Daily Caller News Foundation
EPPC Senior Fellow Stanley Kurtz was interviewed by Ginni Thomas of the Daily Caller News Foundation about the rise of left-wing protests on college campuses. View the video by clicking here, and read the Daily Caller’s description of the interview below:
Discussing how the Paris attacks have not diminished left-wing campus demonstrations, Dr. Stanley Kurtz, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, said President Obama and the dominant, politically-correct college worldview is “trying to deny that anything fundamental has happened” during that massacre.
In this video interview for The Daily Caller News Foundation, the author and scholar explained the multi-cultural and post-modern worldview dominant on college campuses “cannot absorb that some cultures may actually pose a threat,” such as radical Islam, and our in fact waging war on western civilization.
Some campus activists today are being mobilized by radical Left organizations and allies of President Obama, as exposed by a recent report by the National Association of Scholars. As The Federalist’s Joy Pullman recently wrote about the campus madness, these groups “are stoking and channeling uninformed young people’s hatred of free markets and agitating them into demanding collectivism.”
Kurtz said we “have lost the campuses” in America’s culture war. Where the Left used to dominate only 10-20 percent of campus departments, today entire colleges have morphed into “ideological training camps.” He went on to say that colleges have become a new form of “divinity school,” but this time it is for the “secular, leftist political religion.” For many young people, according to Kurtz, belief in the leftist worldview is like a religion, and these grievance movements “give meaning to their lives.”
There are students, he explained, who actually believe “they may die from global warming.”
A recent Vanderbilt mob, angry about what came-to-be-realized was a blind girl’s guide dog’s poop bag inadvertently left in the wrong place, demonstrates how unhinged and yet explosive these perceived sleights have become.
Common sense and free expression are being shut down on more campuses and replaced by intimidation tactics and mob rule. (RELATED: Georgia College Student Criticizes Black Lives Matter, Becomes Victim Of Witch Hunt)
Kurtz, an observer and critic of the College Board’s revised AP U.S. History standards, is frustrated with Republicans and conservatives who too often dismissed polling showing that youth were pulling away from capitalism and were surprisingly receptive to socialism in greater numbers.
Socialists, he said, are now ecstatic about Bernie Sanders , as his mere candidacy legitimizes socialism as a future prescription for America’s ills. The ideologues are pulling the country to the left using Sanders’s campaign.
Kurtz traced the dangerous trajectory of our times back to societal preferences given to justify past societal wrongs, like slavery. When we suspend individual rights underlying liberal democracy, embracing temporary and well-intended suspension of the rules, we undermine our way of life, he explained.
And now more victims clamor for such treatment. Today’s victims include those fearing global warming, which President Obama touts as America’s biggest national security threat. “Saving the planet,” Kurtz added, justifies any tactic, so “free speech is out the window.” Mobs form to mete out justice, he says, “because we are getting comfortable violating our fundamental principles that formed this nation.”
Because colleges have tilted so far left, as expressed recently by Mona Charen, Kurtz sees new vulnerabilities for these orthodoxy-enforcing institutions. Since political correctness needs to silence any opposing views, Kurtz is promoting the idea of “freedom of speech tours” that can only make the elites uncomfortable. A recent Yale University panel on freedom of speechdemonstrated the utility of Kurtz’s idea.
Exposing or naming specific colleges could shame or stop donations or prospective students from attending offensive-behaving colleges, he added. Leadership could also come from trustees, alumni and state legislatures for state schools, Kurtz said.
One valuable group he cited is the National Association of Scholars that is shining a light on what the Left is doing throughout American higher education on sustainability, the divestment in fossil fuel movement, and the evolution of “common reading books” given to incoming freshmen to show them how they are expected to think.
Republicans are losing at the ballot box because they allowed the culture of campuses, the media and Hollywood to embrace the ideological left without adequate counter-engagement. Conservative donors who think politics can solve cultural problems are “nuts,” Kurtz says. Now, we are “beyond the tipping point” on campuses, he added. (RELATED: Scholar: Under New AP Standards, ‘American History Will Not Be About America’)