Right Thinking: Universities cause toxic political divide 2023

Nowadays, news headlines are bizarre. Florida’s governor is fighting one of the world’s most famous companies, which is so closely identified with the state that it’s impossible to conceive of one without the other.

After an unprecedented leak of a draft of its most eagerly awaited opinion by someone who most likely had broken critical promises made to the institution upon accepting employment, several U.S. Supreme Court justices, who have faced serious assassination threats in the last year and at least one actual attempt, are now required to live and travel with round-the-clock security in our nation’s capital.

Medical facilities have signs warning patients that threatening medical staff is a criminal, a serious concern prompted by passionate reactions to pandemic masking measures.

Parents and school board members are fighting in public, even in the school library, in several states, including Oklahoma. Librarians as troops in your cultural war are cruel.

These clashes are regular and intense due to our severe political division. Our society has always had ferocious party fighting, but poisonous political divide has never so severely impacted our core institutions.

Universities are a root cause of political toxicity.

Poisonous ideology infiltrating non-political sectors has generated this new societal illness. Business, the main professions, and public education leaders have always understood that to maintain peace in a contentious society and preserve their vital institutions, they must operate on neutral principles without divisive ideology.

These neutral principles meant that commerce produced critical products and services, physicians cured the sick, and attorneys upheld the rule of law without political influence, regardless of which party was in power. This autonomy required a political aversion. Leaders, like citizens, could select sides, but institutions kept out of it.

Today’s leaders and subordinates demand that their institutions actively engage in politics, rejecting this social compact. Their inspiration? Modern universities. Many don’t remember that many business and journalistic leaders didn’t go to prestigious institutions or college at all. They taught the country that their skill was independent of politics.

In those idyllic pre-war days, most leaders of our best colleges felt university education should be devoid of dogma. Professors cared mostly about teaching arithmetic, literature, and history. We must reinvigorate the university first to end this societal conflict.

Leave a Reply