American higher education and the left


Bill Palmer, of Orange County, California, wrote us a thoughtful letter about Steven Warshawsky's article published here yesterday. It is worth sharing:

Dear Editor,

I enjoyed Mr. Warshowsky's article in the American Thinker. Three observations immediately come to mind.

1. There is nothing to prevent the Left from taking over such institutions after they have been established. After all, they have done this with every other institution in our society.

2. There are already some such colleges in addition to Hillsdale. An example is Chapman University in Orange. The president, James Doti, got his PhD. in Economics from Chicago and is a disciple of Milton Freedman.

Publishing and encouraging these colleges is a good beginning (as some are already doing).

3. A complimentary (and in some ways better) approach is to help as many students (and their parents) as possible understand that a four year immersion in Leftist propaganda is a liability, not an asset. It took me years to unlearn the things I was taught at Berkeley and in some important ways it put me so far behind I will never recover what I could have had if I had skipped college altogether. In the normal leftist university, the best many students can hope for is that they will have wasted their four years. For many, starting life in the real world with the attitudes, values and habits of the left is a millstone, not a stepping stone.

There are already so many outlets for conservative thought that it strikes me that propounding this approach is the more promising avenue.

As I understand, recent evidence has shown that the school one attends (within reason) is not very relevant. If the Ivys take in the top 1% of students, they will graduate the top 1% of students. But at least one recent study has shown that these same students would have been just as successful in life if they had gone to their local state university.

If, over the next generation, we can get as many students, parents and employers to see Princeton graduate and think, 'leftist drone with bad attitude and no useful skills,' as people who currently see New York Times and think 'Socialist propaganda disguised as news,' we will be on our way to academic balance.