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Santorum’s Call for Campus Censors

Rick Santorum certainly knows how to pander to an audience. He’s running far to the right in Iowa for the Republican Presidential nomination, and so he goes after those darn librul professors:

“Let’s look at colleges and universities,” he said. “They’ve become indoctrination centers for the left. Should we be subsidizing that?” He also criticized Harvard University. Noting that its motto is “Veritas,” he said that “they haven’t seen truth at Harvard in 100 years.”

Santorum apparently hates Harvard because he was invited to speak there for David Horowitz’s Islamofascism Awareness Week and a few students protested his anti-Muslim views. That qualifies him to judge all of the views expressed at Harvard since 1911 as completely false.

When it comes to defunding colleges, as Inside Higher Ed reported back in 2006, Santorum said exactly the opposite in a speech to college officials:

Santorum told the presidents and other college officials that he was vigorously opposing efforts by some of his colleagues to crack down on nonprofit abuses in a way that would “throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

“I wasn’t going to sell my soul,” he said, “to get my name on a piece of legislation if the net effect to the nonprofit sector was negative.”

No, Santorum only sells his soul if it will get him votes. Apparently, Santorum now wants to throw the baby out if it’s not conservative enough.

At that 2006 event, Santorum said that future of the country mattered more than his ideological hatred of left-wing professors:

“there is no question that the majority of Republicans believe that higher education is ‘left,’ “ Santorum said. “We do, and it is.

“Having said that,” he added, “we also understand the importance of higher education to the future of this country, and whether we like your ideology or not, we understand that you’re the platform on which we have to build the future competitiveness of the country.”

Republican Congressional leaders, he said, have shown “remarkable restraint” in not punishing higher education for its ideology, Santorum said

That restraint is now gone. Santorum shows his great commitment to the First Amendment by declaring that the federal government should punish institutions for their ideology. If colleges aren’t supporting Republican ideas, Santorum tells us, the government should de-fund them. I’m not sure how that would work: perhaps every college would be required each year to fill out the proper bureaucratic Ideology Forms and be accredited by Republican officials as sufficiently conservative to receive government funds. Exactly how would colleges accomplish this goal? Presumably, by silencing left-wing professors and requiring the hiring of unqualified conservatives to academic posts. Everyone, liberal and conservative alike, should denounce the idea that the funding of higher education must depend on the display of the proper ideology.

About John K. Wilson

Author of "Patriotic Correctness: Academic Freedom and Its Enemies."

One comment on “Santorum’s Call for Campus Censors

  1. Pingback: A Quiet Start to 2012 « TrueblueNZ

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This entry was posted on December 31, 2011 by in academic freedom and tagged , .
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