Professors Gone Wild

Professors gone wild. That is the only conclusion you can come to when you apply Sherlock Holmes' astute dictum to the striking similarities between the widespread failures of American education and government, institutions universally dominated by a self-proclaimed "educated class." Think about what the great fictional detective said: "Once you eliminate the impossible whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth."  And so extracting the truth underlying the dysfunction of what the inimitable James Lewis more correctly terms our national corps of "educated idiots" (or, as our Harvard-educated president puts it more accurately, "corpse") one finds...professors.

Professors have done for the institutional mainstays of American society what the "Girls Gone Wild" video pornography franchise has done for women: degrade and deform all that come in contact with them.  The pornography franchise succeeded by inducing drunken young women to perform sex in front of cameras. Although its founder put the nobility of his enterprise right up there with the activities of anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela, the results tell a different story: a trail of exploited women and shattered lives.

In the same way, behind just about every institutional dysfunction -- from media to government to education -- is an academic. In healthcare, Harvard's Donald Berwick is in Washington presiding over the slashing of medical treatment for seniors; over at the federal energy department, Berkeley's Steven Chu is assisting the administration with the destruction of the private energy sector; and Harvard's Kevin Jennings is in the White House promoting same-sex education for inner-city schools. Children may not know how to read or write but, gosh darn it, they'll know how to "fist" ("forcing one's entire hand into another person's rectum or vagina" -- Jennings sponsored a program for Massachusetts public schools that "included an educational seminar for kids that graphically described some unorthodox sex techniques").

Meanwhile, on another part of planet academic, the Washington Post put its reasoning ability on display last week with the
pronouncement that Barack Obama is too smart for the office he holds.  Government-run institutions are collapsing because the nation is "too stupid" to fall "adoringly at Obama's feet" and simply do what he says. The writer -- the Yale-trained Beltway insider Dana Milbank -- cites two professors who blame our national woes on an electorate unable to function at the same level of a president who is "the very model of a complex thinker." Milbank builds on the professors' thesis and dazzles with this Ivy League display of brilliance: Our president is simply too smart to lead a dumb nation...which makes his failure a success! And so we have academics and the products of the academy together constructing an alternate universe in which brilliant progressives fail because they are smart, and traditional Americans succeed because they are dumb.

Which brings us to "Girls Gone Wild -- Academic Version." Our educated elites are the product of the cumulative efforts of approximately two million professors -- almost 70% working at taxpayer-funded institutions -- who, at any given time, are a major influence in shaping the behaviors and thoughts of the nation. From Harvard to Michigan to Berkeley, these professors have done their "Girls Gone Wild" thing in the classroom. Too many are engaged in the intellectual rape of students, pushing aside education in favor of Marxist propagandizing and adolescent antics.  The Northwestern University professor who recently concluded a class with a live demonstration of a naked woman using an automated sex toy is, sadly, merely one of hundreds of instances of professorial malpractice occurring every day.  Too often, providing students with the knowledge, reasoning ability, and judgment to meaningfully function in American society is an afterthought.  Professors, once a cultural pillar of the most successful nation the world has seen, no longer do the hard work of teaching.  Instead sex, Marxism, and blatant anti-Americanism have become the norm for faculties that view higher education as the main front of a war on American success.

It is no longer about the best interests of students, about worldview and rigor and the ability of students to think.  We have a generation of academics that has presided over the failure of the very institutions that higher education is meant to support.  Almost fifty years ago the founder of National Review, William F. Buckley, said, "I would rather be governed by the first two thousand people in the Boston telephone directory than by the two thousand people on the faculty of Harvard University."  Buckley, a committed Catholic, saw in his Ivy League professors an extraordinary lack of humility, laziness of thought, and contempt for the very values that had made the nation capable -- both economically, spiritually and intellectually -- of saving the world from the totalitarian darkness of Hitler's National Socialists. He was one of the first to raise the alarm, in his groundbreaking "God and Man at Yale," that "traditional American values were being ignored, undermined, and distorted by academics."

Smart people can be dumb...and vicious.  Rare is the college student who has not experienced the agony of professorial pontificating, cringe-inducing self-importance, or texted to a fellow sufferer on the other side of the lecture hall, "What a load of crêpe!" (Yes, I know that's a French pancake, but the alternative is to violate the unwritten faculty code of conduct at a conservative Baptist university -- swearing, like faith, should be approached as a child).  There is something about intellectual pursuit that, when stripped of the Christian morality of classic America, lends itself to the kind of personal morality that marched six million Jews to the gas chambers or continues to consign large swaths of humanity to soul-numbing poverty and despair.  Historian Paul Johnson looked at the hearts and minds of academia's most treasured secular intellectuals and warned "Beware intellectuals," They should "be kept well away from the levers of power" because they are, indeed, a mean-spirited and selfish lot.  

And incompetent. The federal government, led by the largest contingent of academics ever to inhabit the Beltway, is failing; public education, entirely a product of higher education, has failed; and the economy is groaning under the weight of officials schooled by the professoriate.

Any way you look at it, the results and quality of thinking displayed by our best and brightest, the products of professors both public and private, is increasingly...well, a load of crêpe.

Stuart Schwartz, a former media and retail executive, is on the faculty of Liberty University in Virginia. He is an academic by credentials only.
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