By: Mark Glennon*
Nobody should have been surprised. You’d think they’d realize they’re admitting their own incompetence. But the supposed scholars in all things pertinent to society, democracy and social justice are falling over themselves to signal their shock at the election results. Petitions and statements from faculty and administrators are flying on pretty much every campus in America. The common denominators in their messages jump out: surprise at the election results and, of course, assurance to their students that they’ll be kept safe and secure from the horror of those results that shocked them, too.
Their titles display that supposed expertise and, often, the tribalism that has consumed them. Look at some of the petitions, easily found on the web, to see those titles: Professors Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies; Transsexual Learning; Native American Whatever; African American Interpretation; and Latina/o Studies (that’s the new PC-approved abbreviation, I’ve learned).
And what have they done to their students? They had already created a new label — “Snowflake” — that now brands their age group. Now, they’ve taken those efforts to the level of comical entertainment. Consolation for election grieving offered to students has included free cuddling, feminist coloring sheets, Play Doh, positive card-making, Legos, blowing bubbles, hug-fests, puppies and more.
Have no doubt that faculty and student shock at the election results is sincere and real, which only strengthens proof of their detachment and bad education. Nobody engaged with reality should have been surprised by the election. Those who were engaged knew why we saw so few Trump bumper stickers — fear of having your car keyed, and so few Trump yard signs — fear of having a rock thrown though your window, or much worse. Nobody should have been surprised that people weren’t leveling with pollsters.
And have no doubt that hostility and violence is working both ways. A good list of attacks by Trump supporters is linked here. Identity politics is self-reinforcing and inevitably ends in violence.
The Democratic Party and the media, which are the others vying for Biggest Loser in the election, are showing some signs of introspection. Not universities, which are doubling down. Now, their attention has turned to making whole campuses “sanctuaries” from immigration enforcement. There’s actually little they can do on that subject as a legal matter, but they once again won’t let reality detract from a virtue signalling bonanza.
Here in Illinois, we had at least one sensible voice — Illinois State’s President sent a pretty balanced message to his students.
But then there’s Morton Schapiro, Northwestern’s President, who earlier called those of us who question the safe space/microagression fixation “idiots” and “lunatics.” His less-than-balanced message about the election didn’t sit well with some of the parents shelling out $70K/year. It was in his response to those criticisms that he reverted to snotty arrogance: “(Parents were) angry at me and at Northwestern for not giving a safe space — all of a sudden, safe spaces are OK I suppose — a safe space for their children to publicly celebrate his election,” Schapiro said.
He added that “he is not sure whether he would be willing to play a role in advising a Trump administration if the opportunity arose.” Memo to President Schapiro: Don’t lose any sleep over that one.
I have a son who is a junior in high school starting the college selection process. I still believe in a liberal arts education, in concept. My son, to his credit, said, “I just want to go to a place where I’ll hear all sides.” But I have real doubt we can find such a place. If you know one, please post your suggestion. I know the University of Chicago stands out, but I doubt my son can get in.
Further, I increasingly hear the folks who do the hiring — and I talk to many of them — showing ever more aversion to hiring liberal arts majors. Just a bunch of indoctrinated dopes who’ve learned little more that the art of (sorry, but there’s no other way to say this) bullshit, they’re saying. Liberal arts departments are invalidating themselves.
The only solution lies with grownups — those who write the tuition and contribution checks and who’ve grown out of the intellectual immaturity they, too, probably acquired in college. Bad higher education is funded mostly by rich contributors blinded by the glamor of having their names engraved on the newest, unneeded auditorium or whatever. That must end.
We’ll know there’s progress from pressure by contributors when we start seeing new titles among those mentioned earlier. How about “Endowed Professor of Classical Liberalism, Reality-Based Education and Disgust with Political Correctness”?
*Mark Glennon is founder of WirePoints. Opinions expressed are his own.