"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Fake War on College Conservatives

Now that the fake war on Christmas has been won with courageous stands by the likes of Bill O' Reilly against the Jesus-less infidels with their "Happy Holidays nonsense," it is time for the poor embattled conservatives who control every cranny in Washington to move on to other crusades that can be used to shift the conversation away from impeachment. The next big diversion is the fake war on college conservatives, but this one is not nearly so innocuous as the fake war on Christmas.

The New York Times carries this story on the new campaign to build support for reining in criticism of conservative politics on public university campuses. With an unknown funding source, the Students for Academic Freedom (SAF) have a spiffy website where anyone, student or otherwise, can log in and concoct a complaint against any prof at any university--with no threat of rebuttal or fact checking. On the front page of the SAF website today comes this:
A new study of over 1200 academics finds that the academics overwhelmingly vote Democratic and that the Democratic dominance has increased significantly since 1970.
Strangely, the first time I clicked to get the rest of the story, this April 2005 issue of Capital Research Center's "Organization Trends" popped up ( PDF Format). Do check it out--it has every element of negative propaganda that can be spun against the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).

Capital Research Center (CRC), by the way, is another of the right-wing propaganda hothouses paid to do the hatchet work for those public office holders who might get booted out of office for doing the same. Here is an excellent piece on CRC by Media Transparency's Bill Berkowitz.

Waiting in the wings to offer his solution to the fake war on college conservatives is none other than the corrosive David Horowitz, who we know as the tireless campaigner for the neo-cons' "academic bill of rights" that is now being pushed in every state legislature that will listen to complaints that are being solicited by conservative hatchet men? Could, then, the SAF be the university wing of the Horowitz Youth Movement?

As noted in the Times story, Republican students, when confronted with questions that challenge their political views, feel "uncomfortable." A clear sign that learning may be on the verge on happening, such discomfort is to be thwarted at all costs--and that is what the "academic bill of rights" intends to do. Here is a clip from the Times story:
Marissa Freimanis said she encountered a similar situation in her freshman English class at California State University, Long Beach, last year. Ms. Freimanis said the professor's liberal bias was clear in the class syllabus, which suggested topics for members of the class to write about. One was, "Should Justice Sandra Day O'Connor be impeached for her partisan political actions in the Bush v. Gore case?"

"Of course, I felt very uncomfortable," Ms. Freimanis, who is a Republican, said in an interview.

Wonder what Marissa would do if she were asked if Bush should be impeached? Would she start spouting about the war on college conservatives? Or would she just get uncomfortable and change the subject?

1 comment:

  1. I just finished Frank Rich and the story on David Horowitz and was going to forward to SM but looks like you're on top of things.

    I'm glad this year is over and I hope Rich is right - enough is enough.

    Could it be the reason so many college professors don't like Bush and are liberals or Democrats is because they are smart and caring people?