Phi Beta Cons

Glum and Glummer

The [Leon and Sylvia] Panetta Institute for Public Policy at California State University, Monterey Bay last month presented the results of its annual poll that surveys the mood of college students. Conducted by Hart Research Associates since 2001, the poll this year revealed that college students are discouraged and pessimistic about the future. Hope `n Change has given way to Mope `n Rage.

Fifty-five percent of collegians say that “the country is headed off on the wrong track” (compared to 43% last year), 69% believe that “America is on the decline,” and “73% say that compared with their parents’ generation, it is harder for people in their generation to achieve the American dream.” And these are the young people lucky enough to be in college!

What’s wrong with these kids? Why are they so glum? Maybe it’s because of an educational innovation: the victim curriculum with its attendant snowflakes, crybullies, microaggressions, speech codes, and safe spaces. Core tenets of victimology are that everything is rigged, everything is unfair, and no one can profit except at someone else’s misery. The victim credo is that you have always been a victim, you are a victim now, and you will always be a victim. Hence, the American dream is forever beyond your reach.

Or the students’ malaise could be because they have been mugged by Obama’s economy, seen the invasion of Europe, watched the arming of freedom’s enemies, and felt an 8000 pound albatross of debt descend on the rest of their lives. And possibly, armed with a degree in Peace and Conflict Studies or Leisure Studies, they have peeked over the horizon at a future filled with robot workers, smart artificial intelligence, and terrorism. But don’t be despondent. Cheer up, students, there still seem to be jobs galore for coders, activists, and social justice warriors. In the colleges alone, the job growth rate is phenomenal for diversity officials, sexual assault officers, and Title IX czarinas.   

Professor David Clemens teaches composition, literature, and critical thinking at Monterey Peninsula College. In 2000, his victorious struggle against a college loyalty oath to multiculturalism was covered ...

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