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Draining the swamp: where to start?

Saturday, February 18, 2017 10:20
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At Ricochet Marvin Folkertsma writes about draining the swamp.

The “swamp” in question, of course, is Washington DC, but also includes much of the bureaucracy, judiciary, and cultural command posts of the country, such as the media and entertainment industries. The tributaries comprise America’s educational system, long dominated by the radical left and protected by tenure and union power. It is this ideological effluent center that has done so much to poison the discourse of American politics, smearing every institution that contributed to the country’s greatness, and radiating hatred of all things most citizens hold dear—family, patriotism, free enterprise, free speech, freedom of religion, the Bill of Rights generally, and of course America’s founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Certainly, storming the Bastille of Ivory Tower totalitarianism constitutes a very great challenge, beset with tribulations and struggle. But one must start somewhere, so here is a short list that could be considered by State legislatures, as well as by an institution that itself should be abolished—the Federal Department of Education.

Eliminate academic bloat by requiring schools to maintain a strict ratio of administrators to educators, with an emphasis on reducing the number of bureaucrats to the bare minimum. The ratio itself can be determined by those more familiar with the bureaucratic pathologies of top-heavy academic organizations. But schools that violate the standard would lose all funding. This measure might help to eliminate hordes of useless functionaries in “diversity” or “social justice” offices.
Require accountability for institutions that do not maintain law and order at academic functions where speakers (always conservatives) are not allowed to speak, or do so only at risk to their lives. That is, dismiss students, faculty, and administrators responsible for failing to maintain civil discourse. The problem is that too many school denizens or hangers-on are permitted to engage in mob action, disrupt the institution, destroy property, and threaten lives without facing any consequences. Enforcing this requirement might clarify some minds here and there, as well as explode the charade of leftist “tolerance.”
Transfer violations of the law to civil courts, under the assumption that university personnel are simply too biased and incompetent to act as plaintiffs, judges, juries, and enforcers at the same time. This stipulation might help to dispel frivolous accusations of rape, or charges of thought crime hurled against students or professors who believe in free speech.
Require greater “inclusiveness” in student organizations, which means, for instance, that if a Christian group is forced to admit atheists, then require, say, an LGBTQ group to admit those who believe in traditional marriage. After all, doesn’t “inclusiveness” and “tolerance” work both ways?
Abolish tenure. This oldie but goodie has been recommended to counter the radical left’s conquest of the academy. Whether such a policy would work is less clear, but it might deprive some radicals their safe, taxpayer supported perches to indoctrinate their students. The problem is that professors belong to that privileged niche in America, where, like journalists, they can say the most preposterous things without worrying at all about the consequences. Again, ending tenure might induce more sober, rational thought on the part of those who rarely have had anything to fear, not even fear itself.
Other proposals come to mind, such as requiring an ideological affirmative action program that would add more conservatives to faculty ranks. But a quota system applied to any hiring or recruiting situation is a loathsome solution that should never be encouraged, regardless of the goals in mind. Or, educators could be required (somehow) to teach subjects about their country to instill the values of good citizenship, respect for America’s contributions to the world, and the achievements of Western civilization generally.

Problem is, who would teach such courses? Imagine a Marxist teaching a course on capitalism—wait, you don’t have to imagine that, this practice been going on for decades. Or, a racist teaching a course on “whiteness studies,” which unfortunately is also standard operating procedure. Indeed, eliminating any course or department that has the word “studies” in it would enhance the health of the student body, like excising malignant tumors from an otherwise healthy organism.

Would any of these recommendations ever seriously be considered? Perhaps the most likely answer, after screeches of outrage from those in the academy have subsided, would be, “Have you lost your mind?” To which I would respond, I don’t think so, but I’m reasonably certain quite a few others have, and their privileged positions in America’s most fetid swamp will continue to feed the country’s other swamps indefinitely. That is, until the entire country is transformed into a vast swampland, and there is no America left to be found anymore.

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