The November presidential election was the favorite topic at the Freedom Center’s West Coast Retreat last weekend. Amidst the prognostications and arguments about which Republican would or should get the nomination, or how pessimistic or optimistic conservatives should be about defeating the President, the personality and motivations of Barack Obama were a constant theme of conversation among participants.
What makes Obama tick? Is it psychological conflict and neuroses created by an absent father, a Muslim stepfather, and a flighty mother addled by Third-Worldism? Is he a Manchurian president, nursing socialist or Islamist agendas? A secret Muslim practicing taqqiya, or a progressive disciple of Saul Alinksy who has finished the Gramscian “long march through the institutions” by occupying the country’s most powerful political post? For me, while all these speculations could explain Obama’s personality and behavior, the answer is simpler: he is the perfect embodiment of the politicized, corrupt university.
That the university is politicized will surprise no reader of FrontPage, but more evidence has just been presented in a report by the California Association of Scholars called A Crisis of Competence. This study of the University of California system confirms what national studies of faculty political preferences have previously learned–– that liberal professors outnumber conservative ones 8 to 1. At the flagship Berkeley campus, ratios are scarier: 10:1 in the hard sciences, 17:1 in the humanities, and 21:1 in the social sciences. And across the system, individual academic departments reveal more lopsided ratios: 29:1 in the Berkeley English department, 31:1 in the Berkeley history department, 29:2 in the UCLA English department, and 53:3 in UCLA history. Are we surprised that the University of California was one of the biggest donors to Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, giving more money than even Goldman Sachs?
Given this political bias, it is equally unsurprising that, according to a study by the UCLA Higher Education Research Institute, a majority of professors now believe their task should be teaching not basic skills, critical thinking, and foundational information, but how to “become agents of social change.” For example, the “mission statement” of the Berkeley Department of Social Work states that students must be committed to advancing “social justice,” code for redistributionist policies predicated on grievance. Or consider the UC Santa Cruz Sociology Department’s mission statement, which proclaims the need to consider “how society is organized in relationship to a vision of a just, free, and equal society – a vision that may require fundamental social change.” You can bet that “equal” does not mean equality of opportunity but equality of result achieved by the coercive power of the government. And “fundamental social change” is redolent of Obama’s promise five days before the 2008 election that “we will fundamentally change America,” a promise he has unfortunately kept.
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