Tuesday, November 4, 2008

MYTHBUSTER: Liberal profs influence students; young adults finally deserve some respect

Today may the moment in U.S. history when young Americans finally get the respect they are due.

If Sen. Barack Obama sweeps to victory, it will be due to an unprecedented participation in the electoral process.

And if they do so, it will be because they have examined both candidates and found one to offer more hope.

An article in today's New York Times also provides a measure of due respect to young people. They fight and die in our wars, including our unjustified ones. They can't drink yet legally, but they can die in an illegal war. Yet these young heroes still are thought to be weak mentally.

The exact opposite is true, mentally and physically.

Today article debunks the myth that liberal professors on college campuses are brainwashing students. Instead, the study shows these young people can very well think for themselves. The conclusion was drawn from a survey of 8,000 college students at 37 institutions of higher learning across the country.

Here is the defining passage from the story:

If there has been a conspiracy among liberal faculty members to influence students, “they’ve done a pretty bad job,” said A. Lee Fritschler, a professor of public policy at George Mason University and an author of the new book “Closed Minds? Politics and Ideology in American Universities” (Brookings Institution Press).

The notion that students are induced to move leftward “is a fantasy,” said Jeremy D. Mayer, another of the book’s authors. When it comes to shaping a young person’s political views, “it is really hard to change the mind of anyone over 15,” said Mr. Mayer, who did extensive research on faculty and students.

“Parents and family are the most important influence,” followed by the news media and peers, he said. “Professors are among the least influential.”

So there you have it, America and the extreme political right. In general, the only thing liberal professors can influence is to encourage young people to consider another side to history, ideologies and people they have never been exposed to.

So parents, if you are worried about your children's politics in particular, then educate them in the truth when they are growing up. Then they can think for themselves in college and everywhere afterwards. And I bet we'll have fewer illegal and unnecessary wars and bailouts of Wall Street fatcats.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For the first time in my adult life, I am not proud of my country. I can not say "God bless America", but "God damned America" rings true for our future.