20.2.05

GET BEYOND GRIPING. Katie at A Constrained Vision visits the Conservative Political Action Committee gathering and has some suggestions for students to get beyond making fun of the Last Marxists.

I worry about some of these conservative student activists. They get too caught up in feeling oppressed and always fighting and attacking that they lose any chance of getting people to listen to them. Duke's conservative student magazine, for instance, often seemed more concerned with being snarky and making fun of professors and administrators than trying to make a reasoned case for conservative philosophy that would win people over to their causes. The occasional conservative columnists or letter-writers in the daily paper often seemed to delight in being outrageous and controversial rather than thoughtful and persuasive.

And a lot of these student activists seem to have the attitude that the left is strident and partisan, so we should be too.

That is only the first step. The next step is to offer evidence and propose changes.

Roger Kimball suggests that it is time to get going.
How long will we continue to pay for so-called higher education that abdicates its intellectual responsibilities for the sake of leftist claptrap about "social justice," "structural oppression," "race, gender, class, sexual orientation, disability, xenophobia, imperialism, environmental issues, etc."? Ward Churchill did us the courtesy of issuing a wake-up call, however inadvertent. Let's hope that parents, college trustees, and college donors heed the call.
His post links to the St. Cloud State position announcement that I greeted with great glee, and it's generating lots of spillover traffic (thanks, King!) so come in, the coal stove is hot, the coffee is strong, and it's time to get busy on some positive action. Consider, for instance, what sort of "justice" is served by admitting unprepared students and calling it "access" and what sort of "oppression" is perpetuated by cooling out the marks with un-rigorous area-studies programs that offer degrees of little or no intellectual or commercial value, but high grade-point averages. Or call the public's attention to retention and graduation rates that make Amtrak's timekeeping look good.

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