Conservatives should welcome the decline of academia as we know it. I, for one, will celebrate its death by engaging in the same activity that characterized my four years at what some call its pinnacle– drinking a lot of Coors Light.
There is still nostalgia among conservatives, especially older ones who have forgotten what college is really like, for the idea of higher education as a rigorous venue for intellectual growth, an environment of exciting and vibrant ideas shared by wise, caring educators dedicated to the pursuit of truth.
Today, it is nothing of the sort.
For the vast majority of traditional, liberal arts students, college is a four-year blur of cheap alcohol and tawdry hooks-ups, with their few sober moments characterized by interaction with pony-tailed TAs spouting off about “patriarchal paradigms” and trying to pick up on cute sophomores. Worse, this bacchanalia will saddle the participants with a couple hundred thousand in student debt that they get to carry off into real life, where they will discover that the only thing their degrees in Comparative Norwegian Feminist Literature qualify them for is exciting careers in the world of artisanal coffee retailing.
Call it the College-Progressive Complex. The first part consists of the schools themselves, with their herds of administrators, professors and impoverished grad students chasing the brass tenure ring. Think of it as a liberal tick, sucking blood and growing fatter off the efforts of Americans who actually produce something while contributing nothing to society except the clearly secondary contributions of those few in the fields of science and mathematics.
The other component of the Complex is the progressive element. Colleges and universities serve as a reservoir of leftism in society that serves several functions for those trying to turn America into a less blonde, less macho Sweden. First, it provides a taxpayer-subsidized lifestyle for millions of liberal voters to enjoy without actually having to produce anything. No wonder university types vote 95% for Democrats – they are voting themselves a salary and a sinecure. It’s welfare for people with graduate degrees and “Coexist” bumper stickers.
Kurt Schlichter (Twitter: @KurtSchlichter) has been published in the New York Post, Washington Examiner, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times and elsewhere. He was personally recruited by Andrew Breitbart and since 2009 his work has been frequently published on the Breitbart.com web sites.