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Published: Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 23:07


Taylor Wolken — THE BATTALION

Access to accurate and reliable information is vital to a functioning, free society. Media and education have historically been key sources for American ideals to be tested through rigorous debate and thoughtful dialogue. When it comes to youth in America, these institutions are failing.

A study by the Center for the Study of Popular Culture which surveyed 32 universities found 1,397 professors registered democrat while only 134 registered republican. 1,891 were unaffiliated. College is the incubator for young minds to grow and develop but with such lopsided bias among teachers, indoctrination is inevitable. Coddling young minds with such bias before they have significant experience of their own to draw upon is criminal in a free society that requires rigorous debate. Even at the conservative bastion that is Texas A&M, I have sat through classes where a liberal arts professor has used his soapbox to repeatedly refer to the death penalty as murder while shrugging off serious criticisms of their assertions. I sat through one class in Mays Business School where a professor likened an ideal society to a field of poppies. "When one is too short, the others pull it up.  When one grows too tall, the others pull it down." Both of these views certainly warrant rigorous debate, but don't have any place being offered as factual realities by professors at an esteemed university. The liberal ideology has become so pervasive in education that it is no wonder according to Pew research youth in America tilt 58 percent Democrat to 33 percent Republican.  

When it comes to media, more youth watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart than network news. Stewart and Colbert are arguably the only two television pseudo news sources that target youth.  Both Stewart and Colbert are incredibly entertaining with multiple Emmy Awards but are utter failures at honest dialogue or open debate. The shows are regularly framed along partisan lines deferring intellectual conversation for snarky one-liners and oversimplified simplifications of issues that fail at "truthiness."

Historically people have engaged in politics when the issues become relevant to each individual. Through targeted soft propaganda like Stewart's, youth are being engaged by politics before they have the necessary experience to put issues in context. In education, while youth are developing their core values, they are being bombarded with liberal ideals in a factual context.  This pervasive liberal reach stifles real academic debate and progress by tainting the lens through which youth view the world.  

This is only a tiny portion of the problem we have with the national debate over the direction of the country. As a nation we have fractured and debate has devolved into bumper sticker politics. We live in a world where it is Fox News or the other guys, The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal. Talk radio jocks or NPR, but nowhere has the forum for ideas been more skewed than in the youth demographic. Much of this is the fault of conservatives who have failed to connect with the youth in a meaningful way and our generation's anemic ability to question authority when we can Google any information we want. Either way, it is a travesty to live in a time when professors use their influence to mold young minds to their perspectives rather than facts and media can change the makeup of a country through pseudo intellectual analysis by targeting those who lack the experience to see the absurdity of it all.


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