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Avoiding Leftist Indoctrination at American Colleges and Universities

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

One of the greatest dilemmas facing American students today is the perennial threat of leftist indoctrination on college campuses. In recent years, institutions of higher learning – which have historically been places for enlightened thought and dissenting opinions – have increasingly become breeding grounds for radical liberalism. College courses, which are often taught by biased professors who espouse leftist ideology, fail to adequately challenge undergraduate students and often leave many of them woefully unprepared for the real world.


In his most recent work, Please Enroll Responsibly: Avoiding Indoctrination at College, attorney turned political activist Lee Doren examines pragmatic ways students can excel on college campuses without compromising their beliefs. He explains through his own personal experiences how students – including many conservatives – invariably hide their political views out of fear that their professors will penalize them. His book, which serves as an authoritative text on ways undergraduates can disagree with their liberal professors and maintain high grades, is a must-read for any conscientious citizen pursuing a postsecondary degree.

And yet, like many students today, Doren recounts in unvarnished detail how his political philosophy was shaped by leftwing professors in college.

“Being a liberal was easy,” he writes. “My professors rewarded me for agreeing with their political views, and I felt morally superior on the Political Left. Since I rarely listened to anyone who differed with me politically, I assumed all intelligent people were liberals too.”

Alas, according to a George Washington University survey published in The Washington Post, 72 percent of professors teaching at American universities and colleges are liberal. Conservatives, by contrast, comprise only 15 percent. Hence, the pervasiveness of liberalism in higher education, in Doren’s view, is not merely a product of rightwing hysteria – but is, by all estimations, an empirical fact.


Nevertheless, after reflecting upon his own unique personal experiences, Doren suggests several ways undergraduates can deal with this reality. One method, he contends, is to build positive relationships with professors by acting friendly and participating in class.

“After you established good rapport with your professor, [he/she] may tolerate some political disagreement,” he argues. “On the other hand, had you never participated, and then decided to object…the only thing the professor would remember about you would be your opposition.”

More important, Doren opines, one must be well read and willing to consult outside materials in order to address the prevalence of liberal bias in the classroom. At a time when nearly one-third of college students – according to a recent survey – confess they do not take courses requiring more than forty pages of reading per week, self-study can have innumerable benefits when expressing a dissenting opinion in class. While students, for example, may instinctively recognize their professors are wrong, Doren reminds us that unsubstantiated invective will do little to win political arguments.

Moreover, when confronted with the prospect of writing a paper from a leftist position, he urges students to embrace the assignment with zeal and enthusiasm.


“My advice may surprise you: Do exactly what the professor wants,” he argues. “This is not abandoning principle. In fact, if you write a quality paper, it will improve your writing and make you more prepared to argue politics in the real world.”

In other words, writing from a different point of view – albeit undesirable – will improve one’s grasp of the English language and help students fully comprehend the nuances of different political perspectives. Thus, when engaged in a debate, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of two disparate positions, he explains, can be the difference between winning and losing a philosophical argument.

While the aforementioned examples are only a few ways college students can resist indoctrination at institutions of higher learning, Doren writes extensively and persuasively on the subject. Indeed, when the failed economic policies of the current administration threaten the livelihood and prosperity of the United States, we need college graduates – now more than ever – who comprehend the ramifications of big government policies. His book, I believe, underscores a ubiquitous problem – and provides bold solutions based on numerous and thorough discussions with students, parents, and concerned citizens.

It’s also worth mentioning that because Doren published the work himself, his exposition is exceedingly inexpensive and includes a supplementary reading list of conservative and libertarian writers. As an affordable and invaluable resource for combating leftist professors on college campuses – his book is also a compelling narrative about his own political transformation and a welcomed reminder why conservative principles matter in the 21st century.


Click here to purchase Lee Doren’s ebook.

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