Professor Offers Extra Credit for Walker Protest
It’s a longstanding accusation that America’s universities are turning into liberal incubators, more interested in influencing the political leanings of their students than actually teaching them. But while Democrats wave away such accusations as anti-intellectual conspiracy theories, the evidence just keeps piling up. Every week, it seems, there is another liberal professor treating the classroom like a Marxist training camp.
The latest example comes from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where an English professor is offering her students extra credit for attending a rally against Governor Scott Walker’s proposed budget cuts. That these budget cuts would directly affect the university gives Professor Beth Lueck a bit of breathing room, but the fact that she is a Democrat who made a failed bid at the House of Representatives removes the benefit of the doubt.
CYA Not Sufficient to Silence Critics
In her memo to the freshman class, Lueck is careful to position the rally as “non-partisan” in nature. She also mentions that students can get the extra credit merely by observing the rally or even by protesting against it. No one can accuse her of failing to cover her you-know-what, but that facade is not enough to fool her students. One such student – a member of the campus Republican Club – said, “She’s obviously trying to influence her political views on us as a class, and I feel that’s wrong.”
Lueck may have left herself room to argue against that accusation, but there’s no doubt where those political views lie. On a state election website, Lueck promotes “the proud tradition of Wisconsin progressivism,” and talks of supporting unions, abortion, and Obamacare. Judging by the fact that she thinks attending a political rally is in line with the aims of an English class, it’s fair to say her students know where she’s coming from.
The Pressure of Power
While she may have covered the bases by promising the same credit to students on all sides of the budget issue, even freshman are not stupid when it comes to how to play the game. Few of them are going to risk getting on Lueck’s bad side by standing up for their beliefs. Even if they do, most 18-year-olds have very few strong political beliefs to begin with. That’s what makes professors like Lueck so dangerous. They aren’t brainwashing conservatives, turning them into little Noam Chomskys. They are molding minds that have been more concerned with Friday night dates and Playstation than American politics. They are easy pickings. And judging by the way college students tend to lean overwhelmingly liberal, what they are doing is obviously working.
Some of these students, once they get out into the real world and realize how badly Democrat policies eat into their paychecks, will turn back to conservatism as they grow older. Far too many, unfortunately, will take their university brainwashing with them to the grave. We used to bemoan the “lost” kids who didn’t get an education. But if this is what they’re learning these days, one can’t help but wonder if America wouldn’t be better off if there were more who simply dropped out. As the governor himself has shown, you don’t necessarily need that piece of paper to do great things.