Attacks On Colleges Are Not Justified

To The Reader’s Forum:

The Heartland Institute bills itself as a “libertarian think tank.” However, its agenda is suspect.

It was in the forefront of denying the health effects of second-hand tobacco smoke while taking significant dollars from tobacco companies. Heartland has also attacked regulations against carbon emissions while accepting funding from industries like Exxon Mobil.

Heartland denies the well-proven fact that acid rain is caused by sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, denies the depletion of the ozone layer and has long taken a stand against the Endangered Species Act. The Institute has also attacked scientists whose research doesn’t agree with their agenda.

Is it any wonder that Heartland is against university education that fosters critical thinking? The article (Post-Journal, Jan. 28, 2018 , “Why the ‘War’ on Colleges is Justified” by Teresa Mull from the Heartland Institute) is typical of their stance and is a charge against higher education which obviously threatens their extreme viewpoint.

Attacks on colleges and universities such as this one are often seen in dictatorships. One of the first actions of authoritarian regimes is to attack free inquiry, and to destroy intellectuals that do not conform to their beliefs. After all, a well-educated public may question authority and thus present a threat! Along with the constant attack on the media, the attack on universities is a dangerous sign of the times.

To quote Michael Roth, the president of Wesleyan University: “The alternative to learning, to experimenting with other points of view and new domains of inquiry, is increasing partisanship and close-mindedness.”

Moreover, an attack on higher learning and education is an attack on democracy.

Renate Bob