Let's Challenge The 'Alarmists, Cranks, And Extremists' At Our Universities

Gabriella Hoffman
By Gabriella Hoffman | December 18, 2012 | 2:36 PM EST

The late William F. Buckley famously opined, "The academic community has in it the biggest concentration of alarmists, cranks and extremists this side of the giggle house."

Anyone who has attended an American university in recent years has seen this institution depart from its original purpose: being a place for open intellectual discourse.

What best explains this? Many financially comfortable, tenured professors openly propagate anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism. Extremist groups define the political climate on campus. And university officials are solely accountable to their own interests, not to their students.

The American university is indeed a giggle house that that needs to be remedied.

A recent Pew Research Poll found that 59 percent of young voters favor more government in their lives, compared to 37 percent who think the government interferes too much in their lives. Much of this can be attributed to professors preaching the gospel of Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Che, and Mao among many things. It can also be attributed to revisionist history being taught in classrooms - a subjective, one-sided view of historical events and facts that deliberately castigates American exceptionalism and this nation's Judeo-Christian heritage.

If conservatives don't invest their time and energy into taking back universities, then young people will continue to surrender to the left's agenda.

When I was an undergraduate student at UC-San Diego I saw protests, read newspaper articles, and sat in lectures that routinely disparaged conservatives. One quarter, I had an openly Marxist professor who spoke positively of collective bargaining and overthrowing free enterprise.

Another quarter, I had professor who taught a general education (GE) class on the industrialization of society that compared traditional values to National Socialism (Nazism). My campus - like its sister campuses in the University of California system - was notorious for being home to anti-Semitism and anti-Israel activities. Undoubtedly, the political landscape there was extremely hostile to students and faculty members who profess conservative and pro-Israel views.

UC-San Diego isn't the only university plagued by leftist abuses. Many renowned institutions embrace political correctness, anti-Semitism, and anti-Americanism. The esteemed Ivy League and similar prestigious universities even welcomes this with open arms under the guise of "diversity, tolerance, peace, and coexistence."


At Harvard University, a recently approved student club - Harvard College Munch - that praises bondage and taboo sexual acts attracted a lot of controversy because of its sexually suggestive nature.

Professor Grover Furr of Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ was recently exposed for being an apologist for Joseph Stalin. During a Young Americans for Liberty-sponsored debate on campus in late October, Furr said that Stalin didn't commit "one crime" and that it was "bullsh*t" to suggest Stalin did.

Earlier this month, UC-Berkeley's student government passed a bill barring Salvation Army bell ringers on campus for the group's alleged "anti-gay" message. Campus Reform reported that the bill, SB 176, reads, "Allowing the Salvation Army to collect donations on campus is a form of financial assistance that empowers the organization to spend the money it raises here in order to discriminate and advocate discrimination against queer people."

Disillusioned by the current state of universities? Don't be. There are plenty of conservative organizations out there that offer student programs. Students must work with them to bring speakers, form groups, and start alternative campus papers to shape dialogue for the better. Students must also seek out conservative and libertarian professors to ally with. They will prove to be valuable and helpful.

That being said, reforming higher education must become a priority for conservatives. Our side cannot be silent when American taxpayer dollars fund activities and professors at universities that run counter to our nation's values.

It's time to challenge the alarmists, cranks, and extremists at American universities.

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