Can the Right Afford to Neglect Academia?

By Chidike Okeem, Contributor to US Daily Review.

It is common for right-wingers to inveigh against academia and the elitism that it gives rise to—especially where sociology and the social sciences are concerned. The impulse for this attitude is certainly understandable. Manifestly, academia is dominated by liberal elitists and has become an unremitting factory for disastrous left-wing ideas—ideas that have incontestably ruined societies and communities where they have been implemented. However, there is a fundamental distinction between critiquing the liberal bent of academia and glibly dismissing academia as a whole.

If conservatism is going to continue to be a robust movement, rather than an ideology of insubstantial and repetitious slogans—much like liberalism has been reduced to—there has to be a vigorous intellectual movement that goes along with any populism. In other words, we need Heather Mac Donalds to go along with our Sarah Palins. While think tanks are respectable and important, the right has to develop a strategy to take back academic institutions. However, before academia can be retrieved from the grasp of liberals, it must first be understood that social sciences, sociology, and academia are not evil things per se, but they can lead to deleterious consequences when placed in the wrong hands.

It is an indisputable fact that academia shapes culture. It is the ideas and rationalizations of venerated academics that mainstream media anchors consume and subsequently broadcast to the populous. Even though there are many significant think tanks in existence, they certainly do not have as much influence as traditional academic institutions. This is mainly due to the fact that traditional academic institutions contain tens of thousands of unmolded young minds patiently waiting to be educated.

It is no wonder, then, how the finest colleges and universities in the country assiduously churn out indoctrinated leftists who unthinkingly vote Democratic. Colleges and universities constantly receive blank intellectual canvases as students for liberal professors to artistically turn into walking Marxist masterpieces.

Clearly, the scholars serving as senior fellows in think tanks would make fantastic conservative professors at top institutions. Although they produce excellent scholarly work, they are not being utilized in the important function of liberating and enriching young minds. How are future leaders in conservative thought ever going to be created when there are very few people on university campuses to introduce conservative ideas to young people? Libertarians, by contrast, are solidly represented in academia. It is for this reason that we see a vibrant libertarian movement among young people.

Of course it would be preposterous to posit there is no conservative movement among young people. My argument is, however, that young people are conservatives in spite of college and not because of it. In fact, it is mostly intellectual curiosity that leads young people to unearth alternative viewpoints.

At a time when we are seeing the continued degradation of American culture, it is time that right-wingers with traditional moral views start taking back academia in order to offer students an alternative to the leftist bunkum that they are consistently immersed in. Unquestionably, most social science disciplines contain nothing more than regurgitated and debunked Marxist theory. This is because liberals are designing the courses—and conservatives are happy with simply dismissing academia.

Recently, the degenerate producers of the popular television show, Dancing with the Stars, announced that their upcoming season will feature a (female to male) transsexual as one of the contestants. While this decision can be looked at in isolation of the cultural shift that is occurring in the country, all discerning people understand that academia has created a defense for cultural taboos that would have never been brooked in days of yore.

Patently, it is the cultural relativism that leftist academics have championed for many decades that has led to the widespread acceptance and celebration of abominable acts, ideas, and people. Due to the fact that there is very little—if any—pushback from the right’s academics in the social sciences, liberals are winning the culture war.

A more shocking example of how liberal academics are winning the culture war is the recent federal study that was used to surreptitiously redefine the term ‘nuclear family’ by simply slipping in gay, married adoptive ‘parents’ into the definition of a nuclear family.

There are some sociological terms that are abstract and without concrete definitions—‘multiculturalism’ is one such term. However, the term ‘nuclear family’ has always had one accepted meaning: a marriage containing one man and one woman in one household with children.

In this astonishing video, Al Franken, with didactic arrogance, lectured a man from Focus on the Family because he made the mistake of believing that a liberal academic who conducted a federal study was sane enough to use the term ‘nuclear family’ appropriately. However, Ms. Blackwell, a Ph.D. in sociology, incorrectly included gays into her definition of ‘nuclear family.’ This led to Al Franken publicly embarrassing the Focus on the Family witness.

What was most alarming about this incident was the fact that it received so little attention and outrage. If liberal academics are completely capable of stealthily redefining critical words without scholarly pushback from conservative academics to expose the folly of their tactics, then the right should just cede the culture war to liberals and call it a day.

Without academic backing, conservatism will not enter the next generation with any intellectual strength and will certainly not flourish among the young. The time to end the conservative aversion to academia is now. Times as far too perilous, liberals are far too organized, and academia is far too important a tool to be neglected.

Mr. Okeem was a guest on the Price of Business radio show with Kevin Price. Hear that interview about that article here: Start at 39.00


Mr. Okeem is a freelance writer who blogs at He can be contacted at

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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