They began their nefarious deeds in the 1960s. With help from the Soviet Union, they fomented hatred of the United States and then successfully groomed a generation to colonize the schools. The SDS (Students for a Democratic Society), of which Ayers was a member, spelled out their strategies in their position paper, the Port Huron Statement. Employing the old Soviet strategy of “boring from within,” they focused on “an overlooked seat of influence”: the university. Divested of their history, literacy, and ability to reason, their students became the mob that elected Barack Obama.
I am not the only one to witness the increasing inability of college students to reason. Douglas G. Campbell, writing in Academic Questions, relates a common experience in the college classroom. The former career military officer, while discussing military culture, was accused of being “brainwashed by the military” by a student who had no experience in the military or knowledge of it. When asked what informed her opinion, she could not reply. In frustration she repeated the classroom mantra, that she was “entitled to my opinion.” When she broke into tears, accusing Campbell of being a Nazi, she gained the sympathy of her classmates. I’ve had a similar resistance to facts and logic in the classroom.
Campbell cites a couple of books on pedagogy that he had to read in a mandatory program at his college. One by Stephen D. Brookfield, Becoming a Critically Reflective Thinker, advocates a Marxist methodology called “critical pedagogy,” by which “students are helped to break out of oppressive ways of thinking and acting that seem habitual but that have been imposed by the dominant culture.”
The “dominant culture” that Brookfield refers to is the Western one. It relies on standards of truth, objectivity, and fairness. It uses the syllogism, where a premise based on truth leads logically to a conclusion. Our “dominant culture” also emphasizes fairness, such as notions that people of a certain race are not inherently wiser or that those who demonstrate merit should be rewarded.
But in our schools, from kindergarten through graduate school, a different culture reigns. From textbooks, to teaching strategies that encourage collective thinking, to dorm room indoctrination, students are pressured to give up independent, logical thought for nonsensical theories, group work, and consensus building. They are bullied emotionally and pressured with grades to adopt the thinking of the classroom. At the same time, they are denied exposure to the Western heritage.
Bill Ayers, much admired by fellow education professors, eschews content and discipline. He bristles at the idea of being restricted by a curriculum, policies, or assessments and openly uses his classroom to promote his radical communist views by assigning books that promote communism. His own books are used by professors in colleges of education. A tamer version of his pedagogy is popular among teachers, who while not openly advocating communism nonetheless focus on “social justice” issues through collective thinking.
Conservatives who have seen through these techniques but simply dismiss these kooky professors do so at their peril. They may be protecting their own children through homeschooling and private education, but they are reaping the products in the voting mobs that elected Barack Obama.
Now we are faced with, among other things, the prospect of “death panels” under socialized medicine.
The health care town halls and tea party rallies are the pulse signs of an American spirit that has not yet died. But these gatherings are populated largely by those who are in, or approaching, the age of mandatory “end-of-life” counseling proposed in HR 3200.
As a baby boomer, I viewed such a session at my “town hall meeting” as a group of fresh-faced Emory medical students debated an experienced orthopedic surgeon.
One young student, a Doogie Howser type, cocksure in his white coat, was convinced that he was on the right side of compassion and “social justice.”
The surgeon, who was not wearing the doctor’s coat, argued against the government encroachment into the relationship between doctor and patient. He admitted that there are problems with health care currently, but argued quite logically and ethically against the extreme measures of the bill. He cited his experience of working in a government (VA) hospital. He said that competition means good service for patients and gave examples and reasons.
The med student accused him of “trying to make a profit.” (The good doctor had said he treats at least a couple of children of illegal aliens a month for free.)
As the surgeon understandably became increasingly frustrated in the debate, the med student used techniques that are now common in the classroom: emotional sabotaging tactics under the cover of “conflict resolution.” Acting as if the surgeon were an unreasonable child (or more likely senile), the student said, “Let me crystallize this …” The tone was condescending. It would have been a comic scene were it not for the fact that this future doctor does not seem to understand how HR 3200 violates the Hippocratic Oath.
(The several doctors who spoke at the tea party rally in Atlanta on August 15 all invoked the Hippocratic Oath. But they were all middle-aged. No medical students showed up.)
The medical student at the town hall did say to the experienced orthopedist, “I respect your opinion,” but he dismissed the opinion.
While the economy tanks, the government job sector is growing. Young people are encouraged to educate themselves for jobs in nonprofits and government agencies. They build up their academic resumes with “community service” that does nothing for their intellectual growth.
The visions of modern-day brown-shirted civilian troops have predictably been dismissed as evidence of overworked imaginations of right-wing extremists.
Well, maybe they won’t be wearing brown shirts. Maybe they’ll be wearing white coats.