by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Those wondering why America has aggressively lurched to the Left on social matters in recent years need only look to universities for their answer. Higher education has become a cesspool of left-wing radicalism, in which students are encouraged to focus more on activism than academics, and faculty are expected to conform ideologically or jeopardize their careers. Indeed, it’s hardly accurate to call what’s happening on college campuses today “education.”
The ideological capture of universities profoundly affects every other part of society. The students who emerge from these schools go on to fill the ranks in influential corporations, law firms, and government agencies, and they bring their bad ideas with them. These ideas often include disdain for the institutions they serve and the values they represent. For example, a poll in 2020 found that just 35% of college students said they were proud of their country and that 31% said they think speech with which they disagree or find objectionable should be protected.
This week, the Washington Examiner is partnering with important organizations — including the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Independent Women’s Forum, and the American Council of Trustees and Alumni — to draw attention to this problem and point to possible solutions.
We recognize the sentiments expressed by students are in large part due to the course material they spend four years learning. For instance, at Loyola University in Chicago, administrators have pledged to “decolonize” the courses offered, which, according to its website, means “resisting and actively unlearning the dangerous and harmful legacy of colonization, particularly the racist ideas that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color people are inferior to White Europeans.”