The University Front
Push back in the university. The past century has seen institutions of higher learning dominated first by liberals and then by leftists. While this chokehold continues and perhaps even increases, there are also signs of decay as the academic left stumbles and finds itself increasingly criticized, even ridiculed.
In particular, three points encourage me to think change is possible: First, conservatives are ever more intellectual and skilled, ready to develop and argue for a distinct point of view on issues as disparate as American history and climate change. Second, in response to the demand for an alternative to the leftist paradigm, new universities are coming into being with a conservative or mixed outlook. Just as Fox News Channel found that half the American population dislikes leftist news, so Claremont, Pepperdine, Hillsdale, Belmont, and other universities are finding that same half dislikes leftist education. Third, the single largest expense of a university, the library, is less formidable of a barrier than it used to be thanks to such services as inter-library loan and the internet, especially Google Books, e-books, electronic subscriptions, and the iPad. Leading the way, the Applied Engineering and Technology Library at the University of Texas–San Antonio, with 425,000 books and 18,000 journal titles, has gone completely bookless.
It behooves conservatives not to resign themselves to a perpetual leftish grip on these foremost institutions but to organize, fund, recruit and inspire an insurgent movement of sound thinking. The faculty cadres already exist, the students will follow, and the impact over time will be monumental.
Daniel Pipes is the President of the Middle East Forum.