Located deep in the Heartland is Butler University. Sporting a beautiful campus and renowned for being a top academic institution in the area, the private college has been a leader in the midwest for more than century, and a place where students of all political persuasions can come together to debate competing ideas about life, government, science, and the arts.
Now, despite being located in Indiana—a state that voted overwhelming for President Trump in November—the university appears to be trafficking in anti-Trumpism.
During the Fall 2017 semester, students at Butler will be able to take a "special topics" course called "Trumpism & U.S. Democracy." In the course's description, students are told they'll be taught the real reason Trump won the 2016 election and they'll be provided "strategies for resistance" to the Trump administration's evil agenda.
"Donald J. Trump won the U.S. Presidency despite perpetuating sexism, white supremacy, xenophobia, nationalism, nativism, and imperialism," the course description reads. "This course explores why and how this happened, how Trump's rhetoric is contrary to the foundation of the U.S. democracy, and what his win means for the future. The course will also discuss, and potentially engage in, strategies for resistance."
Butler's anti-Trump rhetoric isn't surprising, of course.
The overwhelming majority of U.S. colleges have been infested with leftism for decades, but even by liberals' standards, this course sounds extreme.
College is unquestionably a time when students can and should work tirelessly to challenge themselves to think differently, which is best accomplished by being exposed to a wide array of new ideas, including ideas students might vehemently oppose. But, at some point, education stops being educational and starts being propaganda, and Butler's course on Trump, which could just as easily be called "Why Donald Trump and All His Supporters Are Racist, Bigots, and Homophobes," has clearly crossed the line.
The irony of the Left's view, especially on college campuses, is that liberals claim to love "diversity" and free expression, but they work tirelessly to stifle the diversity they disagree with. Religious students are bigots, so they don't deserve a voice. White students are privileged, so they should be silenced. And Trump supporters? They're barely human! Why should their hateful rhetoric be allowed on campus?
Of course, one person's "hateful" is another person's passionate belief, and therein rests the truly vital nature of freedom of speech and the free exchange of ideas; if some speech can reasonably be silenced, then all speech can reasonably be silenced. Tyranny by the majority then becomes the only logical, truly consistent point of view, and there's nothing more horrifying than a culture that embraces such a position. And yet, that's exactly where America is headed, and you can thank higher-educational institutions such as Butler University for helping the nation move in that direction.
Rather than coerce college students into believing the president is "perpetuating sexism, white supremacy, xenophobia, nationalism, nativism, and imperialism," universities should present students with all sides of every issue and let them make up their own minds. Propaganda shouldn't be peddled as a valid academic discipline, and, perhaps most importantly, conservatives should stop tolerating these sorts of views on campus as though they are unavoidable.
Students, parents, and free-thinking academics must stand for true freedom of expression and against propaganda courses like the one being offered at Butler University. If they don't, the problem will only continue to worsen, until one day, the country we cherish is little more than a footnote in some future liberal's history textbook.
Justin Haskins (@TheNewRevere) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. He is an executive editor at The Heartland Institute. Katie Clancy is a senior at Butler University. She's graduating in May with a bachelor's degree in political science and Spanish.
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