Do Conservatives Really Hate College Education?

Republicans hate college! That’s the latest salvo from the left in America’s culture war. Headlines about this bombshell story, based on findings released this week by the Pew Research Center, include these gems:

Majority of Republicans Say Colleges Are Bad for America (Yes, Really)”

“Polls: Republicans Hate College, Don’t Mind Lies so Much”

“Why Does the GOP Hate College?”

“Why Is the GOP Suddenly Turning Against College?”

How can this be? College is where young people go to have their minds opened. They encounter new ideas in college. They learn how to think critically. As they become mature, educated adults capable of contributing to society and moving our nation forward, they learn to objectively study beliefs and philosophies different from their own and find common ground with others instead of living in ignorance and fear, always attacking what they don’t understand or agree with.

How in the world can Republicans – how can anyone – hate that? The mission statements from some of our esteemed colleges and universities and the way they are administered on campus prove what a boon today’s academia is to an open, accepting society.

Yale, for example, “…is committed to improving the world today and for future generations through outstanding research and scholarship, education, preservation, and practice. Yale educates aspiring leaders…who serve all sectors of society.” Well, most sectors of society.

When asked about a survey that found most Yalies think the school is openly hostile to students with conservative views, he blamed it on social media. Specifically, he said, “People have been saying dumb things forever, but when I was your age word of mouth would take a while. Now it’s instantaneous, now context is stripped away.” So, it’s not that Yale is intolerant as an institution, it’s just that a certain segment of their students aren’t very smart. And who wants to waste their time serving that sector of society? They’re probably all Republicans, anyway.

Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington claims to be an “…innovative public liberal arts college…[that] emphasizes collaborative, interdisciplinary learning across significant differences.” They also claim their “…academic community engages students in defining and thinking critically about their learning.” Except, of course, when a professor calls those students out for being intolerant.

Bret Weinstein, a biology professor, had the audacity to refuse a request to stay home during the school’s Day of Absence event. It seems Professor Weinstein took offense to an email explaining that no white people would be welcome on campus that day. In an inspiring display of acceptance and diversity, students yelled at him on campus, attacked him on social media, and demanded he be fired. Eventually, Olympia’s police chief told him he needed to stay away for a few days since he was no longer safe anywhere on the grounds. It appears his difference wasn’t significant enough to be crossed by interdisciplinary learning.

UCLA, one of America’s premier institutions, claims its “…primary purpose as a public research university is the creation, dissemination, preservation, and application of knowledge for the betterment of our global society.” Sounds pretty inclusive, doesn’t it? Except for Haley Nieves, the outreach director for Bruin Republicans. She was putting up posters for an event when two other students tore them down and screamed at her until she left the area.

Then there is Keith Fink, a former lawyer and adjunct professor who spent the last ten years teaching classes on entertainment law, contemporary issues, and, ironically, free speech. He routinely challenged his students to think for themselves instead of settling for the steady diet of political correctness demanded by UCLA’s administration and faculty. He expects to be dismissed. Apparently free speech can be a problem when it gets the attention of the campus thought police.

The Pew Research Center found that 58% of Republicans and 19% of Democrats polled think today’s colleges and universities are damaging our society. If this week’s headlines are examples of what’s being passed off as critical thinking, diversity, and education, then the people at Pew asked the wrong question. They should have found out how many people who have enough common sense to think for themselves think American colleges and universities are liberal echo chambers bent on tearing down everything that made America great.

I’ll bet the number would be a lot higher than 58%.