John Leo

"Your column was not news to me, having spent the good part of 20 years on campus," another professor wrote. "Having defined themselves for years with the rhetoric of the collectivist left and its assumptions of superiority, (professors) cannot shake themselves out of their self-imposed propaganda and face reality. In contrast, the vast majority of students on their campuses have no problem at all distinguishing between the radical rantings of their professors and the cold hard fact of thousands of innocents dead in New York."

A drop-out from the academic life wrote: "I left graduate school in the '70s because it was becoming apparent that academic jobs had been filled during the late '60s by half-trained anti-war and race zealots. Large groups of would-be academics turned to law, investment banking and similar pursuits (to the questionable benefit of the nation) because the academy had become a closed, self-perpetuating cult of Marxist and other anti-Western fanatics with risibly crackpot social theories that can't stand a moment's analysis outside the adolescent hothouse of the academy."

A lifelong liberal who says he was surprised to find himself agreeing with my column had this to say: "I can't help but wonder if the 'America had it coming' crowd also advises the rape victim that she had it coming, perhaps because of the way she dressed or acted, or because of the way she treated men over the years. Then again, perhaps the rapist had been on the receiving end of so many offensive cultural messages that rape was the only means he had to express himself."

A California woman who signed herself "former Central Valley girl" praised Professor Victor Hanson's comments on the disconnect between the patriotism of students and the "boutique anti-Americanism" of their teachers at California State University-Fresno. She wrote: "Many of these students have as a heritage great-grandparents who were Dust Bowl refugees or Hispanic migrant workers. Superficially disparate, these two groups have much in common: a respect for God and country, a solid work ethic and love of family. In spite of the foolishness of the Ivory Tower elite, it cannot destroy what has been planted in the Central Valley's fertile soil of good values, productive people who know the difference between the common good and 'fatuous nonsense.'"

Many letter writers stressed the theme that most students are smart enough to cut through the ideological smog that hangs over the campuses. Let's hope that's so.

John Leo

John Leo is editor of and a former contributing editor at U.S. News and World Report.

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