The traditional America values of my youth are rapidly being replaced by a socialist/progressive philosophy totally contrary to the free society envisioned by our Founding Fathers. How did this happen? More importantly, is there anything that can be done about it?
For starters it must be determined what has caused this rapid change of our values. Dr. Tim Groseclose, a professor of political science at UCLA, spent years studying the slant of media outlets. In his book, Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind, Groseclose concluded that mass media is the agent of this change. It certainly does influence events not only by how they report the news, but by what news they choose to cover. However, what explains how the media became so liberal? Why have so many gone along with that agenda? As a teacher for nearly forty years I believe the education system is the driving force altering both the media and our society as a whole.
For decades our colleges and universities have been slanting farther and farther left. I don’t believe it was a deliberate conspiracy. What probably happened is that while traditional professors believed it was their duty to teach their subjects objectively those professors who considered themselves liberals, progressives, or outright Marxists, believed in converting their impressionable students to their own leftist world view. Since liberal art graduates of colleges and universities go into jobs (media, journalism, and education) that influence people more and more of the new media stars, reporters, and college professors were liberals who also had no ethical objections to promoting their view of the world. This trend, once started, was like a snowball rolling downhill.
F. Skinner said it plainly, “Give me a child and I’ll shape him into anything.” Throughout history from the Spartans, to the Janissaries, to the Hitler Youth this has been proven possible time and time again. It is being repeated in the United States today. Look at the college campuses now. Students are warned about “micro-aggression” and taught about “white privilege.” It is no accident that many colleges are giving out guidelines for “appropriate” PC language to their students. When calling yourself an “American” is frowned upon there’s a real problem. Words, after all, shape thoughts. There are professors out there who make Ward Churchill of “little Eichmanns” fame look positively moderate. One recently tweeted that America is more brutal than ISIS. These are the people influencing our children.
In an open marketplace of ideas traditional values would win in a debate against progressive beliefs. Free enterprise made America great while socialism has a long tradition of failure. Yet increasingly there is only one point of view presented on our college campuses. The UCLA Higher Education Research Institute’s survey found that 63% of college professors self-identified as liberal or far left. That percentage is even higher in liberal arts classes. Conservative speakers are either never invited or protested against to the extent they are uninvited. This makes for a very limited exchange of ideas
The College Board has recently come under criticism for its new framework for Advanced Placement U.S. History classes. As a classroom teacher I’ve seen the change in the textbooks and curriculum presented to students. Lenin supposedly said, “Tell a lie often enough and it becomes the truth.” That pretty much describes the politically correct history our current textbooks teach students. If you don’t think that students exposed to only one point of view aren’t more susceptible to media bias I’ve got beachfront property I’d like to sell you. It has a view of the water, straight up.
Freedom of speech is a hallmark of our traditional society, but it doesn’t happen when only one side gets its say. Laws should be passed prohibiting teachers at all levels from presenting only one side of an argument. An objective review of textbooks is likewise required. PC vocabulary guidebooks should be banned as they support only one viewpoint. Inserting personal political opinions into any subject not dealing specifically with politics or current events has to be disallowed. Education has to go back to being impartial otherwise what you end up with is indoctrination.