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SANTORUM: College brainwashing a good thing

Letter by Fred LaMotte, Steilacoom on March 1, 2012 at 1:06 pm with 69 Comments »
March 1, 2012 1:10 pm

Rick Santorum claims that college brainwashes our youth with a liberal agenda and encourages them to abandon their faith.

He’s right: I was brainwashed.

My liberal arts college brainwashed me to think with a clear mind and to make rational choices. So I chose to vote for women’s rights, to accept gay people as my fellow citizens, to doubt the value of war, to question religious dogma and to embrace American communitarianism as much as I embrace American individualism.

While in college, I integrated Eastern wisdom with my Christian faith, beginning the practice of meditation I’ve enjoyed twice a day for over 40 years.

I’m glad I was brainwashed. A washed brain is freer than a brain cluttered with outmoded, medieval ideas.

Leave a comment Comments → 69
  1. tommy98466 says:

    Fred… you are a perfect example of what Santorum and many others have said for years. Liberal Colleges brainwash students that attend those Colleges and Universities. The only problem I see is that you probably never attended a college and received a degree. Right? Pathetic Fred, just pathetic.

  2. tommy – a good classic Liberal Arts model of higher education does the exact opposite of what you are claiming – it teaches one to make connections across disciplines through critical reading, writing, and thinking skills. This is exactly why conservative Authoritarian Personalities like Santorum and many others fear – people being trained to analyze information and come to their own conclusions without being told what they think.

  3. SandHills says:

    Where has Santorum been? You can read back to the first colleges during the middle ages and see it was a haven for the youth to just let loose. College is a great experience, and one has to admit that for some it it’s more about the freedom to experience new ideas without the penalty of really having to pay for it.

    Once they graduate, get a job, have a family, they have to grow up some time – most do. Santorum is overplaying the few who might have got misled about some utopian world in the classroom and never grew up.

    I mean really, college professors as a group – who have tenure in their ivory towers – generally don’t have to face too much of the real world themselves. I can’t fault college age kids from following some of the most outlandish pied pipers in college academics. But unless they become professors themselves they better get a better grip on the real world.

    Just not such an alarming problem that Santorum wants to make it out to be.

  4. itwasntmethistime says:

    College-aged kids aren’t liberals because they are brainwashed in college. They are liberals because they are still young and inexperienced enough to think that there is a way to make everything fair. So far mom has fixed everythng for them.

  5. aislander says:

    So…meditation causes brain damage?

  6. Aislander, do you meditate?

  7. old_benjamin says:

    Oh Gawd, another casualty of Everleft State. Our so-called universities are some of the most regimented places on earth.

    Fred, did you ever have a class in which you were encouraged to question Statist dogma? Of course you didn’t, because it is the dogma that happens to be in vogue. You fairly reek of multicultural BS, and you think you are logical and clear minded. You’re right, you were brainwashed.

  8. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    ‘If you are not a liberal at 20, you have no heart. If you are not Conservative by 40, you have no brain’. ?
    This remark was made by Winston Churchill.

    I think it is truth.When we are young, we are full of hope not only for ourselves, but for everyone else. We see a world full of possibilities and change for the better.However,as we get older, the reality of how the world really is changes our perspective. We may acquire more wealth, prestige, and want to retain it,we may marry and have children, and want to protect them. We become, much to our own dismay, our parents.

  9. ReadNLearn says:

    And we let Crazy Fred back at the computer while making scones and this happens again!

    Sorry folks, we can only keep an eye on him so long…

    (For some funny stuff, look up his old rantings, they’re a gas…pun intended.)

  10. concernedtacoma7 says:

    So liberal and excepting yet an anti-Christian bigot. How else do you explain “outmoded, medieval ideas”. Liberal code is not hard to decipher.

  11. old ben – Fred is too old to have gone to Evergreen, unless he was a rather old student. You know, it’s really funny how fast you cons jump over a cliff to a conclusion.

    “Multicultural BS?”. Yeah, anything other than “white American” is BS, huh?

    Here’s a clue. There were people on this earth that precede the Euro-whites by millenia. “Americans” other than the indigenous people of North and South American have only been around for a little over 300 years. Asian and African cultures were sophisticated before caucasians came out of their cave dwellings.

    Meanwhile, the real comedy is someone like Santorum, who extolls the virtues of the make believe sky fairy is talking about “brainwashing”.

  12. “concerned”, “taxed”, “RNL” and “old Ben”.

    These are the examples set for me to become more conservative?

    No thanks.

  13. Luckily, we had progressive liberals in America’s history. They are today known as “the Founding Fathers” – people with enough intelligence, courage and perserverace to know that the status quo of England had to go.

    Without them, we’d be answering to the Queen, but we’d have nationalize health care. ;)

  14. old_benjamin says:

    Larry, what was the preferred theology of those “indigenous people”? Probably more in line with that of the “make believe sky fairy” than your own. I take it we are to respect their view while you ridicule Santorum’s. At least you are inconsistent. So how does that work with the multicultural dogma that all cultures are due equal respect? Just asking.

  15. Tommy,
    I went to a Christian Liberal Arts College and had the same experience as the letter writer and beerBoy.

    And, Yes I did graduate with a degree (gpa 3.5), and my college was paid for by the Viet Nam GI bill – where I served 19 months out of my 8.5 years of military service.

  16. “Larry, what was the preferred theology of those “indigenous people”?

    Pagan.

    Next question?

    Were they running around saying people with an education are brainwashed?

    You claim you want equal respect. How about setting the table equal first?

  17. old_benjamin says:

    btw: Everleft State was founded in 1967. Fred could have gone there, but it doesn’t matter. There’s very little difference from one site of Statist indoctrination to another.

    See David Horowitz’s “Indoctrination U:The Left’s War Against Academic Freedom” for particulars

  18. I wonder how Evergreen graduated all the conservatives I’ve met in businesses and State government. Oh well….I’m letting facts get in the way. I’ll be waiting for you to tell me how Les Purce is a Stalinist. LOL

    BTW – http://www.pagan.com/

    You’ll probably find that the indiginous “theology” (not the right term, but what the hey, huh?) was more like me – based on what they could see, feel, taste and touch. Both they and I felt that there was something else, but we don’t try to create imagery or a book of quotes to rule others by.

  19. old_benjamin says:

    Ah, “pagan,” meaning they worshipped stuff like trees and the sun. And that makes them more worthy of respect than Santorum who presumably worships the sky fairy? It is you who demands respect, not I. I simply point out your hypocrisy, in which you and your Statist ilk are steeped.

  20. Stalinist? Oh my!! :O

    I think you need to read the website before you go shooting off your fascist (I can do that too!) mouth. I don’t know that a pagan “worships” as much as “honors” trees, the sun, etc.

    Yeah, a not so novel idea when you have a sky fairy that will tell you anything you want them to say. “Man rules the earth” and all that stuff.

    BUT…..the context of my assertion (a correct one mind you – Santorum would be the first to admit) is that Santorum has a “deep belief” in something he can’t prove exists…but then claims that others are “brainwashed”. He was brainwashed into “belief”. One is not born “believing”. You are brai…..taught, to do so.

    Try to stay on topic, ben.

  21. “You fairly reek of multicultural BS”

    When you can’t refute the message, attack the messenger.

  22. “Crazy Fred”

    When you can’t refute the message, attack the messenger.

  23. “an anti-Christian bigot”

    When you can’t refute the message, attack the messenger.

  24. “outmoded, medieval ideas”

    Interesting how “concerned” equates this to Christianity….

  25. took14theteam says:

    ::::::gawd::::::

  26. jerryman47 says:

    Fred, I’m glad you wrote your letter. I would like to see you and Mr Santorum sit down and have a discussion on colleges, youth, and the liberal agenda. I’m sure everybody who has posted something under your letter would like that and would like to attend just to see how you spin your ideology

  27. old_benjamin says:

    “Statist,” you ninny, not “Stalinist.”

    It was you that posted in response to my characterization of multiculaturalism as BS. If you thought I was off topic, you shouldn’t have responded.

    Your incoherent rhetoric fails to disguise your hypocrisy in pretending to respect the religious views of ancient people while disparaging those of many in your own culture.

    You clearly know nothing about the religion of native Americans. Read something before you shoot your mouth off and make a bigger fool of yourself than you have already.

  28. What the heck. I’ve got a Bachelors Degree. One thing college DID NOT need to teach me. I knew long before those days what those screwy half baked liberal weirdos were all about. Funny thing is, after all these years they havent changed a bit.

  29. taxed enough says “If you are not a liberal at 20, you have no heart. If you are not Conservative by 40, you have no brain’. ?
    This remark was made by Winston Churchill.”

    Yep, very accurate quote!

    But I guess that proves my suspicions. It looks like I am ALL BRAIN! (some of course would read that to say AllBran since to many I’m so full of it!! :D

    However back to the quote…I was a hard core Nixon Republican when I was 20! No heart for DCR then!! :D

  30. bobcat1a says:

    I believe Ricky about brainwashing. After all, he has three college degrees and look at him. Quod erat demonstrandum!

  31. “I would like to see you and Mr Santorum sit down and have a discussion on colleges, youth, and the liberal agenda.”

    First of all, Santorum knows nothing about the “liberal agenda”.

    Santorum has proven, up until being flavor of the month, that even his constituents think he’s a looneytune. How can an incumbant Senator lose an election by a 41%-59% margin? He is the master of the ridiculous statement, proof positive that he is best known for “man on dog”.

    His idea of support data in a debate is “God said so”.

  32. SandHills – why do I get the feeling that you have not spent much time as a college student?

    In fact most of the conservative blabber on this blog also appear to have sent more time parting than studying.

    Old_ben,
    Paganism is a blanket term used to refer to any religion other than the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim.

  33. Pacman33 says:

    “I wonder how Evergreen graduated all the conservatives I’ve met in businesses and State government.”

    I forgot my wading boots, I will have to return later.

    What a joke.

  34. So “Rick Santorum claims that college brainwashes our youth with a liberal agenda and encourages them to abandon their faith.”

    For a guy with a BA from Penn State,
    an MBA from U of Pittsburgh,
    and JD from Dickinson School of Law’

    That’s quite a load of brainwashing old Rick has been through.

    Or at least quite a load of something!

  35. Anti-intellectualism is hostility towards and mistrust of intellect, intellectuals, and intellectual pursuits, usually expressed as the derision of education, philosophy, literature, art, and science, as impractical and contemptible. Alternately, self-described intellectuals who are alleged to fail to adhere to rigorous standards of scholarship may be described as anti-intellectuals.

    In public discourse, anti-intellectuals usually perceive and publicly present themselves as champions of the common folk — populists against political elitism and academic elitism — proposing that the educated are a social class detached from the everyday concerns of the majority, and that they dominate political discourse and higher education.

    from wikipedia.

  36. The subject was given unparal­leled examination in Richard Hofstadter’s Pulitzer-prize winning volume, Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, published in 1963. It is important to note, however, that for Hofstader anti-intellectuals are neither the “gib­bering numbskulls” nor the “screaming ignoramuses” that Monbiot and a growing chorus of journalists, scholars, and others criticize. Rather, Hof­stadter viewed them as a far more effective enemy to the educated mind and to a vibrant, democratic political culture, which requires for its very survival an abiding commitment on the part of its citizenry to critical thought, moral judgment, the capacity for self-reflection, and an acute awareness of self-limitation. Neither uneducated nor unintellectual, anti-intellectuals constitute the ranks of the “half-educated,” men and women who are “deeply engaged with ideas, often obsessively engaged with this or that outworn or rejected idea.”[4]

    Hofstadter describes them as hardly in­different or hostile to the life of the mind, but as “marginal intellectuals, would-be intellectuals, unfrocked or embittered intellectuals, the literate leaders of the semi-literate, full of seriousness and high purpose about the causes that bring them to the attention of the world.”[5] Indeed, he notes, even the most rigorous thinkers are not immune to anti-intellectual mo­ments. Writing in the immediate aftermath of McCarthy era, he locates among the anti-intellectual vanguard the following: highly intelligent and articulate evangelical ministers; religious fundamentalists of various sorts; politicians who inflamed populist and nationalist sentiment (including, he notes, some of the shrewdest); businessmen and other self-appointed spokespersons for practicality, utilitarianism, and free enterprise; right-wing editors with strong intellectual pretensions; anti-Communist pun­dits; and for that matter, Communist leaders, who held intellectuals in high suspicion, if not contempt. What such a disparate assemblage of characters share is a kind of militancy fueled by a severe, fundamentalist morality; he calls them “one hundred percenters,” who brook no ambigui­ties, doubts, equivocations, reservations, and certainly no criticism. Such rigidity they consider evidence of their own toughness and strength—as well as, revealingly, a testament to their masculinity.[6]

    http://www.truth-out.org/between-race-and-reason-anti-intellectualism-american-life/1314634662

  37. “you ninny…Your incoherent rhetoric…You clearly know nothing…Read something before you shoot your mouth off and make a bigger fool of yourself than you have already.”

    Nope, still no refuting. As I said, when you can’t refute the message, attack the messenger.

  38. ehill….worry not. It’s just aislan….er uh…old ben venting again.

    What is comical is that I provided him a link to paganism and he didn’t read it and then tells me to read what he didn’t read, not that paganism was even the issue, but he took it there.

  39. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    … worry not. It’s just aislan….er uh…old ben…

    Wow, takes brass ones.

  40. pantomancer says:

    Why would an otherwise normal person stand in front of bull dozer?

  41. Only in America
    Whenever Communists come to power their first acts include destroying trade unions and ‘re-educating’ the intellectuals and other free-thinkers.

    In America, it is the so-called conseracons that are want to destroy unions and are anti-intellectuals/free thinker.

  42. pantomaner – faith and the strength of ones beleifs.

  43. “Wow, takes brass ones.” Especially for a guy who posts comments under at least three different monikers at the same time, after having possibly dozens of previous monikers blocked by the monitors!

  44. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    You got it muck. That Larry’s a sneeeeeeky fellow!

    Got us all fooled, LOL!

  45. old_benjamin says:

    Native American belief systems include many sacred narratives. Such spiritual stories are deeply based in Nature and are rich with the symbolism of seasons, weather, plants, animals, earth, water, sky & fire. The principle of an all embracing, universal and omniscient Great Spirit, a connection to the Earth, diverse creation narratives and collective memories of ancient ancestors are common.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_mythology

    Larry, explain how “an all embracing, universal and omniscient Great Spirit” is to be preferred to Rick Santorum’s beliefs. You nade the invidious comparison. You justify it.

  46. Claiming that a comparison is “invidious” doesn’t make it so.

  47. aislander says:

    Perhaps you should look up the definition of “invidious,” since it is often confused with “insidious” by those who have unjustified confidence in their own unaided vocabularies…

  48. aislander says:

    That last comment was not addressed to old_benjamin…

  49. “Perhaps you should look up the definition of “invidious”

    Perhaps you should look up the definition of arrogant.

  50. Pacman33 says:

    The term “brainwashed” is far too kind for these nuts. These people are dangerous fools whose cognitive thinking skills have been so impaired by the intellectual hogwash that passes for learning in our academic institutions these days, they couldn’t think their way out of a paper bag. They dwell a universe in which there is no objective reality; a universe where truth is relative and their feelings are all that matter. Even their feelings, by any objective standard, are completely dysfunctional.

  51. bobcat1a says:

    pantomancer, “Why would an otherwise normal person stand in front of bull dozer?”

    Same reason that Chinese man stood in front of the tanks on Tienanmen Square. Same reason soldiers throw themselves on a grenade. Same reason Jesus Christ allowed himself to be crucified.

  52. Rick Santorum has…

    a BA from Penn State,
    an MBA from U of Pittsburgh,
    and a JD from Dickinson School of Law!

    What a snob!

  53. aislander says:

    I don’t see how I am being arrogant when you arrogantly (and incorrectly) called old_benjamin out on his use of the word “invidious.” Seems to me you had it coming…

  54. aislander says:

    should have read “…incorrectly called out old_benjamin…”

  55. aislander says:

    I think Santorum meant that Obama was implicitly disparaging those who choose not to go to college by stating that everyone should do so. He was not saying that those who matriculate are snobs…

  56. aislander, you and I, and Rick Santorum, all know that President Obama never said everyone should go to college. We know that Obama said, everyone needs to seek education to qualify for new higher tech type jobs, that a H.S. diploma or GED is just not good for much by itself anymore. But Santorum, and his handlers, saw a good sound-bite that they could not resist, so they took a shot. In the end, it made Santorum look like an idiot. So, I was just having some fun with calling him a snob for a change.

  57. Pacman33 says:

    Obama, Feb. 24, 2009: “And so tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be community college or a four-year school;”

  58. At least one year of career training above high school….gee…that sure smacks of liberal brainwashing! I’m sure there is liberal brainwashing going on at those trade schools teaching electricians and plumbers their craft!

  59. Typical of pacadoodle33 to POST A LIE by posting only part of the presidents statement.

    Here is the TRUTH in context:

    The president’s actual call, made in his first address to Congress in February 2009, was: “tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma.”

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/02/white-house-pushes-back-on-santorum-snob-remark-and-his-incorrect-underlying-charge/

    PLEASE NOTE the part pacadoodle33 specifically truncated from his version of the quote:

    “vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma.”

    Not quite limited to just “college” is it?

  60. hypocritesuntie says:

    Left, right, or center: come on, folks, we ALL know that we’ve got to get educated in order to compete in the global economy. If we lose sight of that, we lose. All of us. For crying out loud, McDonald’s sends their employees to “University”. Heck, they’ve opened one in Shanghai, China. Even a clown knows it’s the “education, education, education”, stupid!

  61. “you arrogantly (and incorrectly) called old_benjamin out on his use of the word “invidious.””

    I didn’t call him out on the use of any word. I called him out for making a statement of fact without any supporting evidence.

    Fail. Try again.

  62. “Oh… you mean like:”

    Nice use of the “but mommy, all the OTHER kids are doing it” excuse. I quit letting my son get away with that when he was eight years old. How old are you?

  63. I integrated Eastern wisdom with my Christian faith

    Much like Thomas Merton, the highly esteemed Catholic monk and priest who authored 70 books.

  64. Pacman33 says:

    POST A LIE:

    “President Obama never said everyone should go to college.”

  65. Pacman33 says:

    POST A TRUTH:

    The term “brainwashed” is far too kind for these nuts. These people are dangerous fools whose cognitive thinking skills have been so impaired by the intellectual hogwash that passes for learning in our academic institutions these days, they couldn’t think their way out of a paper bag. They dwell a universe in which there is no objective reality; a universe where truth is relative and their feelings are all that matter. Even their feelings, by any objective standard, are completely dysfunctional.

  66. Wack-a-doodle
    someone would isn’t mentally ill but you would think that they were. They do weird things, that normal people wouldn’t do.

    pacadoodle33
    ditto

  67. pacman – it is amazing that you would claim that Obama said everyone should go to college when muckibr had posted Obama’s actual quote:

    “tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma.”

    I put the non-college options in bold so you won’t miss it this time.

    And, please, tell me what you are basing your assertions about what is being taught in Universities upon. Your paragraph long rant contains no facts, just a rabid anti-intellectual rant.

  68. aislander says:

    ehill writes: “I called him out for making a statement of fact without any supporting evidence,” when old_benjamin characterized a comparison made by ManuelMartini as “invidious.”

    That characterization requires no “supporting evidence” since it is based on the perception of the second party, according to one of the definitions of “invidious…”

  69. “That characterization requires no “supporting evidence” ”

    Of course not. It never does when you agree with it.

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