Four Years at a Liberal Arts College Turned Me into a Conservative

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Revmitchell, Aug 16, 2016.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    Like everyone who cons themselves into attending a liberal arts college, I was captivated by the idea of changing the world by immersing myself in a diverse pool of academic thought, theory, and action. Boy, was I wrong! After my four-year stint at university, I was transformed from a plucky, young, free-thinking free spirit into a cranky, old, get-off-my-lawn conservative.

    It all started with a quiet disdain for political correctness, a seed that grew—through the miracle of college—into a giant beanstalk. I quickly learned that, at liberal arts school, the general aim of each class was to identify something problematic, discuss it, and then refuse to do anything about it. We were expected to offer solutions, of course, but the only acceptable answers were noncommittal and intersectional. Any attempt to get to the actual root of a problem was generally seen as problematic too, and a politically correct policing was instituted to hinder any real solutions of important issues. Most group discussions devolved into us asking one another how to ask questions about something problematic without being problematic.

    After a childhood and adolescence of being the only black kid in class, I never would have considered myself an enemy of political correctness. I was rather indignant about exposing cultural insensitivities until I was inundated with college classes that seemed dedicated to manifesting real and imagined enemies from every available shadow. So I began to check out and (much to my surprise) quietly echo the conservative sentiments against oversensitivity that I had once dismissed as bigotry...........

    .......................
    "Income tax" seems like an abstract alien concept when you're not making any money, but it becomes much more real when cash has magically disappeared from your paycheck. I couldn't believe my peers and I had spent so much time shaming conservatives for wanting lower taxes. After making an income, the tax I paid on it was suddenly all I cared about. And stopping government waste seems way more important to me now than funding government programs.

    A past version of myself would've called this prioritization problematically selfish. The current, cheerfully cynical version of me that college created knows I can spend my money much more wisely than any of the politically correct stoners with questionable degrees who are running the show in DC.

    *Note - some info in this link is a bit descriptive.

    http://www.vice.com/read/liberal-arts-college-turned-me-into-a-conservative?utm_source=vicefbus
     
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  2. Baptist Believer

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    The writer of this piece disqualified himself/herself from my serious consideration with this first sentence.

    As someone who has a liberal arts education, I was not "conned" by anyone else or myself to attend. I chose to do it and did immerse "myself in a diverse pool of academic thought, theory, and action" in such a way that has prepared me to change my part of the world.

    Did I agree with everyone and everything I heard? Hardly. What it important that I heard many different kinds of voices and viewpoints in a context where it could be carefully considered? Absolutely.

    The first sentence is essentially a blanket condemnation of liberal arts education. That's incredibly foolish. Why should anything else this person have to say matter?
     
  3. Smyth

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    Anyone with both a heart and brain would be turned conservative by liberal Liberal Arts colleges. The Liberals' intolerance for addressing root causes rather than blaming "white males" is so glaring and repulsive that it should wake up for anyone who grew up in a sheltered life.
     
  4. Revmitchell

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    You and I are friends so please do not take this the wrong way but you seem to be rather emotional over this. I think that if you have any interest on this subject that you are acting foolishly to disregard her words for that reason.

    The reason is that a reasonable person can in fact condemn a liberal arts education. However, she is speaking to the way in which it is delivered and not the general education itself.
     
  5. carpro

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    My suggestion would be to just get over yourself. She had a similar education and took a different view. That's the way the world works.

    Meaning simply that it doesn't disqualify the opinion of either one of you.
     
    #5 carpro, Aug 16, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2016
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  6. Baptist Believer

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    You are confusing "liberal" politics with the liberal arts.

    You are embracing a stereotype instead of dealing with facts. I feel confident that you have not received a liberal arts education.
     
  7. Baptist Believer

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    I'm just sick of the stereotypes. I would expect a better understanding of the issues here since a solid theology degree is part of a clasaic liberal arts education.

    I will actually disagree with this. A well-informed and reasonable person would not express a blanket condemnation of a liberal arts education, just like they would not condemn a technical education such as engineering.

    I did read her article and discovered she spent her days getting high before and after class. No wonder she was not prepared to think about what was presented. Moreover if what she presented was even remotely true, she went to a lousy school. My guess is that she was a lousy student and did not do the required work to learn to think critically and engage the material.

    Back when I was in school, we were regular assigned a few hundred pages of reading a week that we had to be ready to engage with in class. That included political texts (Humanist Manifesto, Communist Manifesto, etc.) where we analyzed the ideas and explored the presuppositions and anthropology behind those viewpoints as well as philosophy texts and their application to current issues.

    A liberal arts education teaches people to think. Lots of ideas are thrown in your direction and good students are assisted in working through the implications of those issues. A student who is high all the time (and justifies it because they don't like the stupid things that other people do -->"PC attitudes") probably thinks that the role of a school is to tell people what to believe.
     
  8. Use of Time

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    I think this author is really confused at terminology here. I'm finding myself wondering if the author understands the difference between a liberal leaning political philosophy and a liberal arts degree? Liberal Arts schools are not schools that teach people a liberal worldview. That isn't what the term means. Like...at all.

    Unless of course the school I linked below is considered liberal. I assure you, it is not. I have a History degree from said school. A liberal arts degree. I'm sorry but the article makes no sense.

    https://www.vmi.edu/news/headlines/2015-2016/vmi-ranked-eighth-among-liberal-arts-colleges.

    The U.S. Naval Academy was a top ten ranked liberal arts school at one point too.
     
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  9. Crabtownboy

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    I cannot take this article seriously. Why?:
    1. The college/university is not mentioned.
    2. Liberal education is not defined in any way.
    3. Her major is not given.
    4. She does not mention any required readings.

    This appears to simply be a political inspired piece that is simply that, political.

    A true liberal arts education does is not political in nature. Let me give an example from St. John's College in Annapolis. St. John's is one of the few true liberal arts colleges left in the States. Her criticisms are so vague they are meaningless.

    Being a kind person I'd give her a D-.

    Here is the Senior reading list for the 2017 spring semester.

    From: http://www.sjc.edu/files/3714/6920/9756/Annapolis_Reading_List_Spring_2017.pdf
    The format at the link is easier to see and understand.

    Also you can view the reading list for all for years at the link. No way is this exhaustive reading list left or right leaning.

    [Edited to delete unformatted material, which may or may not be under copyright; please visit the link to view all materials.]
     
    #9 Crabtownboy, Aug 17, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2016

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