- The legitimacy of virtually any program that promotes the interests of minority and female faculty, staff and students, even if the program is blatantly racist or sexist — justified by a belief that America’s past unjust treatment of blacks, American Indians and Japanese-Americans, and its unfair treatment of women render such discrimination necessary and lawful.
- A multicultural mentality, which preaches that America’s Eurocentric, white, Christian heritage is responsible for colonialism, imperialism, racism and sexism, and that its replacement by a culture that ‘celebrates diversity’ will transform the US into a more just and humane society.
- A distrust of free markets and democratic capitalism, and its severe limitation in favor of a centralized, government-controlled economy that will redistribute the wealth of America more fairly.
- A denigration of religious belief and its replacement by the ‘worship’ of secular humanism, with mindless environmentalism occupying a central place in the new religion.
I always thought that the best way to build a great university was to attract the brightest, most innovative and productive faculty and students — regardless of their hue — but I realized at that moment, as the applause for his idea rained down, how out of step I was.
But as I began to near retirement, I decided there was no point in maintaining my forced silence any longer. As I had 15 years earlier, I unburdened myself and let fly my misgivings about the liberal campus hegemony. What happened this time? Here come three novel observations:
- To my surprise, my “retrograde” conservative opinions were not met with calumny or derision, but rather with smiles and amusement. “Oh, that’s just Ron being Ron,” it was said. I wasn’t viewed as a threat to the campus philosophy, but rather as some kind of queer duck to be tolerated at best, ignored at worst. This was certainly more pleasant for me than being told to shut up and get your head straight as I anticipated. But it was also incredibly frustrating that colleagues didn’t take me seriously. The impression I had was that they felt there was no reason to take my ideas seriously because I was so obviously wrong that no right-thinking person could be swayed by my arguments.
- My second observation is that I was not the only one failing to make waves. In fact, there were no waves whatsoever. There was no debate, no controversy; just the calm serenity of a campus at peace with its almost universally accepted mind set. I attribute this to three things. First, of course, anyone raising an objection was viewed, as I was, as hopelessly out of it and worthy only of being ignored. This has a chilling effect, perhaps even more effective than derision. Second, I suspect that those who believed as I did were still in lockdown mode—for the same reasons as I was over the years. And third, I believe the liberal brainwash has been so effective on campus—and in the national educational system in general—that many in the liberal majority can’t even fathom that there is anyone who doubts the legitimacy of their point of view.
- My final observation is the following. The liberal hegemony exists in many quarters of the country beside academia—e.g., the mainstream media, major foundations, law schools and the trail lawyers they produce, public school teachers, the Democratic Party, even big corporations. But none of these can maintain the atmosphere as effortlessly as campus profs and administrators. Politicians encounter opposition from their constituents; the media from its readers, listeners and viewers; trail lawyers from their clients; and corporations from their stockholders and consumers. But the educational establishment—both higher and lower—encounters little resistance. The students are ignorant, the parents are cowed, and Boards of Regents are cowardly. The ivory tower is alive and well in America and the intellectual product it presents is completely one-sided. What a tragedy for our nation and especially for its youth.