Tue, Jun

The Death of Liberalism In Education … a Death-Blow to Western Civilization


ALPERN AT LARGE--I am a liberal.  I am also a conservative.  I didn't like it when Presidential candidate George H.W. Bush used "liberal" as a pejorative word, and I don't like it when the term "conservative" is used as a pejorative word, either. 

I am also a California Republican--my wife is a Massachusetts Democrat.  It's not too hard to figure out how we're different, how we're similar, and why we both vehemently disagree on various political issues but are strictly aligned on various matters with respect to education, civilized behavior, academic excellence, and family values (particularly with respect to our children, who we both adore).

1) Mine is a generation grown up on the Brady Bunch, Partridge Family, MASH, All in the Family, Star Trek and the Twilight Zone.  Live or in syndication, there was a bedrock of values and solidarity promoted by a post-World War II atmosphere and a post-Vietnam War atmosphere.

Liberalism was a vital way of exploring and questioning society, and a vital way to improve it.  Lose the conservative foundation (follow the law, change the law legally if that is needed, don't break the law, play by the rules, question authority but otherwise respect and adhere to it) and you've got no societal bedrock on which to improve or reflect on society.

2) Mine is a generation where song and art and education were best enshrined in Saturday morning educational/music shorts known as Schoolhouse Rock, whose founder and creator Bob Dorough just passed away.

As with Dr. Seuss, Dr. Spock (no, not Mr. Spock), Charles Schultz, Isaac Asimov and a host of Western-educated, common-sense conservative but open-minded liberal artists and scientists emphasized both the need to keep one's feet on the ground and the simultaneous need to reach for the stars.

3) I have a Bachelor of Arts Degree (no Bachelor of Science Degrees allowed) from Revelle College at UC San Diego, where both science and liberal arts were strictly demanded and adhered to.  Both a major and non-contiguous minor, where unrelated academic disciplines were required, were the hallmarks and challenges needed to be overcome for graduation.

So liberal arts, humanities, social studies and the like were and are as vital as the sciences.  And, in fact, most of us "Renaissance Men" revered those philosophers of the Greco-Roman era and the Renaissance who--more often than not--were scientists as well.  One aspect of education and though promoted the other, and enriched the other, and validated the other.

And to this day, it's enhanced my daily life as a physician and a neighborhood council board member.

But this article, this message, isn't about me, or MY generation.  It's about the abused generations of youth (who may not be all or yet "woke" about their being abused) whose academic starts have been hampered by this pathetic creature with tenure at Cal State Fresno (warning--the language is pathetic and profanity-laced):

Yes, this creature--I have a hard time calling her "human" because that requires a level of behavior, and a rejection of crude and animalistic tendencies, has all the rights in the world to belittle and defame and besmirch the memory of the late First Lady Barbara Bush, but unfortunately she also has the right to a six-digit figure with tenure at Cal State Fresno.

And despite the outrage of a so-called "professor" speaking and tweeting in the way she has (and let's keep the focus on her, please), there's not a thing that Cal State Fresno can do about her keeping her job.

Certainly the alumni can drop any and all donations to Cal State Fresno, and the rest of the staff can keep her on paid leave or require her to stay away from all teaching assignments, because what the alumni, students, and teachers CAN do is to demand their professors TEACH, and show what an educated adult role model can do for young minds.

This creature might call herself a liberal, and a Muslim, but every adult liberal and Muslim I know wouldn't want a grown-up harpy of a child "teaching" or influencing their beloved children.

If anything, this "liberal" or "Muslim" creature is anything BUT liberal or Muslim.  She's just a child in an adult's body.

But to be liberal, or to be conservative, is to be an adult.  Up isn't down, wrong isn't right, and flexibility and open-mindedness isn't the same as nihilistic anarchy.

In many ways, being an ardent Democrat, or an ardent Republican, or an ardent Independent, is just a different path to the same goal.  Freedom but security, kindness but conviction of purpose, rights and responsibilities both shared by all.  And yes, being both liberal and conservative when the time comes to be either...or both at the same time, which is usually the case in the adult world.

The need to be liberal, with a conservative foundation of thought and of action, is a primary hallmark of Western civilization.

Without liberalism--TRUE liberalism--Western civilization (and perhaps civilization in general) founders.  The adults are supposed to lead the way in being both liberal, and conservative, with respect to being open-minded and with common sense.

Any other approach to society leads to fascism and barbarism ... which is anything but liberal, and we've seen the genocidal results of that road.

Calling all adults (including JFK Democrats and Reagan Republicans):  Retake your liberalism before it's too late!

(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D. is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud father and husband to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He is also a Westside Village Zone Director and Board member of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Planning and Outreach Committees, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee. He was co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and chaired the nonprofit Transit Coalition and can be reached at [email protected]. He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)


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