Republicans and their lack of trust in America’s colleges and universities

There is much about the traditional Republican Party to admire.

But the current version of the GOP appears determined to move America in a direction of isolationism and neanderthalism (and, yes, I know that’s not a word).

As one example, consider what a majority of Republicans think about America’s colleges and universities. As the Pew Research Center reports

A majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (58%) now say that colleges and universities have a negative effect on the country, up from 45% last year.

The summary continues:

As recently as two years ago, most Republicans and Republican leaners held a positive view of the role of colleges and universities. In September 2015, 54% of Republicans said colleges and universities had a positive impact on the way things were going in the country; 37% rated their impact negatively.

By 2016, Republicans’ ratings of colleges and universities were mixed (43% positive, 45% negative). Today, for the first time on a question asked since 2010, a majority (58%) of Republicans say colleges and universities are having a negative effect on the way things are going in the country, while 36% say they have a positive effect.

The broad, and perhaps over simplified, argument among many Republicans is that America’s colleges and universities are interested in indoctrinating, not educating, students. The goal, according to this nonsense, is that faculty want to create millions of liberals (or socialists!) who will advance causes, such as climate change and universal health care, that will harm America.

An important distinction needs to be addressed here: There is nothing wrong with not wanting to go to college.

But we’re not talking about an individual choice, no matter the reason it is made. Instead we’re talking about millions of people buying into an asinine idea that higher education does more harm than good. One need to only consider how many of the top 100 universities in the world are located in the United States to recognize that higher education is an overwhelming positive force in this country and around the world.

Those of you who question that needs to smarten up, in a manner of speaking, and pull your head out of, well, somewhere.

I find it ironic that plenty of well-educated men and women — people who have graduated from college, and some with more than a bachelor’s degree — are espousing this idea. You talk about not appreciating one of the reasons you are who you are and how you got to the position you are.

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