A good friend of mine recently attended his daughter’s high school graduation and was amazed at the high number of students attending prestigious universities around the nation. That includes his daughter, who is traveling across the continent to attend Stanford University.
The high school is located in a very conservative part of Southwest Florida just littered with churches, Republican Clubs and Trump supporters. Most of the transplants are from Midwest states. In other words, this is very red America, and presumably a high number of those graduating students reflect their parents’ values. Certainly my friend’s daughter does.
At this moment. And that’s the rub.
Our university systems are increasingly focused on turning red students radically blue. This is not a stated goal, of course. It’s simply the reality on the ground — taking generally conservative, pro-America Christian students and indoctrinating them over four years into progressive, anti-America non-Christian students. While there are certainly exceptions, the numbers depressingly bear out the effectiveness of this indoctrination.
According to Campus Renewal, more than 70 percent of teens who confess Christianity when they enter college reject Christianity by the time they leave four years later. Previous studies have placed it between 65 and 80 percent. So roughly three out of every four.
Of course some percentage of young people will leave the faith when they leave home anyway. That has always been the case, as William Wilberforce explained more than 200 years ago. But the percentages are significantly lower in that group. So if you have a youth group with 20 kids that go to college, the odds are only five or six will still be Christians four years later. Those are just the facts, and that should be deeply sobering for parents, pastors and priests.
There are virtually no studies on the shift in political views of people before and after college, perhaps because so many are still so young they have not formed firm enough worldviews yet to create a data set. But considering the dominance of liberal professors and the monolithically progressive environment that young, impressionable students are thrown into for four years, it is only reasonably to expect a similar level of influence and “flipping” among them.
This picture is partially painted just from faculty political affiliations. In an article published by the National Association of Scholars, entitled “Homogeneous: The Political Affiliations of Elite Liberal Arts College Faculty,” Brooklyn College professor Mitchell Langbert shows this in pure, dominating numbers. Langbert examined the political affiliations of doctorate-holding faculty members at 51 of the top 66 liberal arts colleges listed by U.S. News & World Report.
His findings are astonishing. Fully 39 percent of the colleges in his sample have no Republican doctorate faculty on staff. Not one.
Langbert also looked at the total Democrat-to-Republican faculty ratios at the most elite colleges. At Williams College, the Democrat-to-Republican ratio is 132-to-1; Amherst College, 34-to-1; Wellesley College, 136-to-1; Davidson College, 10-to-1; Swarthmore College, 120-to-1. Only two colleges of the top 66 are even close to having an even faculty: the U.S. Military Academy (West Point) with a Democrat-to-Republican ratio of 1.3-to-1, and the U.S. Naval Academy, with a ratio 2.3-to-1.
Many on the left and in the media have dismissed such studies by claiming that the GOP has moved far right and so actually it left academia. That doesn’t really pass the smell test, but Sam Abrams, writing at Heterodox Academy, plotted graphs comparing where university faculty stand on the political spectrum and where the American people stand. What he demonstrates is that as liberal as universities were as recently as the 1990s, they are dramatically more so now.
“Professors were more liberal than the country in 1990, but only by about 11 percentage points. By 2013, the gap had tripled; it is now more than 30 points. It seems reasonable to conclude that it is academics who shifted, as there is no equivalent movement among the masses whatsoever.”
This dominance, and the obsequiousness of college administrators, reveals itself in the shift in curriculum.
In 64 of the top 76 universities in the country, students can get a history degree without any American history. Wisconsin is entirely dropping history as a major. So is California. Less than 3 percent of colleges require history or civics to get a degree. This all explains why 75 percent of students support socialism, but can neither define it or give one successful example of it. Ignorance of history is foundational to indoctrination. It’s a form of Orwell’s Memory Hole in “1984.”
This is about as objective as is available right now: Comparing the polling on Christian students, the smothering monolithically Democratic faculty, the leftward lurch compared to the rest of the country and the dramatic shift in curriculum, and the outcome becomes not only obvious, but predictable.
In “What’s So Great About Christianity,” Dinesh D’Souza, makes the broader point about public schools through universities:
“Children spend the majority of their waking hours in school. Parents invest a good portion of their life savings in college education and entrust their offspring to people who are supposed to educate them. Isn’t it wonderful that educators have figured out a way to make parents the instruments of their own undoing? Isn’t it brilliant that they have persuaded Christian moms and dads to finance the destruction of their own beliefs and values? Who said atheists aren’t clever?”
The same holds true about Democrats and political radicalization.
An indicator of the veracity of this truth is that the most liberal of media outlets, such as The New York Times and Vox have been working hard to show that while all these facts may be true, college is not making students more liberal, or professors aren’t doing so, or maybe colleges are just opening students’ eyes — depending on the publication.
In other words, they’re providing cover for the indoctrinators.
The students with the best ability to weather the storm of the politically progressive, theologically anti-Christian college years are those whose parents and churches equip them with strong defenses for their beliefs. Without that they walk into a four-year, sustained assault on everything they believe and the statistics are clear what happens.
There is one silver lining. The small percentage that survive the fires of liberal programming over four years, are some of the most stalwart young conservatives out there and are far more adept at defending their views than their peers on the left who were seldom, if ever, challenged in their worldviews. (See: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.)
Even this small percentage worries the progressive gatekeepers such as the New York Times. And that, at least, is a good thing.
Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.