By Chris Talgo
According to a recent Econ Journal Watch study, liberal professors outnumber conservatives nearly 12 to one. This should come as no great surprise. Since the 1960s, college campuses have increasingly become bastions of liberal ideology. For decades, professors have indoctrinated students with anti-American values. The political climate has become almost completely one-sided on most campuses.
Should the national government address the problem of campus bias by leveling the playing field? Specifically, should the government create “conservative enclaves” to counter liberal proclivity? According to Rob Koons, professor of philosophy, the answer is a resounding “yes.” In a recent Newsmax article, Creating Conservative Enclaves at Colleges Possible With Trump, Koons states
Conservatives must seize the opportunity provided by undivided GOP control of the federal government.
In 2008, in the closing days of the Bush 43 administration, Congress approved the American History for Freedom program, providing for the use of federal funds to create special centers in colleges and universities dedicated to promoting traditional American history, the nature of and threats to free institutions, and the history and achievements of Western Civilization.
The program lay unfunded through the two terms of the Obama administration, but now is the time for Congress to fund it fully, authorizing the Trump Department of Education to help with the creation of enclaves of traditional scholarship.
On its face, many conservatives would agree with Koons’ position. He presents a laudable plan to rebuff the overwhelming liberal bias that exists on most college campuses. In classrooms across America, conservative views are ostracized. American history is denigrated. The achievements of Western Civilization are misconstrued and overlooked. In a nutshell, most college professors disagree with the idea of American exceptionalism. Professor Koons has experienced this anti-conservative bias throughout his career. According to Koons
In my forty years of experience in higher education, I have seen conservatives excluded, expelled, and harassed by both administrators and professors. But the time has come for us to stop merely complaining: the time has come for action. Congress has the opportunity to fund the American History for Freedom program, creating dozens of enclaves of conservative thought in universities across the land.
Will the American History for Freedom program solve the problem of liberal indoctrination? Professor Koons believes funding this program will vastly increase conservative voices on college campuses. Creating “conservative enclaves” would be a strong rebuke to the standard liberal narrative on campuses. Koons argues
This is a great public good, very worthy of the modest investment of taxpayer money involved. Taxpayers are already on the hook for literally trillions of dollars, used by universities to subsidize left-wing indoctrination and political activism. It is past time for a few million to be invested in scholarship and teaching devoted to the American founding, to the philosophical and political foundations of freedom, and to understanding and appreciating the great legacy that we have inherited from the Greeks, the Romans, the Hebrews, medieval Christianity, and British constitutional and legal history.
Even if some of money ends up in left-wing hands, the dollars that reach more conservative-friendly programs will greatly multiply the resources available for studying the roots of American freedom and equal justice under the law. Now is the time to strike, when many colleges and universities are struggling to make ends meet. The potentiality to make inroads in ending the leftist monopoly of thought on campus may never again be as great as it is right now.
Despite Koons’ adamant support, upon closer inspection, this program is wrought with negative possibilities. According to Koons, now is the perfect time to enact this program because the GOP controls Congress and the White House. Professor Koons is comfortable with Republicans in charge of this program. This is a shortsighted view. It’s doubtful he would be nearly as enthusiastic with liberal progressives implementing this program or coming up with an alternative, sinister version.
While Koons presents a noble goal, a more wise and measured approach would be eliminating the national government’s funding of higher education. Federal funding of higher education has inherently corrupted the system. Eliminating the Department of Education would be a boon for freedom. Unleashing the principles of market capitalism would revolutionize higher education. Increasing government intervention has created the leftist monopoly on college campuses. The solution is not another new program, but rather to reduce the government’s role in education as much as possible.