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Academic Freedom for Monterey? By: Kevin Howe
Monterey Herald | Sunday, May 07, 2006


A university where 90 percent of the professors are leftists probably has a blacklist against conservatives, said leftist-turned-conservative author and commentator David Horowitz.

CSU-Monterey Bay, where Horowitz brought his "campaign for academic freedom" Thursday, is such a campus, he said, a place where not one faculty member would sponsor a politically conservative club and where the president of the university's Republican Club, Christy Cozby, has received death threats.

Horowitz's appearance was sponsored by the university's Associated Students, the Republican Club and Young America's Foundation, and it drew a friendly audience of about 250 to the 500-seat university ballroom.

A student told him that he was "the first conservative speaker on campus in living memory," Horowitz said, adding that the Republican Club "won a big victory in getting the student government to fund a portion of this. There was a huge battle to get the pitiful funding for this event."

That unwillingness to sponsor venues for conservative ideas is "a travesty in a state as politically diverse as this state is," Horowitz said.

"The Taliban might as well be running the university."

The word "liberal" is constantly misused when applied to political debate on college campuses, he said. The proper terms are "leftist, communist, totalitarian." A liberal, Horowitz said, is willing to hear both sides of an argument.

Universities have become political platforms for the left, Horowitz contended, and mixing politics with any institution -- the military, religion or education -- "is a bad idea."

"You can learn a lot about political warfare in a political party, but not about reality," he said. Research that might lead down a path that "you've already decided is politically incorrect" becomes impossible, and professors whose expertise might lie in physics, chemistry, the arts or literature waste classroom time haranguing students with their predominantly leftist political views.

It is, said Horowitz, "indoctrination, not education," and students can get unfounded opinion or indoctrination on any street corner, over the radio and television. "You only have four years to get an education."

Professors, he said, "should be professional," offering expert instruction on the subjects they know about. Anything else "is a form of consumer fraud."

He urged students to seek a "bill of rights" for their university, similar to that adopted at Princeton University. Supporters distributed the "little red book" of Students for Academic Freedom, in conscious parody of "Quotations from Mao Tse Tung," the "little red book" that explained to the people of China the ideology of the Chinese Communist Party.

Horowitz offered a conservative view on a number of current events:

• The war in Iraq: It liberated 50 million Muslims, toppled an evil regime and gave women there the vote "for the first time since the Garden of Eden."

Arguments over the "casus belli" of the war -- weapons of mass destruction -- are no more relevant than the firing on Fort Sumter was on the outcome of the American Civil War.

"We've gotten into a serious place in this country," he said. "The Democratic Party and the left have defected to an enemy in time of war for the first time in our history."

• Immigration: Mexico is poor, not because it lacks resources, but because it is a country where the government and law enforcement can't be trusted, a "rotten culture of corruption and oppression."

Illegal Mexican immigrants are "the poorest of the poor" in the United States, but not only do they live better than they did in Mexico, they are also wealthy enough to send $65 billion a year back to their families. "How great is that?"

The left, he said, is the greatest threat to poor blacks and Latinos. Their politicians "have their bootheels on the necks of the poor" and their policies destroy educational and economic opportunity in America's inner cities.

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Kevin Howe can be reached at 646-4416 or khowe@montereyherald.com.


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