Roger Ream writes for the Martin Center about the role higher education plays in preserving a free society.

Our challenge today, if our Republic is to survive, is to renew the unifying principles that define us as Americans—that have made us exceptional. We need to rediscover and re-embrace the principles that hold our nation together.

Americans can disagree about any number of issues and we can divide ourselves down the middle when it comes to election preferences. But if we don’t accept basic, fundamental rules of conduct in the public square and agree on the basic institutional framework of civil society, our nation is sure to decline.

These basic concepts must be taught—inculcated into each generation—and understood, so they serve as a guide for conduct in the public square. …

… How do we reclaim these ideas that hold our society together? That role falls to each of us in our families, our churches, and in our communities. But an equally large burden rests with our schools, both K-12 and our colleges and universities.

Reform and renewal of our universities is vital. When those who despise America and disparage our nation’s founders and founding ideas control our schools, we have little hope of preserving our fragile experiment of liberty.

A nation cannot survive if a generation of its citizens are brought up to think that their country is corrupt at its core, operates on the principles of white privilege, or exists only to further enhance the wealth of the rich and powerful.