Conservatives in America aren’t too happy with how US universities are run today, where liberal professors are giving “ridiculous” classes that indoctrinate students to “hang out and protest all day long and cry on our dime”.
They see former, Harvard-educated US president Barack Obama as the embodiment of the liberal establishment who want everybody to think like them, and Trump (despite his Ivy league degree from the University of Pennsylvania), as the antithesis, according to Washington Post (via Mercury News).
“Why does a kid go to a major university these days?” said Frank Antenori, 51, Arizona state legislator and 2016 Trump delegate to the Republican National Convention.
“A lot of Republicans would say they go there to get brainwashed and learn how to become activists and basically go out in the world and cause trouble.”
— Mercury News (@mercnews) November 26, 2017
Antenori and other conservatives want to transform the elitist, politically correct US higher education institutions of today into one that actually provides practical skills for the job market, so that taxpayers will actually see return of investment from their taxes.
Antenori said he learnt how to shoot a rattlesnake using a deadeye pistol blast from 20ft through his training in the US army, not from a college professor.
“The establishment has created this thing that if you don’t go to college, you’re somehow not equal to someone else who did.”
He’s not the only one with disdain towards US universities, despite the sector’s international prestige. More than half (58 percent) of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents think colleges and universities negatively impact “the way things are going in the country”, according to a Pew Research Center study in July. Two years ago, it was only 37 percent.
Conversely, 72 percent of Democrats say they have a positive impact.
Another Gallup poll found only a third of Republicans are confident in universities. Trump himself has called many US colleges “crazy” during his election campaign trail.
During the campaign, Trump said many colleges “have gone crazy” and that young people were “choking on debt.” He criticized universities for getting “so much money from the government” while “raising their fees to the point that’s ridiculous”.
Steve Farley, a Democratic state senator disagrees with these views, which some believe have led to cuts in education funding and the vilification of universities. The Trump administration has called for sharp cuts to the federal work-study program as well as other programs funding university research in his first budget proposal.
“Government should be run like a family. We should be raising our children to be the best people they can be,” Farley said.
“We should not be manufacturing them to be products to be consumed. That is a basic ethical and moral flaw in this whole argument, that everything’s got to have financial payback so we can reduce taxes for the Koch brothers.”