She Didn’t Make the Grade

Posted on May 5, 2014 by


Another commencement speaker bit the dust, as Condoleesa Rice, former Secretary of State, withdrew from her appointment to speak at Rutgers University, the New Jersey flagship institution of higher (or lower) education, due to the vocal and aggressive protests by a handful of faculty and students.  Now let me say that I was not in full agreement with some of the foreign policy decisions carried out under the Bush administration, when Rice was Secretary of State.  But then, there aren’t many commencement speakers with whom I am in full agreement.  So I don’t have a stake in this.

My question is:  What did Dr. Rice (yes, she also has a Ph. D., an earned one) do to get herself so hated by so few?  She didn’t actually DO anything in particular.  She just happened to serve under George Bush, whose name apparently causes hives for liberals.  And she served during the Iraq conflict, one which liberals swear was initiated to get oil from Iraq, not to destroy WMDs and spread democracy.  Never mind that we didn’t actually take any oil from Iraq.  Facts shouldn’t get in the way of a good conspiracy theory (and liberals accuse conservatives of conspiracy theories).  Never mind that such an intent was never at any time advanced as a formal reason for our entry into Iraq.  The radical liberal intelligentsia, those inhabiting the halls of academia, just couldn’t take it.  Ever since, they have hated George Bush and everyone associated with him.  Rice was one and so she fell victim to fascistic ideology of those few Rutgers faculty members.

But wait.  Aren’t academics tolerant?  Open to new ideas?  Open to debate?  Aren’t they open-minded and always willing to listen, even if they disagree?  That is what we have been led to believe, and which may have been true some time ago.  But it is unfortunately no longer the case.  Colleges and universities, public and private, have become hotbeds of “groupthink” since roughly the era of the New Left, certainly no later than the mid-1970s.  Faculty are reliably liberal.  But in many universities, they are not just reliably liberal but rabidly liberal and, to use Jonah Goldberg’s useful classification, “Liberal Fascists.”  They themselves are pretty far left-leaning, and they insist everyone else must be too, or be consigned to the outer regions of irrelevancy or worse.  In a word, they don’t want to hear any dissenting voices.  When one arises, they are like children who put their fingers in their ears when they hear something they don’t want to hear.  Censoriousness at its very best is at work here, along with a breathtaking hubris and a closed-mindedness that would make an ardent Holocaust denier proud.

This kind of thing has already happened to Charles Murray, who was disinvited as a conference speaker at Azusa Pacific University, a Christian school.  It has happened more frequently in recent years and appears to be on the increase.  University administrators cave to the pressure of a small group, faculty make a hypocritical gesture of having been harmed by ideas, and a few students who hang on their every word and action get in on the act.  At least the faculty have the courage of their (dumb) convictions (well, some anyway).  The administrators are simply contemptible for their extreme fecklessness.  So this is what our American universities seem to have become—infested with the most extreme vestiges of the New Left and Hippie era and governed by men and women who have no courage at all, except when it comes to soliciting money and spending it on useless projects and paying the faculty not to teach but to proselytize their Leftist faith.

Dr. Rice, despite her accomplishments, just didn’t make the grade at Rutgers.  Well Rutgers, you haven’t made the grade with me, though I doubt you will lose any sleep over it.  New Jerseyites, I hope you are proud of your university.  Finally, where is Governor Christie?