Among the lessons learned from the recent presidential election should be the following: Pay more attention to the huge bloc of young voters, many of whom are starved for an alternate message on their college campuses where they are bombarded with a steady diet of leftist propaganda from their radical faculty members, according to Jennifer Kabany, writing in the College Fix.
“If those who value America’s deeper traditions hope to win future elections, they had better get serious about higher education,” said Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars. “Ceding the colleges and universities to cultural and political progressives has led to generations of graduates who have scant knowledge of our nation’s founding principles, a distorted understanding of its ideals, and settled patterns of disdain for genuine intellectual diversity.”
A steady barrage of this misinformation goes a long way to explain the lopsided results this past November. “President Barack Obama won re-election with the help of 18 to 29-year-olds,” explained Wood, adding that “60 percent of voters that age broke for Obama, compared with the 37 percent in that category who supported Republican contender Mitt Romney, exit polls showed. Those figures were especially hard felt in key swing states Romney needed to win the election, as young voters came through for Obama in Ohio, Florida and Virginia, where he led by margins of about 20 to 30 percentage points against Romney among 18 to 29-year-olds.”
While “popular culture and Obama’s hip image” help explain the recent outcome, those are only the icing on the cake. This year’s results were already pre-determined by the influence that left-wing faculty have on their students in class.
“The character of our universities and the make-up of the faculty certainly have a lot to do with the turn-out of young people for Barack Obama,” said Paul Rahe, a history professor at Hillsdale College. “To a degree that is shocking, the professoriate has become openly, even ostentatiously partisan in recent years. In the last decade or so … academics of a conservative disposition have almost entirely been shut out.”
Without an opposite point of view, “Wood notes many students don’t even realize they’re being fed partisan politics from the podium.”
“College professors have an out-sized influence on their students, though the students often fail to realize it,” Wood said. “The influence surely has as much to do with the attitudes teachers convey and the ambiance they create on campus as it does the specific substance of what they say. A great deal is conveyed by what professors choose to ignore or to treat dismissively.”
Emory University English professor Mark Bauerlein sees it this way: “If a course in freshman composition examines the Civil Rights movement but includes no readings . . . about issues of states’ rights and federal intervention …, then we have a skew to the left but none of the 18-year-olds notice. Here we can’t really get input from students about the effects because students aren’t even aware of them.”
Let’s face it: Most students entering college today are inadequately prepared academically and culturally to withstand the onslaught of propaganda that awaits them. After years of indoctrination by “anti-conservative” TV, movies and the Internet, it’s no wonder they gravitate toward political candidates who reach them on The Daily Show via the “cool factor” rather than FoxNews via “The O’Reilly Factor.”
&* & & &
Deborah Lambert writes the Squeaky Chalk column for Accuracy in Academia.
If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.