"The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment of men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding...."
Louis D. Brandeius, Supreme Court justice, 1928
In my opinion, the award winning oxymoron of our generation is the term "liberal" as applied to the politically correct, socialistically inspired, obsessively race and gender conscious, atheistic humanists who control the majority of our institutions of higher learning.
These people are anything but liberal!
Educationally speaking, the term "liberal" means free, or suitable for the free. "Free" is the antithesis of "brainwashed." And insidious indoctrination is what our kids are getting today in most universities and colleges. Can you remember the last time a non-politically correct, right-wing controversial guest lecturer was allowed to speak freely on any major university campus? I can't. What's happened to open dialogue? Where are the divergent views which are the stimuli of a free creative society? That's what "liberal" education is supposedly all about!
When is the last time you saw or heard of a student openly, philosophically disagreeing with a university professor and getting a passing grade? Students either play the game or suffer the consequences. Even commencement ceremonies this past season were biased almost exclusively in favor of leftist speakers or Clinton administration lackeys. According to the June 23 edition of Human Events, a survey drawn from the U.S. News & World Report shows that for the seventh consecutive year, all but two of our most elite universities featured commencement speakers heavily weighted to the left. Let's face it, universities today are overwhelmingly dominated by the political left and they control our kids' minds for four to eight years.
Well, at least there's one alternative, a college which is dedicated to offering a higher education in the classically liberal sense; Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich. Hillsdale's graduates are highly sought after because of the broad, scholarly education acquired there. Hillsdale strives for a Socrates in every classroom, and it produces some of our nation's finest teachers.
Hillsdale College is 156 years old, being founded in 1844, having pursued the same set of inspiring principles all those years. What other institution can make that claim? Although Hillsdale isn't a religious school in the sense of being denominational, its founders wrote in the articles of incorporation in 1855 that they were "grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty." All major religions may be studied at Hillsdale.
In the same articles of incorporation, certain goals were set forth, to pursue an "intelligent piety" by imparting "sound learning" to its students, providing them with a "liberal" education. And the faculty then, as now, was a fine group of teaching scholars devoted to the tradition and the school's permanent principles.
Hillsdale is famous for its independence from government control. Hillsdale couldn't keep any of its commitments if it didn't maintain its independence. It was among the first colleges in all of human history to admit blacks and women as students, and it proudly adheres to that tradition by refusing to take the color or gender of anyone into account either in hiring or admissions. In short, Hillsdale is a thorn in the side of Big Brother's thought controllers.
Hillsdale College was established before the Civil War. Its founders were the followers of the founders of America. Hillsdale's founders knew that a free people must be educated in the liberal arts. The Northwest Ordinance, one of the four fundamental laws of our nation, in its third article, says: "Religion, morality and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of man, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged."
Hillsdale refuses all federal funding. No federal student loans. No taxpayer dollars. And yet, a high percentage of Hillsdale students do receive financial assistance from the college. This is made possible from private grants and donations from people like you and me.
Hillsdale's famous publication, "Imprimis," is mailed to more than 960,000 households every month and while it's free, a huge number of recipients obviously send donations, not only to offset the gargantuan costs of publication and mailing but as gifts to the college as well. That's what inspired Ingrid and me to become regular financial contributors.
As a final thought, and to quote President Arnn of Hillsdale College: "If we are to call our nation back to its first purpose, we must have institutions like Hillsdale to take the lead. We have a responsibility, then, to our nation, the nation Hillsdale was built to support, the nation that needs support today as much as it ever has. Hillsdale does not take from the federal government. Instead, it gives to it lessons in what government should be."
Bob Thomas is a Carson City businessman, local curmudgeon and former member of the Carson City School Board and Nevada State Assembly.