I received a disturbing note from one of my radio show listeners the other day about a political science lesson that was presented to students at Appalachian State University in North Carolina.
“The Moral Foundations” questionnaire probed student opinion on some highly charged political statements. Students were asked to either strongly agree, agree, strongly disagree or disagree.
“If a few of the worst Republican politicians were assassinated, it wouldn’t be the end of the world,” read one of the statements. “Conservatives are morally inferior to liberals.”
“I am in favor of allowing the government to shut down right-wing internet sites and blogs that promote nutty, hateful positions,” read another. “Political violence can be constructive when it serves the cause of social justice.”
I reached out to the university’s media relations department as well as the chairman of the government and justice studies program. I gave them 48 hours to respond and provide some context for the lesson. So far, they have not replied to my inquiries.
However, a university leader did reply to a parent – explaining that the assignment is to “show students how we need to respect and better understand individuals on both sides of the political aisle.”
Students were asked to either agree or disagree with statements like:
· All political conservatives are fools.
· I can’t imagine myself becoming friends with a political conservative.
· Deep down, just about all conservatives are racist, sexist and homophobic.
· Conservatives are morally inferior to liberals
· Political violence can be constructive when it serves the cause of social justice.
As I wrote in my new book, “Culture Jihad: How to Stop the Left From Killing a Nation,” many of our taxpayer-funded universities have been turned into radical indoctrination centers. Professors are using their classrooms to foster great unrest and social anarchy in our nation.
And get a load of the statements targeting capitalism:
· The rich should be stripped of their belongings and status.
· Capitalism’s hyper-competitiveness has made it increasingly difficult to build community and trust with our neighbors.
· The head of most large corporations are as immoral as the Ku Klux Klan.
· It’s virtually impossible to be both upper-class and a good person.
· It is important that we destroy the West’s nationalist, imperialist values.
· Demanding true social and economic equality requires restricting certain personal and civil rights.
· Most rich Wall Street executives deserve to be thrown in prison.
· I can imagine myself committing an act of political violence to help a left-wing revolution succeed.
· I would prefer a far-left leader with absolute authority over a far-right leader with limited power.
· If I could remake society, I would put members of historically and presently marginalized groups at the top.
If I didn’t know better, I’d say that Appalachian State University is laying the foundation for an overthrow of the United States of America. Now you understand what’s happening in the streets of so many of our American cities.
The survey was especially focused on shutting down free speech:
· Hateful speech must always have serious real-world consequences (firing, internet humiliation, blacklisting from jobs).
· Political correctness does not hinder free speech – it expands it.
· I oppose allowing people who advocate nutty right-wing views (say on abortion, capital punishment, gun rights, and gay marriage) to speak in public.
· Fox News, right-wing talk radio and other conservative media outlets should be prohibited from broadcasting their hateful views.
· I am in favor of allowing the government to shut down right-wing internet sites and blogs that promote nutty, hateful positions.
· Colleges and universities that permit speakers with intolerant views should be publicly condemned.
To be fair there were a handful of statements that were skewed towards students who might be conservative:
· I would never want to burn the American flag.
· I try to expose myself to conservative news sources
· There is nothing wrong with Bible camps.
· Conservatives can be good people.
· Forced-labor camps for right-wing extremists are a terrible idea.
“The survey and reading highlights how both Liberals and Conservatives develop policy preferences based on their morals,” the professor went on to say. “The difference is Liberals and Conservatives approach issues from different moral perspectives.”
But that’s not what the online lesson was really about. The lesson clearly states there are no right or wrong answers – just honest responses.
Now some folks might say, what’s the big deal? It was just a survey.
Tell that to Congressman Steve Scalise. He was nearly killed by a left-wing activist who opened fire on Republican lawmakers on a baseball field. Three other individuals were also wounded.
I’m not sure what’s more disturbing – that a leftist college student would be willing to assassinate a Republican lawmaker or that a university would suggest that such an act is neither right nor wrong.