It’s time to give current university system the Old Yeller treatment, except normal Americans will giggle when this rabid mongrel gets put down.
Sure, the legions of administrative timeservers, otherwise unemployable tenure ticks, and loan-loaded future baristas who infest our colleges will be plenty sad. After all, their free ride will come to an end when we derail their gravy train.
And it shall be glorious, for the tears they shed when forced into a world that demands achievement, effort and accountability, will be a powerful tonic for productive citizens like us who have carried these obnoxious parasites for the last few decades. We won’t mourn modern academia’s passing. Once a college education was an aspiration. Now it’s a punchline.
This is where I must help out the liberal readers operating under the delusion that their self-designed dual major in Otherkin Activism and Post-Modern Self-Actualization gave them the ability to understand simple concepts. The enemy is academia, not education. But except for a few bastions of true learning, like Hillsdale College, the rare instances where modern academia overlaps with actual education are the result of sheer chance.
Understand that the purpose of modern American “education” is not to educate students. It is primarily to provide cushy, subsidized sinecures for liberal administrators and faculty while, secondarily, providing a forum to indoctrinate soft young minds in the liberal fetishes du jour. Actually educating students is hard, and a meaningful education is anathema to liberalism. In the liberals’ ideal world, the universities would simply fester with leftist nonsense and not even bother with trying to teach their charges anything at all. And today, it’s pretty close to being the liberals’ ideal world.
You liberal readers are foaming at the mouth right about now, furious not because I’m wrong but because I’m undeniably, absolutely, incontrovertibly right. So your next move – see, I’ve done this before, my Marxist Ceramics-majoring friend – is now to attack me personally since you never learned from your goateed TA how to argue like an adult. Your first gambit will be to impugn my own academic career. Try again – I have the academic credentials you prize so highly and with so little reason. Been there, done that, built a company, married an ex-model, and no, I don’t want to see your resume.
So save the posturing for the other gender-indeterminate members of your interpretive dance collective – most of us conservatives have endured your schools, gotten our diplomas, and now reject the scam that is modern academia. I’d suggest you call us academic apostates, but you wouldn’t know what that means without Googling it. Now fetch me my latte and I’ll drop a nice, shiny quarter in your tip jar.
As I discuss in my book Conservative Insurgency, and as others like Glenn Reynolds have observed, with modern academia we normal Americans are paying to support a suppurating abscess in our culture that, left untreated, will kill its host. We need to lance this boil and drain the leftist pus.
Modern academia is a refuge and sanctuary for the left within our culture where the inhabitants can devote their full efforts to destroying the very society that subsidizes them without having to worry about actually producing anything of value. It’s an intellectual and moral cesspool. Just look at some of the nightmares that have slithered out of our universities and into mainstream society in just the last few decades – political correctness, hook-up culture, Barack Obama.
It’s clear we need to put a stop to this madness, but how?
First, let’s understand that most people have no need of today’s college education. The notion of an idyllic four years spent expanding one’s horizons, drinking deeply at the well of knowledge, and discovering one’s true self, if it ever existed outside of a few super-expensive colleges catering to rich kids, is long gone. College today is about gaining admission – once you’re in, your work is done and you spend the next five or so years guzzling beer, sporadically attending class in massive lecture halls, and trying to get a notary to sign off on your sexual consent paperwork.
A high school graduate should walk across the stage and out the door of the auditorium with a diploma that demonstrates that he can read, count, identify the three branches of government, and correctly place World War II as occurring after World War I. But, thanks to the teachers’ unions that repay the support of the Democrat Party by churning out an endless parade of semi-literate, mouth-breathing future liberal voters, that’s not the case. The first two years of college today now do what the first two years of high school used to do.
Of course, high school is the domain of the states, where – coincidentally – the Republicans are currently at the peak of their power in the last 100 years. Let’s use it!
Step one is to reform K-12 education by gutting the teachers’ unions, a tactic pioneered by Governor Scott Walker. Yes, this noted college non-graduate has actually achieved more demonstrable good for students than all of those over-credentialed educrats combined.
Governor Walker’s decision to leave his political science studies for an actual job in politics also illustrates another key reform – we need to emphasize the power of doing, rather than the impotence of sitting there listening to someone who has never done talking about doing in theory. Most jobs don’t require a college degree – they require a quality high school education. Let’s stop lying to kids by telling them they won’t amount to anything if they don’t waste years of their life sitting in a classroom accumulating debt.
Budget cuts are only the beginning for schools taking state dough. End professor tenure – make professors keep earning their jobs just like we earn ours every day. Limit administrative overhead to, say, one administrator for every 25 students. And close down excess colleges – just because a school has been pumping out bogus degrees for the last half-century doesn’t mean it has to keep doing it.
And then there are other reforms designed to rein in the stampede of academic abuses and outrages. Let’s get transparent by requiring schools to publish detailed and accurate statistics about student debt and job placement. And let’s give students and alumni the right to sue if they are defrauded – with attorney’s fees awards to lawyers who take on these suits.
Yes, we should harness the power of trial lawyers for good instead of evil – and let’s also pass laws requiring colleges honor and uphold basic civil rights. Nothing will concentrate the mind of a bureaucrat who wants to ban free speech or dispense with due process quite as wonderfully as getting served with a lawsuit seeking damages, an injunction, and attorney’s fees at $500 per hour – for junior associates.
For generations, modern liberal academia has been at war with normal Americans. It’s time we shot back – just ask Old Yeller.