Graham Armknecht ’18
Our country is divided in many different ways. Republicans and Democrats, Pro-Life and Pro-Choice, Conservative and Liberal, Patriots or Jets, these are our different thought divisions.
These viewpoints, and many more, make up a person and their thoughts. No two people are exactly alike, nor should they be.
And who says that these differences in thought and opinion are bad for our country? It’s how policy stays in place for longer amounts of time than in other countries. Not because a party and train of thought is in power, but rather because every single law, amendment, article and word is scrutinized so thoroughly that all sides need to reach a compromise.
Education is constantly growing one’s viewpoints and thoughts. Students learn from other students, from teachers, and from their media. If diversity of thought, through debate and scrutiny, can make an idea bulletproof, then why isn’t this more emphasized in our education system, specifically college education?
Currently, college professors are overwhelmingly liberal on campus, with a 12:1 ratio according to the Econ Journal Watch in 2016. Now, as someone who openly supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, why do I find this to be an issue? It’s because of the effects that this heavily unbalanced ratio has had on college campuses.
The first thing that can be examined: conservative speakers and viewpoints being shut out from college campuses. Proof of this can be found in the UC Berkeley riots last February when speaker Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak, before he was shut down by riots that threatened the safety of the speaker and also the students wanting to attend the talk. Not only did this happen in February, but these riots happened again on August 27th, as anti-facist protestors shut down a rally against Marxism with force and violence.
With such an overwhelming liberal tilt, liberal ideas are viewed as correct from the point of view of the students. This leads to more extremist views followed by the shutting down of opposing and “wrong” opinions.
So, with this problem existing, how do we solve it? In colleges, the answer is simple: have all viewpoints considered without fear of being shut down. Professors need to be open to differing opinions on topics discussed in class, which would lead to more diverse thought on college campuses.
If this viewpoint is taken, then college campuses will diversify in opinion, and return to their state of being a place to learn and grow instead of being indoctrinated.