Curtis Dahlgren
Academania and prevailing opinion: a Doozie of a problem
By Curtis Dahlgren
March 6, 2020

"I like to think of him as America's lifeguard. As a teenager, Ronald Reagan saved many lives as a lifeguard on the Rock River . . The day he was inaugurated in 1981, a local radio announcer famously declared, 'The Rock River flows for you tonight, Mr. President' . . He lifted our country up at a time when we were in the depths of economic, cultural, and spiritual malaise. We were told that we must accept that the era of American greatness was over. But with his optimism and common sense, he held up a mirror to the American soul to remind us of our exceptionalism." – Sarah Palin, USA TODAY, on the 30th anniversary of the Gipper's inauguration

BERNIE SANDERS, BARACK OBAMA, AND ACADEMANIA take "exception" to our land's exceptionalism, although Obama had a piece published on the same page as Governor Palin. Just wondering if he gave the job to a speech writer, but it said in part:

"Reagan understood that while we may see the world differently and hold different opinions about what's best for our country, the fact remains that we are all patriots who put the welfare of our fellow citizens above all else."

HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN SINCE 2011: can you imagine Tip O'Neil tearing up Reagan's State of the Union Address (or a Republican tearing up Obama's SOTU)?? When I say "Nancy Pelosi," what's the first thing that comes to mind? You know what comes to mind. She's almost immortal for that, but the main point here is that we are NOT all patriots who put the welfare of this land, your land, "above all else." The globalists have a twisted definition of many words, especially THAT word, "patriot." And the problem goes back to their college professors' opinions. The crap comes down from on high, as in the two-story outhouse.

A MONO-CULTURE. That's what today's Academania is trying to create. Dissent from the PC doxology is verboten. Traditionalists are being "weeded out" of the faculties. Jake Jacobs wrote a great column for RenewAmerica, "Do not call America's Founders 'Founding Fathers'; they aren't my daddy!" Jacobs said:

"I prefer to refer to the founders as Founding Fathers. I'm in pretty good company here. From Daniel Webster's 1820 Discourse Delivered At Plymouth to Abraham Lincoln's 1858 Electric Cord speech, they and many other great American statesmen referred to them as Fathers all the time."

THAT is the mantra of our "best and brightest." Fast forward from 2013 to 2020, and another conservative UW System professor is being smeared by a student (with cooperation by the UW-Oshkosh and student newspaper). For details, go to: Evidently, the student signed up for the course only to "GET" Dr. Pesta, and only attended enough classes to get alleged quotes for her complaint (she "felt harassment" of herself as a Democrat, the poor thing). Dr. Pesta's words had first amendment protection, so the University changed the complaint to a Title IX (gender) discrimination one.

But public universities aren't even half of the story. My new issue of National Review came yesterday and an article, "The Wayward Shepherd" reminded me that the "god of this world" has wormed his way under the tents of private and religious schools of higher learning, plus the seminaries, as well. Daniel J. Mahoney, the author, writes:

"Francis seemed suspicious of the most faithful Catholics . . [seen as] obsessed with the evils of abortion and sexual sins [etc] . . If Pope John Paul II stood up to Communist savagery and mendacity with a courage and integrity that helped ignite the revolutions of 1989, and if Benedict XVI gave soft nihilism a remarkably descriptive and accurate name, "the dictatorship of relativism," Pope Francis stood for nothing less than accommodating the world in the name of 'change' . . "

Flip Wilson called it The Church of What's Happening Now, years ago. That subject deserves a column of its own, but suffice it to say that whoever first said "Don't talk about religion or politics" had no idea what we'd be up against in 2020. You can take the religion out of politics, but you can't take the politics out of religion. You can find the article in the Feb. 24, 2020 issue of National Review. As a non-Catholic, I don't embrace 100 percent of it, but you have to wonder, maybe the Protestant churches won't be the only ones that split.

Well-written articles in NR alone won't do any good, of course, without grass-roots efforts by the common layman (letters to editors, letters to Boards of Regents, letters to legislators and school boards, etc.). We need to combine the Sagebrush Rebellion with Trump's Rust Belt Revival, regarding the Big Education monopoly. Then the Left would really go nuts!

P.S. Secularism-cum-nihilism has been dominant in the faculty lounges for over 50 years. A few quotes:

"Something wonderful, free, unheralded and of significance to all humanists is happening in the secondary schools. It is the adolescent literature movement. They may burn Slaughterhouse Five in North Dakota or West Virginia, but thank God the crazies don't do all that much reading. If they did, they'd find that they have already been defeated."The Humanist magazine, Jan/Feb 1976

They were celebrating the switch from Shakespeare to "modernity without restraint" and they'd thank "the Thing" now, not God.

"Note: Please refrain from moralizing of any kind. Students may indeed 'tune out' if they are subjected to 'preachy' talk about 'proper English' and the moral obligation to 'do one's best' in class . . " – textbook "Gateway English" (Macmillan, 1970)

PPS: JOHN STUART MILL wrote about the tyranny of prevailing opinion. Conventional 'wisdom.' 'Consensus' versus "last century's outdated" values and mores. A Doozie of a problem.

America, and the church, needs another lifeguard – like Reagan, eh?

© Curtis Dahlgren


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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