Monday, November 15, 2004

Declaration of insufficient liberal youth voting 

This note comes from Scholar Jack, after someone on campus sent around this declaration on the civic responsibility of higher education from campus presidents, including our own. Jack writes:

Too often the charged words like �democracy� and �diversity� have simply meant attempts to turn students into young socialists, or at the least young liberals. Surely you�re aware of all the recent attempts to use the power of the universities, and individual professors and classrooms within the university, to get students to vote for Kerry. And of course you�re aware of the persistent desire to teach students what to think rather than how to think. And then there�s all the enforcement, all the attempts to jam leftist political perspectives down students� throats: a standard joke among students is that liberals don�t really care what they do, as long as it�s mandatory.

Put differently, a campus that has just accepted that shameful stuff we accepted during finals last semester � assumptions of collective guilt and people docilely going off to accept �retraining� for actions that had no part it � seems to be kidding itself badly if it thinks it�s a place to teach about real democracy. It�s a lot like Dan Rather offering seminars on journalistic objectivity.
It's worth noting that the declaration was originally written in 1999. Youth voter turnout was the highest in a decade this past election, and 56% of 18-24 year old voters cast ballots for Kerry. One wonders if the spreading of this declaration again now is an indication that they thought turnout would be higher, or that the other 44% were not correctly taught the "skills and values of democracy."