There is one aspect of the American elections that completely fascinates me. It is the view that has been widely put around in virtually all of our media that the people who voted for Donald Trump were “non college educated”. Largely it is the uneducated white working class who for various reasons, including racism and fascism, but primarily stupidity, voted in Mr. Trump. Thankfully there are those on the Left who are beginning to realise that this is not quite the whole truth.
My issue is with the assumption that college educated means intelligent. It appears as though both in the United States and the United Kingdom, College /University education is more likely to mean indoctrinated rather than educated. At a recent debate in the University of Abertay, Dundee, I was informed by one of the students that the university was “entirely liberal” and did not really permit alternative points of view. To a large degree universities seem to have become places where people are taught what to think, rather than how to think. They have become places where exams are passed and students are prepared for life in liberal society by an unhealthy dose of illiberal indoctrination.
The infantilisation of our students that occurs through this indoctrination is seen in several ways. Safe spaces, hurt rooms, the priority of emotion over reason, intolerance in the name of tolerance, and riots in the name of love, are all symptoms of a deeply immature culture.
This was seen the day after the election when Professors at many universities in the United States cancelled their Wednesday classes in order to help students cope with the apparent trauma of the election results. Students were offered therapy dogs, safe spaces, and even in several instances a cry room complete with colouring books and crayons! In some ways I don’t blame the students – they have been treated like children and then fed a diet of fear, ignorance and post-truth self-righteousness. Little wonder that they crack up when their carefully constructed artificial world falls apart!
Brendan O’Neill critique of this is spot on:
Stanford University is straight-up offering its students psychological counselling to deal with Trump’s victory. You know what’s worse for America than Trump? This. This cultivation of a new coddled, cushioned, infantilised generation trained to think that every slight and disappointment will scar them for life. Snowflakes are far more likely than Rust Belt Trumpites to bring about the downfall of the American Republic and its Blessings of Liberty.
Some on the left are beginning to understand what is going on. The following two articles are well worth reading.
This fascinating and superb article from the Washington Post – https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/11/09/trump-won-because-college-educated-americans-are-out-of-touch/?utm_term=.cf21c4d46db0
Religion in most secular institutions, for instance, is at best thought of as an important sociological phenomenon to understand — but is very often criticized as an inherently violent, backward force in our culture, akin to belief in fairies and dragons. Professors are less religious than the population as a whole. Most campus cultures have strictly (if not formally) enforced dogmatic views about the nature of gender, sexual orientation, a woman’s right to choose abortion, guns and the role of the state as primary agent of social change. If anyone disagrees with these dogmatic positions they risk being marginalized as ignorant, bigoted, fanatical or some other dismissive label.
Another key article is here from the New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/08/opinion/sunday/a-confession-of-liberal-intolerance.html
Yancey, the black sociologist, who now teaches at the University of North Texas, conducted a survey in which up to 30 percent of academics said that they would be less likely to support a job seeker if they knew that the person was a Republican.
The discrimination becomes worse if the applicant is an evangelical Christian. According to Yancey’s study, 59 percent of anthropologists and 53 percent of English professors would be less likely to hire someone they found out was an evangelical.
The fact is that in American universities, and I suspect in many British universities, there is a groupthink and an exclusivity that is narrowing the capacity to think, and widening the division between those who perceive themselves as the elites, and the rest of us. Universities, as educational corporations, have become the seedbed of a new anti-democracy that basically believes that anyone who does not think as they do, does not really deserve the vote, or at least any vote that really matters.
This Case of a professor forced to resign because of his pro_Trump views is indicative of they hysteria in US academia.
I think one of the most incisive things I read about this was Brendan O’Neill’s opinion piece in the Spectator – http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/11/sneering-response-trumps-victory-reveals-exactly-won/
This nasty, reactionary turn against democracy by so many of the well-educated both explains the victory of Trump, which neatly doubles up as a slap in the face of the establishment, and confirms why democracy is more important today than it has ever been. Because it really would be folly, madness in fact, to let an elite that so little understands ordinary people, and in fact loathes them, to run society unilaterally. Now that would be dangerous, more dangerous than Trump.
There is another side to this. This belief in their own self-righteousness and knowledge, combined with the lack of ability to rationally think or seek to understand anyone else’s point of view, and the reliance on emotion actually leads to the very thing they claim to be decrying – Hate. It is almost beyond parody that a tremendous fuss was created by the press about whether Donald Trump and his supporters would actually accept the result of the election, but when Hillary supporters riot, the silence is deafening.
It is a sad indictment of our own press in this country that newspapers like the Sunday Herald can carry articles commenting on the horrific hate crimes against ethnic minorities in the United States, as extreme right-wing groups seek to take advantage of the heightened tension caused by the election and to be quite frank, Trump’s own intemperate language; whilst at the same time failing to report or comment on those on the opposite side who engage in the same hate. In particular this threat against Milania Trump would I suspect have been on the front page of the Guardian and the main news item on the BBC if it had been made against Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama.
And imagine what would have happened if a Fox News journalist had suggested on the election of a president Hillary Clinton that “it’s about time for a presidential assassination”! The hate police would have been out in full force and my Twitter feed would have been full of liberals condemning the hatred and equating it with the killing of Jo Cox. This is an actual quote. But it was about the election of Donald Trump as president and it came from the Guardian journalist Monisha Rajesh.
The notion that to vote in the wrong way is a hate crime is an indication of the kind of Orwellian society to which the new college educated class are taking us. They are a cosseted generation, who, in the age of social media, are unable to deal with criticism or any negation of their obviously correct views. Their instinct is to ban, silence or to throw a tantrum. This is in effect what is happening on the streets of the US just now.
This is how Paul Joseph Watson sums it up – (I post this on here because it has some very interesting information and footage but please be aware that it contains some offensive language – so don’t watch it if you are offended by expletives – I am not condoning his language – its ugly but sadly his points are correct and some of the reactions are even worse).
There is an enormous danger here. Especially to our democracy. Just as after the Brexit election there were those in our elites who said that ordinary people should not have a vote, because they were too stupid to see the lies, so after the American presidential election there have been those who are saying the same thing. I found it very worrying that a narrative of the past couple of days is trying to say that Google were to blame for the election result because they allowed the spread of ‘false stories’. We are only a couple of steps away from the demand that a free press/internet be muzzled, or that only the right stories can get out. This will of course be done in the name of truth. Freedom of religion and a free press are the foundation of any democracy. It is little wonder those who hate real democracy want to see them taken away. In a post-truth world those who want only their own truth to prevail will tell lies and suppress in order to preserve ‘the truth’.
And again it is a fascinating thing that a world in which academia has been dominated by the meta-narrative that there are no meta-narratives, is now suddenly crying truth! The Oxford dictionary word of the year has just been announced as “post-truth”. Because you see people only voted for Brexit because of lies. And they only voted for Donald Trump because of lies. If only they had The truth or the college education to understand that truth, then everything in the liberal paradise would be fine. And so our liberal elites will now look for ways that they can indoctrinate and suppress not only the college educated, but also the rest of the populous. And as a result they will play into the hands of the extremist Right. Both feed of each other. A plague on both your houses!
Even as I write this the following advert has appeared in my email:
You can Help Trump Extremism – Lies, Paranoia, Fears, Distrust. With populism sweeping away elites and institutions, and fake news driving out truth, the world needs access to its greatest minds more than ever. Only informed, trustworthy, independent, and above all fact-based analysis can enable the world to understand – and confront – the mounting forces of global disorder.
This from a publication sponsored by, amongst others, t the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. One suspects that this fact-based analysis will include only the facts that suit the predetermined liberal narrative!
From a Christian perspective none of this is new. The devil is the father of lies. Lies which he claims are true. The world is a mess of confusion and has always been since the Fall, post truth! But there is one who came who is The Truth. In these dark and confusing days, I am delighted that there is light and clarity in Christ!