Political incubators: how college campuses are hurting GOP campaigns

by John Hanna

Op-ed by John Hanna | Photo: Alamy

If one took a poll asking why college graduates chose to attend, their answer would likely be that a college degree opens more doors. Some might answer that college broadened their worldview, honed their skills, and helped them grow as a person. However, most college graduates won’t say how their political views changed as well in those same four years.

One study released by Pew Research Center found that 58 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents say colleges and universities have a negative effect on the United States.

Conversely, 72 percent of Democrats think colleges and universities are heading in the right direction of what is being taught on these campuses. Not surprising, as colleges and universities tend to have more liberal political climates. 

77 percent of Republicans and 92 percent of Democrats cite that college tuition has become too high for most people to afford, and this is why colleges are heading in the wrong direction. The consensus ends there as many Republicans believe professors too freely bring in their own social and worldviews and as a result shield students from what may be considered controversial issues. 

It is worth noting there is a generational split in this sentiment among Republicans. 96 percent of Republicans 65 and older cite professorial bias, compared to only 58 percent of Republicans 18 to 34. Moreso Donald Trump proposed an interesting solution to the problem of professor bias on college campuses.

In one speech made in Laconia, New Hampshire, before the 2016 election, Trump promised to “terminate common core, and bring education local.”

Trump proposed an interesting idea here, one that in a way echoes former House Speaker, Thomas “Tip” O’Neill, D-Mass, and his idea that politics is local.

In Trump’s case, he is suggesting reducing the influence of the federal government and letting states and local districts decide what and how colleges teach their students.

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