. In college, we are teaching them, at best, what to the think, rather than how to think. Indeed, the evolution of college might best be described as follows:
1945-64: Teach Americans how to be strong, independent, thinkers
1964-90: Teach Americans what to think and not to trust the government
1990-present: Teach Americans not to think, but to feel
We have too many kids, and I do mean children, in college. We have too many kids in colleges in which they don’t belong. We have too many kids in colleges in which they don’t belong, studying subjects that are nonsense. Education profiteers are forcing kids into debt to create a nation of leftist rubes with valueless degrees whose principle purpose at most institutions is to provide the FTE necessary to support over-paid, under-worked, lifetime employees. The education system has become a propaganda system for profit, and it is turning out non-thinkers. These kids are deep in debt, and they have never been intellectually challenged, nor do they possess the two most essential skills for success in the free market. One is the ability to think and reason, the other essential skill is the ability to control one’s feelings and emotions. Is this every student? No. Of course, this is not every student. However, the epidemic of subsidized stupidity and immaturity is spilling out on our streets and into our communities as broke, spoiled, dependent, skill-free, kids … all of whom happen to be in their 20’s. That is a stage of growth that one should pass by 11.
Colleges are riddled with leftists. Many of these academics are hiding out from real life, promoting unproven theories in dubious disciplines. As faculty collectives, they then determine who joins the cult. Their lifelines are the shield of academic freedom and the free flow of subsidized cash. At the heart of the problem is a system and mentality that insists that everyone must go to college. It is the same flawed thinking as the “homeownership society.” Not everyone should be a homeowner, and not everyone belongs in college, steeped in debt, studying glass-blowing, black-liberation theology, or feminism and the American Indian, or any other number of subjects for which the only markets are joblessness, radicalism, and anger.
We need thinkers. We need mature, responsible adults who can analyze issues, and who have the skills to work in a fast-paced, diverse, technologically advanced, challenging society where rational thought supplants hurt feelings, victimhood, and entitlement. UC Berkeley should be a beacon of free speech. When a conservative, outspoken, openly gay, foreign-born, provocateur arrives on campus, he should be greeted with the intellect of thinkers, not the tears, anger, and outrage of the intolerant. If a man were so wrong on all his ideas, why not show up and prove him so? How dangerous is a world where a purportedly elite academic institution shouts down speech, riots, and lets its students act like fascists just to ensure that words are not spoken?
This problem didn’t happen yesterday, and it is not confined to one campus. It’s the norm, and not the outlier. That is the grand issue we face in society. Thinking is no longer part of the box; it’s truly outside the tool box of most college students. This war on thought is brought you be the left, and that is because in a world of leftism the collective determines the truth, it disseminates that truth, and it requires obedience to the truth. All other ideas are dangerous, and their messengers and message must be destroyed. Leftism is incompatible with liberty. Worse, it is incompatible with independent thought, which is why it requires the destruction of both ideas and those who spread thoughts not vetted through its prism or approved by its elites. The American left seized our colleges four decades ago, and they are churning out warriors of a faith that despises independence, critical thought, and liberty. What’s most remarkable is they have Americans paying for and our government subsidizing our own Constitutional downfall.
Think about that … and then see how you feel.
Author: Richard Kelsey
Richard Kelsey is the Editor-in-Chief of Committed Conservative.
He is a trial Attorney and author of the new book on higher education, “Of Serfs and Lords: Why College Tuition is Creating a Debtor Class”
Rich is a former Assistant Law School Dean and Law Professor. At Mason Law Kelsey conceived of, planned, and brought to fruition Mason’s Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, known as CPIP, drawing on his expertise as a former CEO of a technology company specializing in combating cyber-fraud.
Before returning to private practice, Rich taught legal writing and analysis and an advanced litigation seminar. In 2014 he was elected by the graduating class as the faculty speaker at their graduation.
He is a regular commentator on legal and political issues in print, radio and on TV. Rich has appeared on hundreds of stations as a legal expert or political commentator. He provided the legal analysis for all stages of the Bob McDonnell trial and appeal for numerous outlets including NPR and WMAL.
Rich also writes on occasion for the American Spectator and CNSNews.com.
In his free time, Rich is part of the baseball mafia of Northern Virginia, serving on numerous boards and as a little league and travel baseball coach.
His Twitter handle is @richkelsey.