Worry About Apathy First, Not Indoctrination

I’m a big fan of Dennis Prager’s radio show. I subscribe to his podcasts. I assign his happiness book to my graduate students as part of a seminar on leadership. I’ve also watched all of his five-minute Prager University videos. 

Mr. Prager’s wisdom has greatly influenced me. Yet, I have to take issue with his latest column posted on National Review Online — “What Kids Now Learn in College.” In this article, Mr. Prager lists 27 left-wing positions (e.g. “Women are victims of men” and “Big government is the only humane way to govern a country”) and asserts that parents should not send their kids to college because those points are what those kids will learn.

There is some truth to that thesis, but it’s too simple. What Mr. Prager lists in his column is what lefty college professors believe, not what a majority of students learn. There is a big difference.

College is not a four-year MoveOn.org convention. Indoctrination is happening on campus, but apathy is more prevalent. The greater crisis is that too many students forget what happened in their classes — regardless of whether they read Nickel and Dimed or Democracy in America. If we replace every left-wing college text in with a right-wing equivalent, we’d still be talking about how little students know.

A better generalization of the knowledge that parents’ $50,000 buys is nothing. That money is wasted when students leave either empty or with a questionable work-force-readiness certificate. 

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More