A Letter to Conservatives: You Need College and College Definitely Needs You

Dear conservative parents and students,

First, I would like to address conservative parents. Lately, I hear many of you questioning whether you should send your kids to college. Maybe they should just go to trade school or straight into the workforce.

I certainly agree that college is not for everyone. There are many trade and apprenticeship-based programs that lead to higher job placement and salaries than some college degrees. Everyone, regardless of political or social ideology, should carefully weigh all options.

That being said, don’t write off college so quickly.

There are good reasons for you to be frustrated with higher education. For one, a university degree is becoming increasingly expensive. Part of this is the result of a lack of financial support from state legislatures. But part of it is the result of something that drives many of you nuts—a growing class of university administrators.

I don’t blame you for getting upset when you hear about a state university hiring a chief diversity officer with a salary of around $300,000 (the University of Michigan just hired one at a salary of $385,000) When you can’t afford to send your kids to the state schools your taxes help fund. Adding insult to injury, many of the administrators added to the college payroll function to promote and police progressive social agendas on campus that conflict with your beliefs. 

These are real issues, but higher education still deserves your support and interest. Think about the community you live in and what it would be like if it was not populated with college-educated citizens. That would mean no doctors, nurses, veterinarians, lawyers, accountants, engineers, architects, psychologists, and school teachers. Clearly, higher education is important. And if your children want any of those or countless other careers, they have to go to college.

What about indoctrination by leftist professors? The lack of viewpoint diversity in the academy is definitely a problem. It frustrates me to see how ideologically-biased the social sciences and humanities in particular have become. Academia has long leaned left, but, as has been revealed in a number of recent surveys, this is increasingly the case. In some disciplines, it is easier to find a Marxist than a Republican. Classical liberalism is giving way to left-wing fundamentalism.

As a result, you feel like the college campus is not a welcoming place for your kind. But do you like the safe space movement on many college campuses you keep hearing about? Well, conservatives don’t need safe spaces either.

Your sons and daughters should go to college and take the full range of classes, even ones from Marxist sociologists. They will learn something. In fact, if your children share your conservative views, they will receive a better education than the progressive students who are getting their beliefs reinforced, not challenged. Your children’s thinking on important issues will become more nuanced and sophisticated.

Education is about expanding knowledge and being exposed to new ideas, not affirming existing beliefs. Plus, many college courses have little or nothing to do with political or social ideology.

Now, I would like to speak directly to conservative students. You might not feel at home at many universities but your presence and contributions are important. The only way you are going to impact the fields that lean so far to the left is if you roll up your sleeves and get in the game. The academy is much better off intellectually when it enjoys a truly diverse marketplace of ideas.

If you don’t like the leftist cultural elite echo chambers, break down the chamber doors and chime in. If you are interested, pursue advanced degrees in the social sciences and careers in the academy. Don’t let the view that these disciplines are only for progressives hold you back.

I understand it is easier said than done. Surveys suggest you will face ostracism and discrimination. But, believe it or not, there are conservative, libertarian, classically liberal, and centrist professors out there, even in the social sciences, and they are doing outstanding work. They would welcome you, as would a growing number of academics who worry about ideological homogeneity and want to see a more intellectually vibrant academy. Surveys also indicate that, despite being in the minority, conservative academics are very happy at work.

The truth is, it is not just the case that you need college. Colleges also desperately need you. Leftist academics accuse conservatives of not sufficiently supporting science but turn a blind eye to their postmodernist colleagues who reject the entire scientific enterprise. Many of the concepts campus progressives are obsessed with such as stereotype threat, implicit bias, and microaggressions have not stood up well to empirical scrutiny but remain the foundation of social justice-oriented training programs on campus.

Progressive groupthink has set in and at many universities the line between education and re-education is disappearing. At some colleges, students can earn a history degree without ever taking a class in U.S. history. Some universities are considering dropping required math courses and adding classes in diversity studies that take an exclusively leftist point of view. Teaching males how to deconstruct their “toxic masculinity” is all the rage.

The campus safe space movement is being aggressively used to suppress freedom of speech, particularly speech that challenges leftist orthodoxy. And, in certain fields, scholars seem to care more about engineering the social world than actually studying and understanding it. Having more conservatives involved in university life and scholarship would help restore some order to the academic universe.

In short, conservative parents and young adults, our country is already divided. Disengaging from higher education will only make the problem worse. And the calls to abolish tenure, though intuitively appealing, will not help either. Without tenure, I fear conservative professors might go from being endangered to extinct. Deep down, you know that college is important. Many of the leftist administrators, professors, and students may not realize it, but so are you. Speaking from within the Ivory Tower, I can attest that we need you more than ever.

  • Mark_Trail

    Assuming a “PC offense” overrides all other considerations in teaching a class, the few conservative professors should tell the conservative students to go to the campus safe space and teach the class there, where the fully- indoctrinated and hypersensitive students (“snowflakes”) won’t be offended by the conservative professor or his students.

  • DrOfnothing

    At some level, this article, though it repeats a lot of the inaccurate myths and bogey-men that bounce around Con and Neocon websites like a fart in an elevator, is commendable. The author encourages Conservative students to engage ideas that challenge their viewpoints. He also recognizes that communities and, presumably, the Republic more generally, cannot thrive without educated, informed individuals to operate in key roles. Lastly, unlike many authors here, he does not implicitly reject the connection between education and economic/social advancement, a linkage well-established by now, but often presented here as some kind of pro-college propaganda.

    There are a number of elisions, exaggerations, and downright nonsensical statements, however, and they must be addressed as well. First off, the author fails to mention that the administrator salaries he decries comprise only the tiny upper echelon of university administration. The vast majority of those who work in this part of the university make less than $50,000 a year, which is generally about what someone of equivalent skill and training would make in the private sector (or even slightly less–people work for universities largely for the environment, not the money). The high salaries paid at the top level are also the result of market forces, which a slavishly praised here. So a true Conservative would say, “if that’s the going rate, then so be it.” You don’t get to advocate supply and demand in one sector and then condemn it in another–that’s hypocritical.

    Secondly, in the vast majority of college majors, ideology plays almost no part anyway. Nursing, Biology, Chemistry Economics, Pre-Business–these are all predominately staffed by moderates, and politics simply does not enter the equation. Furthermore, even in the Social Sciences, the vast majority of professors, despite the hysterical panic evident at the JMC, try to keep their personal politics out of the classroom. This is for a very simple reason–it is ineffective and unprofessional to do otherwise.

    As for this statement “Surveys suggest you will face ostracism and discrimination.” I challenge the author to produce any such survey that actually follows a rigorous methodology. Nobody is chasing Conservative students around the campus, pitchforks in hand. Even my own university, considered one of the most Liberal in the nation, had plenty of openly Conservative students. Nobody cared. Students generally found any type of dogmatism, left or right, tremendously tiresome, and the students with doctrinaire political views on both ends found themselves largely seeking their own kind. If you are going to be a zealot about your politics, close-minded and aggressive, then yes, people will avoid you. They will also avoid the anarcho-syndicalist who won’t stop spouting Proudhon.

    This brings me to _my_ cautionary tale for Conservative parents and students alike. No one is going to deride you simply for being a Republican. If, on the other hand, you proudly announce reactionary views, arguing that Christianity is the only true faith and everyone else will burn in hell, all Muslims are terrorists, America is a “white man’s country,” gay people are sick, and evolution didn’t happen, you will find yourself in a very small and largely ignored minority. That is not being Conservative, it’s just being stubborn, bigoted, and ignorant. One of my closest friends at my very liberal university (which I attended back when the wheel was square), was from South Carolina. He fell in love with an African-American woman, but his dad didn’t approve of interracial dating, so he kept it a secret for the better part of a year. Finally, tired of the deception, he explained the situation to his family over Spring Break. His father promptly cut off his tuition payments, which forced my friend to leave the university and start attending USC. For the next three years, his dad kept an eagle eye on him, making sure he didn’t stray from the path. And for the next three years, every month, we received tearful phone calls from him telling us how much he hated USC and missed our old school. He ended up marrying an African-American woman (not the same one), so I guess he got the last laugh there.

    To sum up, you should send your child to the most rigorous and highly-regarded university that you can afford. It will pay immense dividends in their future. And you should _hope_ that they change their views in some way, since that is what learning and growing-up are all about. If they come back with new ideas, and respectfully challenge your views, marshalling evidence and articulating lucid arguments, you should be immensely proud. You have raised an adult who is capable of thinking for themselves, and college has honed that ability.

    If you are most concerned that your child simply parrots your own views and if you are making your decisions about college based largely on political ideology, you are already failing them as a parent. College isn’t a place you go to stay the same, it’s a place you go to learn and grow.

    • Stan Gahpa

      You really need to speak with some conservative/libertarian college students, as I have many times. Nearly every one has had several professors who’ve made passing their course an ideological test.

      A few reported to me just a few weeks ago that one of their professors wanted all Trump supporters in their writing course to identify themselves so that they could be publicly shamed. Many conservative/libertarian students find it easier to simply stay in the closet, tell the professors what they want to hear and walk away with a decent grade.

      Others try, in vain, to fight the problem. A group of young males on campus reported a few semesters back that they felt they were being sexually discriminated against by some female college professors, for example being told to shut up and stop “mansplaining” during class discussions. Female students in their classes provided eyewitness support for those allegations. I took the matter to the “diversity” officer for investigation. She simply laughed off their complaints without even trying to look into the matter.

      The discrimination against conservative/libertarian college students is a very real problem. In some social science and humanities disciplines, liberal professors outnumber conservatives 27 to 1. It’s enough of an echo chamber that the professors do not even recognize the problem, let alone admit it or try to address it.

      • jbwilson24

        The main peer reviewed empirical survey of law school professors shows massive bias against conservatives, whites and christians. Being a conservative white female law professor is akin to being a unicorn.

        • DrOfnothing

          Citation, please? And this is definitely interesting, but we were talking about undergraduates here. Can you reference a relevant study?

          • 1digger

            Look it up yourself. Even a liberal ought to be able to do something for themselves. It’s been reported in the Washington Times, NYTimes, etc. You might need someone to read it or interpret it for you but the fact remains most college professors are intolerant leftists and will use their position to squash debate, dissent to the point of downgrading anyone who doesn’t march in lock step with their narrow-mindedness.

          • DrOfnothing

            I was not speaking to you, and you are not a part of this conversation. Please keep your discourtesy and your personal insults to yourself.

      • DrOfnothing

        I find this curious. On this site, I’ve read a multitude of articles asserting that when women or minorities claim bias, disadvantage, or that their views are being suppressed, they are simply “making it up” or exaggerating. Yet, here, you are arguing that bias against Conservatives/Libertarians is _never_ exaggerated and is undeniably _real_. So, is this the case–everyone on the Left is faking it and everyone on the Right is being genuinely discriminated against? Why is one group “crybullies” and not the other?

        This is also still anecdotal evidence. No one, least of all me, is arguing that some disciplines, courses, and individuals aren’t biased. What’s being debated here is 1.) whether this is a reason not to send your child to a particular college or university and 2.) if it can be empirically established that this is harming students’ intellectual development.

        • nevilledidit

          I am one of those students. I actually had a professor tell me my views would be changed by the end of class. They weren’t but the statement was enough for me to just keep quiet during class. In graduate school I actually had professors refuse to work with me because of my political views. I am still sticking with graduate school but it is tough and I do feel pressure to keep my viewpoints to myself, this past election was especially tough. The graduate group wanted to release a statement after the election about how they did not support the outcome and I refused to be a part of it. You would have thought I was going to cut off their right arm, their argument was that all students needed to feel supported. I asked if the election had gone the other way would I get a statement and the answer was “No, you would not need one.” I think that says enough. This is very real on my current campus and my previous campus.

          • DrOfnothing

            Again, I’m afraid this is just anecdotal evidence. There were students all over the nation that have had the same experience in the past when it comes to their views on any number of issues on both sides of the spectrum ever since the student empowerment movement got going in the 1960s. Someone is always going to have the minority view–during the Reagan era, most university campuses edged in the other direction, and it was gay students that had to keep their views discreet or face opposition.

            That having been said, Trump is an extreme example, as he represents the single most polarising figure in American national politics since Nixon. He is, in many ways, the antithesis of a typical Conservative, hence strong criticism from _both_ ends of the political spectrum and lack of unconditional support from anything but the most extreme media outlets (e.g. Breitbart). Considering his basement approval rating, the chaos of his first week in office, the controversial and unconstitutional executive orders, and his overwhelming unpopularity prior to election among college students, college-educated, adults, and young people more generally, strong support for him expressed at this stage is akin to strong support for Nixon at the very end of his term. That is to say, it puts anyone expressing it in a university environment in a _very_ a small minority.

            However, that is about expressing personal political views in an informal environment, not the formal realm of instruction. Can you be more specific about how your political views resulted in professors’ refusal to supervise you? What subject is this and how do political views enter it to begin with? I ask only because my own graduate cohort was made up of students across the spectrum, and even though the professors in the department tended towards the left (the majority were moderate Democrats, slightly left of center, but there were two very powerful Neocons (leading intellectuals in the early Neocon movement, in fact,) and one ardent Marxist). The political stance of the students was simply never mentioned or considered.

          • nevilledidit

            I am working on my doctorate in political history so, yes, politics comes into play. I had a professor who refused to work with me because of my stance on the Middle East and my support of the then current Republican president. I had to replace him on my committee (no easy task) and he aired my political views and a couple of other professors stated they felt uncomfortable being on my committee. I achieved a complete committee and over half of them do not share my views but are objective about my work. I am working now to get it done before any of them retire. My biggest problem was that the graduate student body felt they needed to release a statement in support of those who supported Hillary because they felt so bad about the loss and yet they felt if Trump had lost I should not have felt bad enough to need a statement.

          • DrOfnothing

            May I ask what that stance was that so alienated the majority of the faculty in your department, and whose political theories you were drawing on for your methodological/analytical foundation? I am not doubting your statement, just to be clear. I am simply amazed that any rational stance on the politics of the Middle East, even if it strayed far from the norm, would elicit so definitive a response. Although I am not myself a political scientist, I do sit on the governing board of a poli sci research initiative, and have seen a vast range of views expressed about the topic, none of which prompted the reaction you describe.

          • nevilledidit

            It was concerning Israel generally. I supported the Israeli state and that set off the first person. I then supported US efforts in the Middle East. Closer to home I did not support the union movement nor did I support more government regulation over business. I do not support abortion as a woman’s right to choose and I was on the line about the same sex marriage vote. I recently refused to attend a flag raising of the Black Lives Matter flag to kick off Black History Month because I felt it was hypocritical. While I did not lose any committee members over this I did have several state they had hoped I had come around to see how important these groups were and how we had to support them. I supported the bakers in the lawsuits and you would have thought I supported a takeover of the country. When I submitted my prospects I was told that the I had forgotten the Progressive Movement’s importance (it was a political issue from 1917) and I actually had to research to prove that the Progressive Movement had no part in what I was writing on. The committee would not accept that it was not a result of Progressivism. Nobody else I know had to research to prove something did not effect their topic. Yes, I am a bit bitter over it but I am also pragmatic and this is the world I have chosen so I deal, without safe spaces and crying areas.

          • DrOfnothing

            Let’s focus on the committee decisions and the prospectus, if that’s alright. What 1917 political issue was this, and what model of political theory were you using to examine it? Feel free to give as much detail as you like–I’ve taught the history of that period for more than a decade, so you won’t lose me!

    • jbwilson24

      “No one is going to deride you simply for being a Republican”

      False. There are plenty of complaints to FIRE (the liberal organization that handles campus censorship) of outright censorship of republican or even libertarian events. Republican groups have their literature stolen/destroyed, their posters torn down, and their events sabotaged by left wing wackos.

      You are rather naive about the dominance of left wing ideology in colleges. I have taught for years. As a non-conservative, I have no interest in adopting their ideology. However, it is glaringly obvious that it is left wing bias that exists. In my law school, it was widely known that non left wing points of view were dangerous to hold. The school put up a free speech wall where students expressed this concern, and their writings were claimed to be ‘hate speech’.

      PS: There is plenty of evidence that colleges do NOT develop critical thinking skills.

      • DrOfnothing

        Complaints are not evidence. See the response to Stan Gupta above. Just to reiterate, the argument here is not about whether political bias exists on some campuses, in some courses, and among some individuals. The debate is about the pervasiveness of it as opposed to the prejudice against other groups. This site constantly decries activists on the left for being hysterical and hyperbolic, and derides the whole idea of “victim status.” And yet here is an article, and comments that are demanding _exactly_ the same thing for Conservative undergraduate students. Doesn’t that make the latter the “snowflakes?”

        • Brandon

          These might point you in the direction of the empirical evidence you are looking for:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaJLEUg5DrM&ab_channel=TL%3BDR
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgawQL-BuVc&ab_channel=TL%3BDR

          As for myself, I am a junior student at American University. I had always thought of myself as a left-wing/Democrat, yet I also didn’t think too much about it, nor really ever was engaged in politics. When I came to AU, I was happy that it was so accepting to LGBT people. Yet, I also have seen social justice ideologies injected into the courses, and many of my friends are that way.

          The first case of friction I had with my hard-left friends is when I suggested Michelle Obama wear hijab to France to protest its treatment of religious freedom and Islam in France, but this greatly angered my friend who likened it to white savior complex and speaking over the victim.

          Aside from a couple other minor incidences, I had also come to dislike the social justice ideology because I believe it at its worst become a sort of oppression Olympics with the “privileged” people confessing and metaphorically self-flagellating themselves to absolve themselves of their privilege.

          Something else I have noticed is that if one does not adhere to these social justice ideals and instead speaks of universal, Western liberal values (equality of opportunity, free-markets, due process, freedom of speech, etc.), then that person is automatically given a shameful label (e.g. homophobic) that is supposed to delegitimize their argument because it is “problematic.” There is no effort to argue against a position using logic. (and yes there are problems on the right was well, but that’s not our focus).

          At it’s worst, these people are labeled as fascists and neo-nazis even if they do not fit the definition. When I told a friend that to punch nazis not in self-defense was unethical and mentioned Western, liberal democratic values, they immediately said, “tbh you seem kinda fashy…” That same person also began the interaction by saying, “Yikes! marginalized identities are on the line, be careful what you say…” –I’m sorry but my argument of ethics does not engage in an act of violence against someone and neither does it call for it–the most it does is argue for rule of law and maintenance of civil order which are essential for our society.

          I cannot provide you with empirical evidence and neither should I be expected to do so. I am merely a college student studying international relations and in the process of trying to get a job in national security and foreign policy work. I neither study these social science phenomena nor do so as a profession. That being said, all I have to fall back on is what Gramsci called “common sense” what society has brought me up to know and believe and what I see in the news.

          By your standards of engagement, then we should revert back to some of the original political systems such as state legislatures electing senators, the electoral college being comprised of elites, etc. Because afterall, we can’t trust the ignorant peasant with decisions of the state and policy-making, and if that peon makes an opinion–“WHERE’S YOUR EVIDENCE//CITATION NEEDED!?” The thing is, unless someone intends to engage in a debate, then they need not only evidence, but to establish some common foundations. That is too much to expect from the audience of said debate–this isn’t a debate society and people are too busy to spend hours collection evidence to do so to only be dismissed for one reason or another. If you want to understand these issues better, I suggest you subscribe to conservative think-tanks rather than vindictively entrap and antagonize people on news and social media whom you know very well are weak/soft targets!

          I don’t know what is going on anymore in regards to our political system today. I feel like an elder who is completely out of place and time and would rather pass on because my time is over. I do not support Trump and his policies–I voted for Clinton because I thought she’d make a better Statesman. But the violent actions and riots I have seen is scary. The political polarization has left a political moderate such as myself without any representation in the political processes, and because I hold some fundamental believes shared by centre-right people, I would now be labeled as quasi-fascist. I want to move away from identity politics and social justice, but my very desire to do so is racist, homophobic (despite that I’m gay), transphobic, sexist, classist, etc.

          To maintain our current political order, I think we need to return to fundamental basics and assumptions in social and political science using ethics and logic. It is something I’d like to do for myself on the sidelines. However, I am growing more concerned that our sociopolitical and ideological fissures are setting us on a path for civil war, if not the next World War given Brexit, the destabilization of the EU, the rise of Trump and the ensuing chaos, and the challenges to the global balance of power vis-a-vis Russia and China.

          • DrOfnothing

            This is a thoughtful response. I don’t think it proves anything definitively, as it remains anecdotal. You have your views, the people you are talking to have theirs. They give you labels, you label them as “hard-left” and “social justice activists.” To begin with, the “hard-left” would be doctrinaire Marxists, which they aren’t, so that’s toss out that label to begin with. They are simply opinionated, as are you. And to insist that your views focus on universals while there’s are merely ideological is disingenuous.

            So, you are finding political discussions difficult. Well, that’s life in America’s politically divided society today. Unless you want to be labelled a “snowflake,” I’m afraid you are just going to have to deal with it.

            As for the comment that “I don’t need evidence” and “this isn’t a debate society.” If you come to a public policy site and voice your views, you will have to back them up and defend them if you want to gain any traction. Again, that is life in the public sphere.

            As for the accusation that I “vindictively entrap and antagonize people on news and social media whom you know very well are weak/soft targets!” this is nonsense. Most of my arguments are directed at the _authors_ of the pieces here, and I hold them to the same standards they use in their criticism of their political opponents. The inconsistency, weakness of evidence, and general hypocrisy of the chief instigators makes it easy to hoist them on their own petards.

            In any case, this is all part of open discussion. You are most welcome to your opinions, as long as you recognize that, sans evidence, they are just opinions. If you post them publicly, they become open to challenge. You can no more criticize the challengers than you can condemn your classmates for disagreeing with you. Though I do find it surprising that advocating “free-market philosophy” gets you labelled a “homophobe.” That simply makes no sense at all.

          • Brandon

            I don’t think you watched the videos because the first one spends half an hour detailing a study done on political imbalance in psychology while the second one looks more broadly at universities as a whole. The videos are a starting point, something to point you in the direction you are looking for. At the same time, most of the liberal bias are in the social sciences and humanities which has been the driving force for social changes in our society even if they are biased and ideologically lop-sided.

            I also said it isn’t fair to expect the audience–not the author–of social or news media to have empirical evidence. I was linked here to the letter while reading an article on the conservative news site, “Campus Reform.” I am much more concerned with my studies and getting a job to be able to get into the weeds of social issues–not to mention the fact that we all need to get back to some fundamental, philosophical basics in order to have that conversation.

            Frankly, I advocate for a relatively elitist approach to policy-making on issues that “get into the weeds.” Popular opinion might generally direct what the people want or the direction to take, but the actual policy-making process should be decided by experts. You could take the alleged wage gap for instance: if the Department of Labor is able to discredit or disprove the wage gap, then I think the Congress and the Executive should ignore whatever hullabaloo there is and base their decisions off of the expertise of the Dept. of Labor.

            As far as me not being politically active–for a person of my age, that really isn’t unsurprising and a phenomenon that has been around for decades. Just today while searching for a news article on WWI for my history class, I came upon an article that said NYU students all flunked a test that tested their knowledge of the war and geopolitical factors–there was an uproar about how the next generation would fail and weren’t robust enough in their academics. While I do go to a politically-oriented school, my degree is foreign policy and relations. I have never studied domestic policy aside from basic government in high school. I would posit that the reason that people get more politically engaged (and frankly actually knowledgeable) as they age is because they’ve had more life experience from which to draw on for wisdom, their personalities solidify, and they are at a more stable stage in life to fully-engage in politics often from a level-headed pragmatic perspective. College students do not have the same level of wisdom.

            Also, I think you underestimate the degree to which Marxism HAS permeated (at least) my own school. AU generally is still a politically-oriented school: Karl Marx’s works do get used in Women’s and Gender classes, Poli. Sci. classes, Sociology classes, etc. I had to read Marx’s “Wage-Labor and Capital” for my Identity, Race, Gender, Culture class for which the professor was a Marxist. At the same time, there has been such a fusion between Marxism, Social Justice, and Third-Wave/Intersectional Feminism that they are becoming more and more alike.

            Perhaps the biggest issue that that camp has pushed across on college campuses that is most devastating is the redefinition of rape and the on-campus justice process. I will never forgive President Obama for his “Dear Colleague Letter.” Here we have a case of feminists and social justice activists using extremely biased and hogwash “research” to convince the populace that there is a rape epidemic on campuses. And the result? the victim is ALWAYS believed regardless of evidence, due process is thrown out the window, consensual sex retroactively becomes rape, and dozens of men’s lives are ruined. I am so glad I am gay and don’t have as much chance of dealing with that shit because I can tell you that the legal and political injusticed slighted to (straight) men is horrific. Men who get sexually and physically abused are ignored while some women are bitching about issues like man-spreading. If I could give any advice to straight men, it would be stay the hell away from women and if you do, never get married.

            As far as labels like “hard-left” and “social justice activists,” I am trying to use language that sets their ideology apart from my own. “hard-left” I use to refer to people who hold ideologies further left on the political spectrum than would be the relative stance of a marker such as the New Democrat Coalition. This term is inclusive of Communists and Socialists as well. “Social justice activists” is very much neutral and descriptive of that group; if anything, they have even reclaimed the label which they originally created for themselves– “social justice warriors.” These are self-proclaimed people who use terminology like “social justice” and “activists” or even warriors.” This language is most definitely mild in contrast to reactionaries going around using terms like “libtards.” Nor do I use a term like the “regressive left” although I think it has both emotional and descriptive merit that I would generally like to avoid if possible. You seem very concerned about my rather mild use of “hard-left,” but what about the “alt-right” and “white supremacist” which are being used by the left to demonize the right? Or do you believe they are accurate?

            The crude and illogical defenses that you speak of are again the very same attacks used by the left on moderates and the right. If socialist-leaning people cannot win an argument because of their own opinions about what is just or morally right, they then proceed to slander and insult their opponent.

            When I said “if one does not adhere to these social justice ideals and instead speaks of universal, Western liberal values (equality of opportunity, free-markets, due process, freedom of speech, etc.), then that person is automatically given a shameful label (e.g. homophobic) that is supposed to delegitimize their argument because it is ‘problematic,'” I used exempli gratia (e.g.) in a way to again reference that slew of words hurled at someone who doesn’t believe in social justice–that they are a racist, bigoted, homophobic, classist, etc., etc. just overall a privileged and oppressive person for holding such problematic beliefs. And this is invariably for one reason or another. What it comes down to is this, and I will reference Ben Shapiro hear: if a hard-left wing person cannot win an argument by ideologically-driven mores, then they will immediately go for ad hominem attacks.

            On another note, what disciplines do you profess and what sort of degrees do you have? I mean, you haven’t been counter-arguing anyone on this site with citations and statistics; rather, you’ve been leaning on your superiority as a college professor–so, what academic discpline(s) do you work in and what sort of degrees do you hold?

          • DrOfnothing

            Interesting points, though I’m not sure you’re fully cognizant of your own biases in these issues. Some brief replies, and then I think we can move on. I try not to digress too far on these comments, both for the same reasons you stated (we have other work to to), and because my primary criticisms are aimed at the JMC writers, not the JMC commentators.

            “At the same time, most of the liberal bias are in the social sciences and humanities which has been the driving force for social changes in our society even if they are biased and ideologically lop-sided.”
            ***These disciplines have most assuredly _not_ been the driving force for social changes in our society. If anything, they have retroactively explained why such changes might have happened. Whatever political bias you may ascribe to the professoriate, they have not been especially politically active or effective since the 1970s (especially not when compared to their European counterparts).

            “Frankly, I advocate for a relatively elitist approach to policy-making on issues that “get into the weeds.” Popular opinion might generally direct what the people want or the direction to take, but the actual policy-making process should be decided by experts. ”
            ** For the most part, I agree. The problem with the JMC, Nat. Rev., etc. is that they consistently _disregard_ expert advice that they disagree with ideologically by claiming it is politically biased. The climate change debate is a classic example of overwhelming scientific consensus that conservatives have bent over backwards to try and paint as ideological (when it largely isn’t). The policy recommendations are certainly influenced by politics, but the science itself is not.

            “Perhaps the biggest issue that that camp has pushed across on college campuses that is most devastating is the redefinition of rape and the on-campus justice process. ”
            ***Here, I have to disagree most vociferously. Gender oppression is ingrained in our society, and has been for thousands of years. Any decent historian could tell you this. Or, you could just pick up 99.99% of the books written on history, politics, law, etc. prior to 1960 and find that women receive no mention and, according to the authors (invariably male) played no role. Anyone who thinks this has been wiped out in two generations is deluding themselves. The “radical” feminist wing is definitely dogmatic, buy they form a very small minority of a much, much broader movement that seeks nothing more than fairness and equality. And it’s an uphill struggle all the way–viz. the Russian Parliament just decriminalizing domestic abuse.

            **I think you are vastly overestimating the influence of Marxism on American university campuses. Most students wouldn’t know Marx from a whole in the ground. One of the biggest misinterpretations continually foisted by the right is to conflate Socialism and Communism, for example, which sounds like (and is) utter nonsense to anyone actually familiar with the history and character of the two ideologies. That’s why “hard-left” is a misnomer–most of the people you describe, on the Western spectrum, would be moderate left, while “hard” implies a radicalism that simply does not exist.

            **universal, Western liberal values (equality of opportunity, free-markets, due process, freedom of speech, etc.).
            This you will have to qualify, as you are conflating the values of Classical Liberalism, Economic Liberalism, and “universal rights” promoted during the Enlightenment. A very important point to make here is that, despite claims by JMC authors, the vast majority of the individuals and groups they demonize do not, in fact, oppose free speech. They argue, instead, that the trope of “free speech” is trotted out repeatedly by the right in an attempt to achieve its opposite, the suppression of liberal views. The main argument on this site is that Conservative views, held by a minority of students and faculty, are ubiquitously suppressed in university campuses and need to be equally represented. This is an inherently contradictory argument. If a minority of students hold these views, elevating them to equal representation would, in fact, represent a tyranny of the minority rather than fair representation.

            **As for my own fields and qualifications, you will forgive a vague answer because the JMC has, in the past, specifically targeted faculty they disagree with for persecution. They, and Pope-funded edifices are more than happy to use their wealth and political influence to smear, demean, and silence their opponents in the name of “free speech.” I hold an M.A. and Ph.D., my specific field of study being law and society. I am currently a tenured professor at a university ranked globally in the top 100 and have also been a visiting fellow at various research institutes.

  • P.W.G.

    From my perspective, it is not so much that conservatives are needed on college campus but that liberal are needed. That is, the real American liberal whose values are inimical to the Leftist claptrap that is being sold as education on our campuses.

  • Rivka leiner

    I strongly disagree with some of the premise here. A child who has attended a regular school will not always be equipped. I see too many young kids get messed up on cllege campuses, not just ideologically. I would suggest a private school that is appropriate or an academic program that is alright with the idea that values, faith and pollitics come from the home. There also need to be both ideological and traditional true liberal colleges, universities and trade acadaies (trade schools that also build character and general knowledge). The draining of the cesspools on some of our campuses is actually too big a job to place on the shoulders of undegrads, who are quite young. Another option, one extremely successful in Israell, is one tour in the military before beginning studies. Then they are entered with more maturity and more emphasis is on learning a profession and living in the real world. The student beginning at 21-22 maqy be married or be in a serious relationship and less interested in spending their undergrad years partying and dabbling in radicallsm.

  • Conservative students, you should also know that when you go to college you’ll find faculty who want a broader range of viewpoints in their classrooms. We need you!

    • vandalii

      There may be a few, but as the headlines seem to read lately, faculty have been at the forefront of quashing any thought not birthed in their classroom.
      As a “professor at North Carolina State University; my research focuses on argumentation and the communication of science in civic controversies”, I suspect your argumentation research doesn’t really get much excitement in the liberal echo chamber of your classrooms, need some cannon fodder to watch fireworks and perform “research”.

      For those of us out here in reality paying our taxes for your “research”, we view things like “civic controversies” are problems to be resolved to preserve society, not studied (encouraged?) as if our society’s serious dysfunction today is just some fascinating subject or experiment, something to perpetuate for ongoing “research”. Though we will never be rid of controversy due to our nature as human beings, we need not encourage it, inflame it, turn it into riotous behavior. Frankly, your research becomes part of the problem. There’s no indication your research is intended to help our society resolve its ideological (i.e. controversy-driven) rift, merely another study to publish. Sad, really.

  • Rod McLaughlin

    “Conservative students, you should also know that when you go to college you’ll find faculty who want a broader range of viewpoints in their classrooms.”

    That’s a lie. Conservatives are in physical danger on US campuses, and not just Berkeley. Faculty and administration are on the side of violent leftists.

    • DrOfnothing

      Is that so? Besides that one jack@ss at WVU (which is a profoundly _conservative_ campus overall), can you cite any other examples of a Conservative student being assaulted specifically because of their political views? Even the WVU jerk lost his sense because he was being followed and filmed, not b/c the people doing the filming were Conservative. Get your facts straight before you start accusing people of lying.

      • Juanita

        Berkeley riots where students and townspeople were beaten by Leftists because they were obvious Trump supporters or thought to be Trump supporters.

    • Juanita

      They may be figuring out that if conservatives do not go to college, the money is going to dry up.

  • Landry

    To paraphrase Winston Churchill, “You don’t make the dumb smarter by making the smart dumber.”

    Or, to put it another way,

    “You don’t make leftists/degressives into rational thinkers by transforming rational thinkers into leftists/degressives.”

  • T Doran

    Is the intended audience of Routledge’s letter really conservative parents? How likely is it that they would even discover his plea in their newsfeed? Follow the money. Is the real intent of his letter to nod the approving heads of his peers and to rally them in calling for more money from state legislatures and to protect their teaching careers/research grants (usually at taxpayer expense)?

    “For one, a university degree is becoming increasingly expensive. Part of this is the result of a lack of financial support from state legislatures.”

    He claims the increased expense is due to lack of taxpayer support. Is this really true? Could it not be that government involvement, as in the medical industry, been the primary cost-driver of higher education, accelerating the rate of increase into the stratosphere? Are the rates of cost increases even unsustainable?

    *(Government-backed, low interest student loans and Pell Grants actually drive tuition costs higher…basic supply/demand economics.)

    • He states, ” but higher education still deserves your support and interest” right after giving powerful reasons why it doesn’t deserve support and interest. Is the only quality higher education one that is dominated by progressive/leftist thought?

    • “Your sons and daughters should go to college and take the full range of classes, even ones from Marxist sociologists. They will learn something.” Where is the call for sons and daughters of liberals/progressives to attend a predominantly conservative institution, and to take the full range of classes, even from Christians, in order that they might learn something? Where is the call for liberal students to seek out a Christian professor (if you can find one who is bold enough to make it known) at a state school in order to learn something?

    • “Surveys also indicate that, despite being in the minority, conservative academics are very happy at work.” Where are his references to sources supporting this assertion?

    • ” Plus, many college courses have little or nothing to do with political or social ideology.” True, especially in engineering, math, and accounting/finance (although the case could be made that how one applies those skills/trades has a social/ethical foundation). But what about the overall college environment, which tends to be hostile to views supporting adherence to objective moral truth?

    • “Colleges also desperately need you.” Translated: they need your money.

    • “And the calls to abolish tenure, though intuitively appealing, will not help either.” At least he is being honest about the real motive of his letter.

    • “Without tenure, I fear conservative professors might go from being endangered to extinct.” Without tenure, hopefully, more liberal/leftists professors would vacate higher education and let the market place of ideas truly dictate what survives. Force the leftists to compete in the free market and their economic survival will be short-lived.

    • “Speaking from within the Ivory Tower, I can attest that we need you more than ever.” Translated: we need you (your money) more than ever to justify our existence in academia.

    This letter is so outrageous that it leads one to speculate that, perhaps, Dr. Routledge is pursuing stealth warfare. Perhaps, by claiming the letter is to conservative parents, he is really taking a shot at his leftist/progressive peers (the few people who would even be reading it), throwing in a few smoke grenades (tenure, lack of state funding) to make it appear he is one of them. He has to beat the funding drum** to stay in “the club”.

    ** “We also need conservative politicians to value the social sciences. They might see these disciplines as more worthy of funding and having an influence on public policy if they are made up of scholars with diverse viewpoints working together to understand the human condition and solve pressing social ills.”

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/more-mortal/201610/can-viewpoint-diversity-save-academia

    A few thoughts to ponder:

    “Academic traditions do not always support professional needs.” Dr. James Truchard, CEO National Instruments, 2012 ECEDHA Conference, Austin, Texas

    “Why do we need a 15 week semester? Why can’t it be 8 weeks, or even 3?” Chaouki Abdallah, Provost University of New Mexico, 2012 ECEDHA Conference, Austin, Texas

    “We tend to be stuck in lecture as main means of learning.” Dr. James Truchard, CEO National Instruments, 2012 ECEDHA Conference, Austin, Texas

    “Methods of teaching will evolve whether we like it or not.”

    “Teaching was once between a Master and a Student/Apprentice. Then the blackboard enabled a Master to teach several dozen/hundreds of students. Online technology now allows one Master and 100k’s of students who can be independently certified.“ Composite of statements by several panelists and audience speakers at 2012 ECEDHA Conference, Austin, Texas

    “Universities should be determining how they differentiate themselves. You (university dept. heads) are not giving us a great product.” Ken Hansen, CTO Freescale, 2012 ECEDHA Conference, Austin, Texas

    “We cannot continue assembly-line learning.” Don Millard, US National Science Foundation, 2012 ECEDHA Conference, Austin, Texas

    “…programs beat the creativity out of students by asking for the right answer”. Dr. James Truchard, CEO National Instruments, 2012 ECEDHA Conference, Austin, Texas

    • FattyWink

      Stumbled upon this after googling, “colleges for students who want to avoid liberal bullshit” for my soon-to-be college student.

      I agree with your assessments, and it is no secret to anyone with basic analytic skills that the skyrocketing cost of college is a direct result of government student loan programs – in that, there is no market consequence for raising their tuitions too high. So, was it a case of best intentions not being thought through, or did someone(s) have this in mind from the beginning? Either way, it doesn’t really help students who would otherwise not have access to a higher education when they leave college only to be imprisoned by debt for the next 30 years, whereas they could’ve learned a trade, been paid while they’re learning (as an apprentice) and come out of it with a marketable skill and no debt – and, in doing so (not attending college), helped drive down college costs (if enough people did that).

      But, more importantly, the author of this article illustrates the same out-of-touch hubris and ignorance as the rest of academia, politicians (on both sides), those in the media and entertainment who don’t live like the rest of us common “folk” (common folk of all shades, preferences and occupations) who recognize that 99% of “progressivism” is useless BS that only survives on maintaining strife, conflict and victimhood and exploits the insecure empowering them to be bullies themselves (it’s all about validation, power and control in the end anyway).

      DrOfNothing commenting below falls into this camp as well, living in his own commune of willful ignorance, dismissing everything as anecdotal data while providing only that. Making blatantly false generalizations like, [“No one is going to deride you simply for being a Republican. If, on the other hand, you proudly announce reactionary views, arguing that Christianity is the only true faith and everyone else will burn in hell, all Muslims are terrorists, America is a “white man’s country,” gay people are sick, and evolution didn’t happen, you will find yourself in a very small and not well-regarded minority.”] Which is to ignorantly say that being a Republican or Conservative equates all these things, which shows that he’s eating up the false narratives he’s being fed (showing how easily manipulated and naive he is) and has no idea what 99% of “conservatives” of “Republicans” stand for, not to mention all the non-progressives who don’t label themselves conservative or Republican. Also ignoring the fact that college professors inject politics into classes that have nothing to do with politics all. the. time.

      It’s like the opposite of dead poets society, back then you had “conservatives” running the school, and “true liberals” were the minority, now you have false liberals (progressives) running the schools, and they (in my opinion) are worse than the conservatives of old because instead of just boarding up the well of free thought and creativity like the “conservatives” of old did, progressives poison that well with cult-like indoctrination and mob-mentality social bullying.

      But I digress, still trying to find the answer to my initial google search…

  • brad

    Obviously, in the current regulatory landscape where to become a doctor, lawyer, pharmacist, etc. you need to first go to college, we should encourage our children to go to college. The question is whether we should change the rules so that a four year college degree is not required for that. I can think of no good reason to mandate a four year degree in order to become a professional, and especially in light of the financial cost, time cost, and brainwashing and desocializing of modern liberal arts, we should stop requiring it.

  • The Badger

    How about: found our own colleges. How about ‘reward colleges which embrace my values with money and attendence’. How about ‘ridicule these campuses to force these pompous professors to face their well deserved ridicule. How about withdrawing federal funds for colleges which do not embrace free speech. You can speak any way you’d like to on your own dime.

  • The Badger

    Just a question: How many entry level college students think it is okay to commit violence or shut down the speech of other people?

    How many feel this way after even a couple of years of constant indoctrination?