Being a college student and a libertarian are two difficult identities to hold at the same time, specifically because my professors are almost all admittedly socialist. It wouldn’t bother me if the university had a more open attitude toward varying ideas, but often times professors are the “shut-down” type. By this I mean that they shut down any student expressing an idea they disagree with. Not all are like this, of course, but a significant portion are. In addition to this atmosphere, there are numerous statements made during classes that kill me a little inside when I hear them. Here are some gems I have heard from professors so far:
- Germany’s hyperinflation of post-WWI was caused by capitalism.
- George H.W. Bush was an idealist.
- Bill Clinton sincerely cared about human rights in Third World countries and his record shows this.
- Richard Nixon did not want to use the military if he didn’t have to.
- George W. Bush was an isolationist.
- Barack Obama practices non-interventionism in the Third World and values self-determination for Middle Eastern nations.
I’ve had merely one week of classes thus far and already this is what I have been told.
I have to be frank and say that my college education is diminished every time a statement like many of the above is made. Why? Because I cannot move past the fact that my professors are blindly pro-status quo and often times give misleading lectures. I understand that my skepticism of government can sometimes get in the way of my education — especially because one of my majors is Politics — but nevertheless I have a low tolerance for ignorance (this is compounded when ignorance comes from somebody with a Ph.D.).
I’m sure many of you have encountered a similar situation during your college experience. My best advice: Push back but make sure your argument is fundamentally sound and be prepared for a “fight.” Be polite and don’t argue in a way which would make the profesor feel threatened. Like most people, professors do not like to be told they’re wrong in front of a crowd, so tact is important. If you don’t have a strong response to an argument your professor makes, don’t just go with whatever you can think of — go home, do your research, and continue a reasoned debate the next time you’re in class.
If you can craft your arguments intelligently you may have a chance of winning over your peers…or they’ll continue being sheep. Who knows?Published in