Stanford, CA — In a recent National Review article written by Dr. Victor Davis Hanson, he asserts the media blitz during these last several weeks has revealed a generation that is poorly educated and yet petulant and self-assured without justification. Dr. Hanson serves as the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute.
When rioting mobs tore down a statue of Ulysses S. Grant and defaced a monument to African-American veterans of the Civil War, many people were left wondering whether the protesters had ever learned anything in high school or college.
Revolutionaries are now sowing the wind, but they have little idea of the reactive whirlwind they may soon reap. https://t.co/FVzyeRuyiW
— Victor Davis Hanson (@VDHanson) June 22, 2020
It makes you wonder if any of these children know the difference between Grant and Robert E. Lee, or is anything connected to the Civil War automatically bad? Could they recognize the name “Gettysburg”? Could they even identify the decade in which the Civil War was fought? Odds are, and based on this behavior; the answer is obviously no.
Today’s colleges and universities are teaching students to be loud, confident, and self-righteous. However, their ignorance is on full display, and it’s disturbing. “How can so many so sheltered and prolonged adolescents claim to be all-knowing,” said Hanson.
This is also an indictment of the generation and how it has become so weak. Many of the young people on the televised front lines of the protests are in their 20’s. Sadly, most appear immature, at least in comparison to their grandparents — survivors of the Great Depression and World War II.
Answering questions like these most certainly lead straight back to the Ivy Tower.
Hanson argues that, “Millions of those who graduate from college or drop out do so in arrears. There is some $1.5 trillion in aggregate student debt in the U.S. Such burdens sometimes delay marriage. They discourage child-rearing. They make homeownership hard, along with all the other experiences we associate with the transition to adulthood.”
“The universities, some with multibillion-dollar endowments, will accept no moral responsibility. They are not overly worried that many of their indebted graduates discover their majors don’t translate into well-paid jobs or guarantee employers that grads can write, speak, or think cogently,” Hanson added.
Taxpayers are often bullied repeatedly about their supposed racism, homophobia, and sexism. Moreover, none of us enjoy such finger-wagging from loud, sheltered, 20-something moralists, who know very little about life. They claim to be in tune with today’s issues; however, having 24-hour access to social media does not make someone an expert.
Consider this, if taxpayers no longer had to subsidize this abuse if higher education is deemed to be a politicized institutions, that has become as politicized as American’s two-party system; therefore, each institution and thus its endowment income ruled to be fully taxable.
Perhaps this can get university administrators to think twice about becoming a four-year daycare for children to grow in their ignorance and do what they claim to do in mission statements.
If higher education, rather than the federal government, guaranteed its own students’ loans, or if universities backed loans with their endowments and infrastructure, college presidents could be slashing costs; they would ensure that graduates were more likely to get good-paying jobs thanks to rigorous coursework and faculty accountability.
Rather, these institutions of higher learning are kowtowing to cries for safe spaces, clamor expulsion of students who say things they disagree with on-campus or on twitter as evidence most recently at Kansas State University, or disinvite lecturers whose opinions and beliefs which aren’t in line with those students and faculty who cry the most.
Ben Shapiro is the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Wire and is often on the college lecture circuit. This, at a time when there have been increasingly violent protests against conservative speakers on campus. Back in 2017, tensions flared over white nationalist Richard Spencer after he spoke at the University of Florida. Current Florida Senator Rick Scott served as the governor of Florida then and had dispatched the National Guard ahead of the event in case violence broke out.
In February of 2017, an event former Breitbart commentator Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California, Berkeley, was shut down after protesters threw rocks and Molotov cocktails to get the speech canceled.
Shapiro spoke at the University of Berkeley as well, and local authorities spent over $500,000 on security. Local businesses closed early, and ATMs were boarded up.
“The headlines were nuts,” Shapiro said. “I mean, the headlines like, ‘Berkeley braces for Shapiro visit.’ Really? Was I the one who’s going around smashing ATMs?” “It’s the furthest extension of political correctness,” added Shapiro. “That when you say something, it’s not just me disagreeing with you, it is me destroying your identity as a human being in a way that is akin to violence.”
At the end of June, Shapiro rightly tweeted the following: “It is not enough that Americans have Constitutional rights to free speech. We can’t live with each other unless we have a culture of rights, in which we respect each other’s rights to say things we don’t like. That’s disappearing incredibly fast, which is spectacularly dangerous.”
It is not enough that Americans have Constitutional rights to free speech. We can't live with each other unless we have a culture of rights, in which we respect each other's rights to say things we don't like. That's disappearing incredibly fast, which is spectacularly dangerous.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) June 30, 2020
Many college students today do not understand that speech is protected under the First Amendment, unless it directly incites violence. Public colleges and universities are government entities. They have to guarantee the free speech rights of everyone. There is no content neutrality or the emotional principle. Being offended is not enough to shut down speeches. Sadly, they often are by administrators who cower under a wet, “woke” blanket.
And that’s not all. Now socialism has become a campus creed. As such, maybe Ivy League schools can be hit with an annual “wealth tax” on their massive endowments to redistribute revenue to poorer colleges.
Hanson further argues that, “Universities are renaming buildings and encouraging statue removal and cancel culture. But they assume they will always have a red line to the frenzied trajectory of the mob they helped birth. If the slaveholder and the robber baron from the distant past deserve no statue, no eponymous hallway, or plaza, then why should the names Yale and Stanford be exempt from the frenzied name-changing and iconoclasm? Are they seen as billion-dollar brands, akin to Windex or Coke, that stamp their investor students as elite ‘winners’?”
Higher education has embraced virtue signaling, political proselytizing, and loud social-justice activism is now sowing the seeds of its obsolescence. The current cancel culture travesty attacking both conservatives in far greater numbers but also toward some liberals, it makes you wonder what will be the result of this nirvana-like desire to be “woke.”
These children are graduating with incredible debt and ignorance. They scream for redistribution of wealth while smashing statues, denying free speech to others, and institutionalizing cancel culture.
Perhaps we should pass on what created all of this in the first place? Indeed, the Ivory Tower is gradually eliminating its usefulness.
Dr. Hanson concluded that, “Taxpayers do not yet know what to replace the university with — wholly online courses and lectures, apolitical new campuses, or broad-based vocational education — only that a once hallowed institution is becoming McCarthyite, malignant, and, in the end, just a bad deal.”
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