Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

A collegiate underground railroad?

Win Myers over at Democracy Project has a devastating commentary on the efforts of northern universities to recruit students in my adopted hometown of Atlanta. (To be clear: I was born and raised in blue states--California, New York, and Maryland--and in an even bluer country--Germany--while Win is a native Georgian who happens to live in Delaware.)

Here are my favorite paragraphs (one from the New York Times article Win is discussing):

It seems that college recruiters from states with shrinking student-age populations are looking around the nation, and especially to states like Georgia, for kids with parents who’re rich enough to pay out-of-state tuition up north. That not only brings in more money for the schools, but fills their increasingly empty classrooms. It doesn’t seem that folks in Vermont are producing enough children to do that on their own, and so they have to go shopping.

But not just any God-fearing, straight-laced kid with a Southern drawl will do, you see. You have to find those who, like Miriam, have the attributes necessary for life in enlightened places that don’t have the economic or demographic power to make it on their own.

One might think some bright folks might put two and two together and understand that, perhaps, the attitudes necessary for success in Vermont must be found outside the state in order for said attitudes to, er, thrive.

"You have to think that there are tens of millions of blue voters in red states," said Daniel M. Fogel, president of the University of Vermont. "There are plenty of people who are culturally attuned to us. In fact, we’ve tended to sell more on our location and ethos than on our academic caliber."

That last sentence pretty well sums up the problems with modern liberalism. It’s not about academics -- all that intellectual, cerebral stuff. It’s about attitude and affectation. Not much to go on, it seems.

Vermont’s a nice place to visit (my folks have a time-share at the

Trapp Family Lodge), but I wouldn’t want to live there. Too many people who haven’t left the Sixties behind, like Ron Jacobs, a fellow army brat with whom I went to high school.

Discussions - 3 Comments

Why is such a problem unique to modern liberalism? Isn’t it simply reflective of a decline in individualism and Liberty that so many would pick a school on the basis of a group identity such as being blue? or being red? or Christian? or African American?

Suppose president Bush is right about how the "edifice of character" is built in families, communities, (Universities)... doesn’t this simply indicate that a sort of tribalism... has overtaken society? Doesn’t ethos have a tribalistic quality? What does it mean to dislike Vermont because too many people haven’t left the sixties behind? Or to say that in Georgia people are God fearing and straight-laced? Are we talking about intellectual stuff or attitude and affectation?

When president Bush says: "Liberty for all does not mean independence from one another." Isn’t he necessarily saying that Liberty is this tribal dependence, this ethos, this collective attitude and affectation, that in effect "That edifice of character is built in families, supported by communities with standards and sustained in our national life by...the varied faiths of our people."

Isn’t the University of Vermont simply a business offering to build edifices of character, for a particular demographic within "the varied faiths of our people"?

It is unique to modern liberalism because liberalism is the king without any clothes. Liberalism is revealing itself via its leadership, anti-Americanism and educational focus. For a long time it seemed harmless to pretend the king was wearing clothes. It doesn’t work if the rest of the world doesn’t want to play along. Reality check.

As for me, I refuse to spend money where liberal indoctrination is the focus, or where culture or a social(ist) life is more important than academics. Meat is better than sugar. Public school is daycare we can’t control; we pay for college and we want what we pay for.

I never understood why people who have leftist politics and came up during the sixties are accused of not growing up because "they haven’t left the sixties behind." If politics and culture are so specific to a particular time, than wouldn’t it be just as honest to say that the Bushites on this list and elsewhere haven’t left the 1950s (or the 1940s) behind?

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