Victor Davis Hanson: Leftists on College Campuses ‘Don’t Want to Argue in the Arena of Ideas’

$200,000 salaries for administrative university and college staffers are drivers of rising tuition costs, said Victor Davis Hanson on Tuesday. Donors and alumnus networks should withhold funding from corrupted left-wing schools in order to compel political changes, he added.

Hanson made his remarks on Tuesday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight in an interview with Breitbart News’s Senior Editor-at-Large Rebecca Mansour.

As an emeritus professor of classics at California State University, Fresno, Hanson spoke of “diversity” and “gender” administrators earning incomes over three times the national average.

“Administrative costs at the [California State University] system in the last 20 years went up 215 percent,” said Hanson. “Suddenly, if you were an assistant provost for diversity, or you were a special liaison to the president on matters of gender, it was okay to take $200,000 and not teach a class. So we have all this administrative bloat, and we have these ‘studies’ courses that are not rigorous, they’re therapeutic.”

Donors and alumni must make their ongoing funding of colleges and universities conditional in order to force positive changes at the schools, said Hanson: “I don’t think it will really change until donor and alumni start to say, ‘I’m not going to give them any more money,’ or students say, ‘I’m not going to go to that campus.’”

The faculty of post-secondary schools insincerely support “progressive” politics for fear of being “ostracized” by their peers or “fired” by management, said Hanson, adding that college and university campuses are “about 95 percent progressive.”

“It’s sort of like the last days of the Soviet Union on the college campus,” said Hanson:

Nobody really believes anymore in the ideas, but it’s an apparat. Faculty are like they’re on a May Day dais at a May Day parade in the Soviet Union around 1980, where they just sit there in the cold and they look at the missiles and the tanks go by and they salute like they’re good communists, and then they go to their private mansions and don’t believe, anymore. I don’t think any of the faculty secretly do believe in any of this leftist stuff – most of them don’t – but they’re just frightened and they go along with it.

President Donald Trump should actualize previous threats he made to impose financial penalties on universities and colleges violating First Amendment rights via assorted left-wing “speech code” and “safe space” policies.

“It’s sort of analogous to sanctuary cities,” said Hanson. “[Donald Trump] doesn’t have to make a big issue of it, he just has to quietly say, ‘If you don’t follow federal immigration law, we’re not going to release federal funds because you’re in violation of the Constitution.’ So he just has to say to universities, ‘If you do don’t allow students to express themselves on campus in a free manner, then we’re going to withhold federal support.’ … If you’re not going to support the First Amendment, then you’re not going to be a beneficiary of the First Amendment.”

Leftists demonize their political detractors in order to justify a by-any-means-necessary approach to defeating them, said Hanson:

Once you say that Donald Trump is Mussolini or Hitler or Stalin, or whatever demonic figure you can find, then it’s okay to do anything, because who wouldn’t want to get rid of Hitler? The same thing applies on campuses. Once you say that a speaker is a racist or a fascist, it then becomes a patriotic duty of naive, young, and idealistic student to stop it. The key is to stop that type of language, and when you try to stop that type of language, it’s called “hate speech.”

Hanson called for the First Amendment’s protections for free speech and expression to be actualized on college and university campuses.

“There is no such thing as ‘hate speech,'” said Hanson. “There’s difficult speech, there’s angry speech, but there’s speech and it’s going to be free on campus no matter what people say, and you’re going to have to defend your ideas on the merits whether [or not] you’re demonizing somebody, the person, the messenger rather than the message.”

Breitbart News Tonight airs Monday through Friday on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel 125 from 9:00 p.m. to midnight Eastern (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific).


Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.

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