Oh, that liberal fascism:
If only we could have spoken to a young, wide-eyed Ted Cruz, Mitt Romney, or Bill O’Reilly. We would have assured them that it was okay to be anti-intellectual, and that millions of people around the world do it every day. Although we didn’t share their dread of academia, we would have tried to make them feel comfortable with the lifestyle they were preparing to lead. We would have attempted either to disabuse them of whatever cognitively dissonant impulses gave them the urge to attend Harvard or, at the very least, try to prepare them for the potentially scary environment that awaited them. For one, we would warn them that Harvard has a few liberals. While they may seem strange and foreign to a young conservative, they are almost certainly not secret communists and probably actually less of a threat to the integrity of the United States government than some people back home. Second, we would warn them that education gives people new ideas that they might not have otherwise had. This may make them seem “pinheaded,” or it may even change them a bit, as Mr. Romney suggested about President Obama. But it probably doesn’t make them stupid.
If we could have spoken to these three young men, we could have spared them from the fear and anguish that must come part-and-parcel with seeing oneself as instructed by insurrectionists or buffoons. If we could have spoken to these three men, we would have told them never to come to Cambridge.
I’d say “Read the whole thing,” but no need to, when the Cliff’s Notes version is available:
Related: From Stacy McCain, “Harvard Abandons America (Or: Ted Kaczynski Is Not ‘Anti-Intellectual’).”
Insert obligatory Ted Kaczynski/Al Gore quiz here.