(Ginni Thomas, The Daily Caller News Foundation) – An expert on higher education is recommending President Donald Trump establish a blue-ribbon commission on American exceptionalism with historians, entrepreneurs and experts to counter the left’s cancerous narrative that America has irredeemable flaws.
“College produces people who think that the great lesson they’ve learned is that Western civilization is rotten to the core, that America is an experiment in hypocrisy and that the only thing we can do is overturn what our forefathers have handed down to us,” Peter Wood, a leader in higher education reform says.
Wood is the president of the National Association of Scholars (NAS), an effective nonprofit based in New York that defends intellectual freedom and free speech in higher education. He attended a White House meeting recently where he recommended the Trump White House launch a blue-ribbon commission.
“American higher education took the news of Trump’s election quite badly,” he says in this exclusive video interview for The Daily Caller News Foundation. As colleges appear to be the home base of the Trump “resistance” movement, Wood says students are demonstrating their utter ignorance that the Electoral College is the system Americans use to select a president.
Wood blames Republicans who have turned their backs on higher education for 50 years. He says we are seeing the consequences of “a system of well-funded corruption on the part of the Congress,” which allows the money that flows into higher education to work as a kind of jobs program for retired politicians. In colleges, ideological zealotry abounds, conservatives on the faculty are almost non-existent and students are subjected to four years of intense indoctrination, he says.
Partially because members of the media and Hollywood have attended American colleges, the scholar claims “the result of that is that we have an educated public in this country that is now mal-educated.”
His organization issued an explosive report this year, Making Citizens, that exposed “the un-making” of American citizens through activism training, and increasing incidences of “volun-tyranny” for progressive agitation and causes.
Americans may be surprised to learn that, in accordance with the United Nations and former President Barack Obama’s ideology, an amorphous “world citizenry” is being learned as preferable to American citizenship, despite the positive attributes of respect for individual liberty, rule of law, opportunity and civil order in our founding documents.
Students and fair-minded professors are experiencing an increasingly toxic illiberal political correctness on American campuses. The tactics seen by the left, Wood says, includes increasingly “silencing and delegitimating their opposition.” Next, Wood explains that punishment to professors or students is meted out if they veer from liberal orthodoxy.
Wood’s organization is weighing in as Congress begins to consider the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965. Wood issued a letter to policymakers signed by hundreds in early March, promoting a link between the principles of intellectual freedom and tolerance with federal resources for the first time. His “Freedom to Learn” amendments to the HEA are being discussed in Washington.
In this video, Wood offers tangible advice to parents, donors, alumni, professors and students who reject the orthodoxy. He suggests more people pay attention, fight back, support organizations like his and only engage in stipulated financial giving based on what you know is not supporting infected programs, departments or professors.
For more on Peter Wood and the National Association of Scholars, see their website, and read his commentary on the Middlebury College fracas with Charles Murray. The organization’s Facebook page is here, and you can follow the group on Twitter @NASorg.
As for future NAS work, Wood discusses a coming NAS report on Confucius Institutes popping up across American colleges that seem infatuated with Chinese money, propaganda and totalitarianism. He also discusses their continuing efforts to expose “beach books” or common reading requirements used on modern campuses, self-segregation trends, the corruption of science and more.
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