National Review Declares Intellectual Bankruptcy

I suppose I should reiterate that I speak here for myself, and not for my employer, because I’m about to have some opinions.

Leading purveyor of respectable racism The National Review has a modest proposal for education policy. Well, actually, they have an editorial endorsing a study (by the same author as the editorial!) from a think tank funded by Arthur Pope, a.k.a. North Carolina’s homegrown Koch imitation.)

Obviously, the editorial and the “independent” “nonprofit” “public-service” think-tank say, nothing LBJ ever did was good. All those civil rights things. All those pencil-necks thinking they know about chemicals because they have degrees in chemistry and are telling you that shit is poisonous. Gross.

Anyway, with their “standing athwart history and yelling ‘state’s rights'” bona fides out of the way, they seem to think that if we’re going to be stuck having education foisted upon us, we should at least make it as terrible as possible. Force disclosure of speaker fees so that we can check whether the Comparative Literature department hosts too many left-wing scholars. Strike most of Title IX, and definitely stop having schools do anything about sexual assault. Yep, worry MORE about the political leanings of guest speakers, and LESS about rapists.

It wouldn’t be Real Conservative without a nod to the free market, by which I mean fly-by-night diploma mills. Accreditation, they say, should focus only on the financial stability of a school. If it’s profitable, it’s fine! Accreditation for quality is apparently optional. As long as suckers are willing to pay for it with federal loans, who cares if it’s any good?

This, somehow, is what passes for higher ed policy on the right: Art Pope funds some shit-shovelers, they shovel the shit right into the National Review, and the National Review then makes it respectable and somehow we’re supposed to pretend that this recycled shit isn’t shit?


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