Universities are besieged by their own narcissistic students, and in most cases, administrators have flung the gates wide open.
We saw it on Tuesday when McGill University caved to a violent mob and deplatformed a prominent speaker. We saw it just a few days earlier when outlets reported that Hamline University had fired an art professor after a student whined about being shown a picture of Muhammad, despite being given ample warning to look away.
And when things don’t go their way, the students whine like petulant toddlers. “I got really sad and then just, like, laid down,” a transgender student at New College of Florida said after Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed a conservative majority to the school’s board of trustees to turn it into an anti-woke liberal arts institution. (RELATED: ‘Our Safety Is At Risk’: Florida Students Melt Down After DeSantis Appoints Conservatives To College Board)
It should be “lay down,” but clearly the education system has failed this confused, young biological male in more ways than one.
Of course, these universities are only reaping what they’ve sown. They train the teachers, administrators and curriculum developers who shape the students who eventually attend the universities. It’s like the water cycle, only the rain gets more toxic each time around.
I’m proud to announce that Gov. Ron DeSantis has appointed me to the Board of Trustees of the New College of Florida.
My ambition is to help the new board majority transform New College into a classical liberal arts institution.
We are recapturing higher education. pic.twitter.com/wu7OKRhzhM
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) January 6, 2023
And what are these kids learning from preschool on that turns them into such insufferable crybullies? They’re learning to be little activists.
At the same time DeSantis was turning New College based, the Anti-Defamation League was working hard to further woke-ify Broward County Public Schools, the second-largest school district in Florida.
Broward’s school board voted on Dec. 13 to approve a new contract with the ADL, expanding the use of the organization’s left-wing lesson plans, according to the Daily Wire. This curriculum urges schools to “Move On From Kindness” and “Foster Social Justice.” Teachers, the ADL documents suggest, should encourage preschoolers to “take a stand” and “get them involved in action, advocacy and/or activism … in order to affect systemic change.” I suspect that attending the March for Life wouldn’t quite tick the box.
But setting aside the one-sidedness, teaching preschoolers to be activists is nonsense. They have no understanding of how the world around them works and are therefore in no position to change it. Neither are most college students, for that matter. As Jordan Peterson is fond of saying, “People who don’t have their own houses in order should be very careful before they go about reorganizing the world.”
Even if these activists’ aims were desirable, toddlers who learn to march for George Floyd before they learn to march themselves to bed at a reasonable hour will not be effective leaders, or even foot soldiers, for the movements they grow up to join. They’ll be immature, undisciplined and neurotic, ignorant of the eternal truth that “he who rules his spirit is better than he who takes a city.”
Naturally, the consequences of their own shortcomings will always be someone else’s fault and someone else’s problem. If you feel beset by microaggressions, for example, it’s not because you’ve been brainwashed into seeing them everywhere, it’s because your university is full of bigots. Better scream until the administration hires another DEI bureaucrat for $200,000 a year to create more safe spaces and enforce stricter speech codes. (RELATED: DeSantis Announces Plan To Squash ‘Equity’ At New College Of Florida And Restore Merit)
If the goal is to improve society, education should begin with humility. None of us is cast into this world alone. We live in families and nations that we didn’t found. We shelter in houses we didn’t build and drink wine from vineyards we didn’t plant. We’re warmed in winter and cooled in summer by devices we couldn’t replicate. We speak languages we didn’t invent.
We benefit from a great ocean of human wisdom that 1,000 lifetimes would be insufficient to fully explore. To dip a toe in and immediately begin lecturing seasoned sailors would be absurd. But it’s exactly what the campus activists do, and it’s exactly what they’re trained to do.
There is, however, an antidote. “In the liberal arts, the college — which means a partnership, one between students and faculty — works together and comes into conversation with great thinkers and writers who’ve asked timeless questions about human purpose, about the good, and justice, and how to live well,” said Prof. Matthew Spalding, one of DeSantis’ new appointees to the New College board. “The very aim of liberal arts education is to liberate the mind from current fads and popular ideologies by inviting students to address these questions.”
In other words: sit down, shut up and learn. Learn from the great texts and thinkers of history and from the scholars who have devoted decades to studying them. Grow. Develop. Why else would you go to college? Did you think you knew everything already?
Grayson Quay is an editor at the Daily Caller.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.