James Hofmann

Ah, the halcyon days of college; the serenity of the campus where students could find a quiet place to study and reflect upon what they were learning in class.

The changing seasons, each with its natural beauty and new activities: football in the fall; going home for the holidays; the dances, plays, outdoor concerts in the springtime; and then going home for the summer to work and earn enough money to pay for next year’s tuition. The only rally was a pep rally. The only fire was the bonfire before the big game. Ah, the halcyon days of college.

Those days included the rigors of self-discipline and dedication to learning. There were required core studies in English, math, science, American history, government, the classics and other areas. Then came the additional required studies in a field of choice which, if successfully completed, led to a rewarding career and life’s work.

Being successful in college wasn’t easy. It was hard work. In the liberal arts, where discussions were free and open, students had to explore new ideas and listen to various points of view. The professors didn’t teach what to think but how to think. The ideals that made America great and free were a given. Expanding those ideals to all Americans and to the world was the challenge. That challenge would be met through individual effort, hard work and a dedication to and through all professions to serve our nation and our neighbors whoever they were.

Colleges provided the leaders for the greatest generation that saved the world from socialist totalitarianism and the horrors of fascism. They gave us the scientists that cured diseases, entrepreneurs who created new industries and millions of jobs, planted the seeds of the green revolution and built a strong, growing economy.

In those days, the college campus provided a higher education. The buildings were classical architecture on the outside, where classical thinking of faith and reason were explored freely and preserved on the inside.

Today, the buildings may still have a classical appearance, but on the inside they have become Berlin 1938, Moscow 1918 and China 1949. Freedom of expression is gone. Freedom of speech is gone. Classical studies in literature and “political science” are gone. The Age of Reason and The Age of Enlightenment – if not gone – are not taught as ideas, but as atheistic dogma. As for the professors, goodbye, Mr. Chips; hello radical left-wing professors, radical greens, radical feminists, radical racists, radical gays and radical anyone who is anti-American.

Disagree? Take a look around. Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have all been denied the right to speak.

On some college campuses, the Bible is considered hate speech and conservative students have been told to withdraw from classes. Students in health care have been denied degrees because they are against abortion.

Try to find a conservative professor. Try to find a conservative college newspaper; they are rare. It is only a matter of time before you will find a ladies’ room filled with men and a men’s room filled with women. Forget the Internet; can the invasion of privacy get any worse than that?

The government and the colleges have colluded to make a college education horribly expensive, trapping students into indecent loans that will take decades to pay. In the meantime, college administrators tremble in fear and melt like butter on the griddle when faced with the demands of every radical group on campus. These groups speak of diversity and freedom, but all they pursue is power – the power to destroy. They prove it every time they prevent free speech on campus or elsewhere. They are not the only bullies on campus. They are led by Marxist, socialist, progressive professors.

On campus and among the weak lemming-like minds that come out of the colleges, freedom of speech is denied. Freedom of religion is attacked relentlessly; freedom of association is suspect, freedom of the press is censored and political correctness has run amok.

College – good grief – the American mind is closing on campus. We have gone from the halcyon days of “Boola Boola” to the bigoted age of PC burn the flag, burn the Constitution and campus bullies.

To recent graduates who have had to drink the Kool Aid for four years, there is still time to open your minds to freedom, fairness and personal responsibility. May you be intelligent enough to grow into those values.

James Hofmann lives in Moab. He is a retired educator, corporate trainer, program developer, operations manager and engages in a variety of volunteer pursuits.

Today, (college) buildings may still have a classical appearance, but on the inside they have become Berlin 1938, Moscow 1918 and China 1949. Freedom of expression is gone. Freedom of speech is gone.