In the Winter 2015/2016 issue of the Claremont Review of Books, William Voegeli argues,
Conservatives have been firing shots across the bow of higher education for years, but the Ship of Fools has never turned back, or changed course. It’s time either to surrender or to shoot a round into the engine room.
While the sentiment is noble, the metaphor is wrong. For the universities are not akin to ships, moving through uncharted waters toward horizons of higher truth. No, American institutes of higher learning are plagues of locusts. Firing a single shot at them is as effective as squishing one insect in the swarm.
Even less so, actually. Last year, we witnessed the continuing evolution of the strange career of erstwhile Mizzou pop-pornography professor Melissa Click, who was fired from the University of Missouri for physically blocking a student journalist from videotaping a leftist campus protest. Just months later, she was offered a position at Gonzaga University after simply mouthing in public the same Maoist threats that one finds larding the pages of contemporary American “scholarship.”
Shooing at one bug merely frees it to descend on another village’s crops.
The proper countermeasure to the American universities today is not pinpoint budgetary artillery fire: It is pesticide. The academy as it...