Just in case you are wondering how Stanford University defines “Democracy,” you can safely assume that it does not include anything that is not left-wing.
This item caught my eye this morning in the campus newspaper of Stanford, Stanford students and professors anticipate University’s inaugural Democracy Day.
Having some faith in my fellow man, I thought, “How nice! Stanford, the gem of expensive, elite education on the West Coast, is making a genuine effort to instill in its students a robust commitment to the free and open exchange of ideas and to a vibrant, healthy democracy in which people from across the political spectrum can gain exposure to the arguments of others.” Silly, naïve me.
Stanford seems to be taking the event seriously:
Next Tuesday will mark the University’s inaugural Democracy Day. No classes will be scheduled on this day, and Stanford organizations, including the Center for Deliberative Democracy, the Haas Center for Public Service, the Stanford Prevention Research Center and Stanford in Government (SIG), will sponsor events scheduled from 10:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Wow—no classes. That means that if you want to learn about mathematics, biochemistry, American history and so on that day, you will have to do so on your own. The only option for anything you the student or the American taxpayer through student loans at Stanford are paying for that day in terms of education is to attend an event in which no non-leftist ideas will be on display.
Think I am exaggerating? Do I ever do that, dear reader? Just glance over the schedule of events and try to find any political speaker to the right of Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, who is one of the speakers.
The organizers might argue, “Well, Senator Merkley is a Stanford graduate and so it makes sense for us to invite him.” Fine. Just wondering if similar invitations were made to other Stanford alums such as Senator Josh Hawley or the conservative Democrat and former Congressman Dan Lipinski. Kind of doubt it.
It is perfectly fine for Stanford to invite Senator Merkley but not to also feature speakers on the right at something grandly dubbed “Democracy Day” is well, you know, ridiculous. The whole point of a Democracy Day is, after all, to celebrate diversity of ideas. Stanford is making a mockery of the whole point of a university, which is to engage in truth seeking and not just provide platforms to progressive politicians. Here is how Merkley is described:
Since his election to the Senate in 2008, Senator Merkley has been a consistent voice for progressive causes and championed voting rights for all Americans, good-faith immigration policies, and climate change legislation.
Get it? If you are not for open borders, massive spending on green stuff and so on you are not acting in good faith and are somehow against Democracy.
By the way, a major project of the social science establishment at Stanford is the concept of:
deliberative democracy and its ability to change the way we think, interact, and govern
which is based on the idea that if only the ignorant masses are tutored by the expert class, they will vote the right way. There is a session on this fundamentally anti-democratic notion at Democracy Day and how wonderful rule by elites is.
Stanford also regards a sort of green mysticism as a key component of democracy:
Merging Science & Contemplative Practice for Climate Action with Project Drawdown
Project Drawdown has led years of research and analysis by scholars around the world to identify the proven technologies and practices that are most effective in reversing the buildup of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere.
In this session, Crystal Chissell, Project Drawdown's Senior Director of Drawdown Communities, will discuss the Drawdown framework of climate solutions and a template for making a personal climate action plan that can be supported by contemplative practice.
Yeah, that is what millions of people have fought and died for—personal climate action plans.
One looks in vain for anyone on the panel (featuring noted Trump critic, Michael McFaul) entitled Is Democracy in Danger? An Interdisciplinary Conversation who is a Republican or a non-left wing academic. Yes Stanford, Democracy Day definitely needs to be a marathon of progressive propaganda. That is what diversity is all about!
Note that one of the panelists in that session is Prof. Hakeem Jefferson who says on his Twitter page:
Race is the central organizing feature of American politics. Pro-democracy.
Well, speaking as a woman I could plausibly argue that gender is…
Another person on this panel is a journalist called Janine Zacharia (does being a visiting lecturer entitle her to be called “Prof. Janine Zacharia?”—her highest degree seems to be a BA) who tweeted recently:
@janinezacharia Have long wanted to mock up a nightly news broadcast of most consequential stories. Every night would lead with a climate change segment. Excited @abcnews is creating a climate unit. Hope other news channels center the issue in their coverage, not do it episodically.
Great—this person wants us to live in a world where every news broadcast would start with climate alarmism. What this person’s credentials are for talking about democracy are a little on the mystifying side.
Then there is a journalism instructor called Cheryl Phillips whose Twitter feed is a litany of anti-police, anti-Republican vitriol.
Oh—and there is Mehran Sahami who comes from big tech, which is soooooo known for being fair to conservatives.
There is a serious problem here. Stanford is one of the most important universities in the world. It is canceling classes proper to teach students about “democracy,” but it is equating it with the trendy topics like climate change and is offering no sessions on the eternal verities of democracy and is offering no representation to people who care about issues such as the ongoing slaughter of the unborn or religious liberty or anything that is not “progressive.” This is not education. This is indoctrination and a distortion of what democracy is: the thrashing out of opposing views and consensus making and the maintenance of peaceful pluralism.
Shame on Stanford. It is cancelling classes in favor or blatant progressive proselytizing. They should call this travesty, “Leftist Social Activism Day.” It is a disservice to Stanford students because it makes a mockery of what it purports to celebrate, Democracy, in favor of a highly predictable regimented worldview. This is unworthy of what used to be a great university. It is not exposing its students to anything but duly approved progressive pap.
If you want your kid to give up a day of classes once a year to learn to mouth slogans, send him or her to Stanford.