How Trump can end brainwashing on US campuses

You might not have noticed but there are really two Republican parties: the gentlemen and the ruffians. It’s not about NAFTA or Russia. It’s about adhering to the rules.

The gentleman observes that the Democrats, being ruffians, have broken the rules, and he resolves never to do this when he comes to power. The Republican ruffian scoffs at the gentleman’s pretense of purity and happily answers the Democrats tit-for-tat when they break the rules.

You’ll see the difference in how the two sides look at a host of issues — Supreme Court precedents, use of the filibuster, executive orders.

You’ll also see it in how the two sides look at the Department of Education. The Republican gentleman thinks that education, including higher ed, is properly a matter for the states, and that all such federal grants should be zeroed out. But the Obama DOE has undertaken a massive effort to remake our politics and culture, and the ruffian thinks we should answer the Democrats in kind. If they’ve paid universities to teach contempt for America and American values, let’s sponsor a different set of programs that teach what’s right about America and admirable about our Constitution and culture.

A study by the National Association of Scholars, released on Tuesday, reveals how Obama’s ultra-liberal progressives have begun to turn American higher ed into a vehicle for left-wing activism and propaganda.

“Making Citizens: How American Universities Teach Civics” shows how the Obama DOE has indoctrinated college students through progressive “New Civics” programs that seek to repurpose higher education away from the study of Western institutions, and even away from scholarship in general, in order to make little left-wing community organizers of our students.

The goal of the New Civics movement, concludes the NAS, is to teach students “that a good citizen is a radical activist,” putting “political activism at the center of everything that students do in college, including academic study, extra-curricular pursuits, and off-campus ventures.” Instead of a civics education that studies the foundations of American government, New Civics teaches students “how to organize protests, occupy buildings, and stage demonstrations.”

If you’ve seen how conservative speakers are silenced on campus, deplored the way in which conservative academics are ostracized or bemoaned the way in which much of American higher ed has been turned into an unsafe space by left-wing fascists, it didn’t come out of the blue. It was sponsored by the Obama administration.

The numbers are stunning. The allocation for higher ed in the 2013 federal budget was $65 billion, of which $25 billion was for federal research grants and $4 billion for general-purpose appropriations. New Civics likely comes under the general-purpose rubric, but the message for all college grant applicants is that you’ll fare better if you have a New Civics program.

It’s nothing less than a leveraged buyout of American higher education. Obama and his minions want to make “civic engagement” part of every class, every tenure decision and every extracurricular activity.

It’s hard for a university to turn down federal dollars, and in its survey of 400 universities, the NAS found that nearly every one had a New Civics program.

Here’s how it works at one of them. The University of Colorado at Boulder offers some 60 courses designed to make “scholar activists” of all CU-Boulder students — from those in such puff programs as “Leadership Studies” to those who pursue ostensibly apolitical disciplines such as engineering. Long-term, CU-Boulder wants to make New Civics programs compulsory for all its students.

And not just on campus. Students are also sent out to organize K–12 students in progressive causes. CU-Boulder spends about $25 million a year on New Civics — more than a third of what the state of Colorado gives the university.

Andrew Brietbart told us that politics is downstream from culture. The question for conservatives, then, is how to change the culture. We ruffians don’t think it’s enough to zero out the efforts to turn college students into community activists.

At a time when our institutions are under attack, when universities teach that it’s shameful to be an American, when we’re as divided as we were in 1860, mightn’t the feds help us understand the goodness of America and the nobility of our institutions?

F.H. Buckley teaches at Scalia Law School. His most recent book is “The Way Back: Restoring the Promise of America.”

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About arnash

“When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.” - Mark Twain - Politicians and diapers - change 'em often, for the same reason. "Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other." Ronald Reagan "Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views." William F. Buckley, Jr. “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.” - Bertrand Russell The people are the masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert it. Abraham Lincoln “Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” - George Orwell “Satan will use a lake of truth to hide a pint of poison”.
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