Victor Davis Hanson on the Bud Lighting of the Elite Colleges


In the interview below, Victor Davis Hanson exposes higher education’s radical shift and the inevitable consequences. They don’t know it yet, but the Ivies are sinking under the weight of DEI, PC, and radical illiberal policies.

Historian and political commentator Victor Davis Hanson exposes the profound changes sweeping through American higher education. Hanson critiques the dominance of hard-left ideologies in universities, highlighting how diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies, taking away merit, are causing good students and prospective employers to go elsewhere.

Victor Davis Hanson said he is going to expose the whole damn thing at our elite universities. Hanson said the elites are not the schools that many of the better students now plan to attend or who employers want to hire.

The elite schools have taken in hundreds of thousands of students from Islamic nations, China, and communist autocracies without auditing them, and they have come to force radical change.

The University President Must Be Acceptable to the hard-left Faculty

“If you want to be a university president, ” VDH said, “you have to go through the faculty ranks with one fear. You do not want to get on the wrong side of left-wing students and left-wing faculty, and they’re not just Democrats. They’re hard left now, and they have predominantly taken over the general education curriculum, and it’s a diversity, equity, and inclusion ideology.

People now see the reactions of these presidents at Columbia, Harvard, and others. “Now they’ve torn the scab off with these demonstrations, and they said, Oh my God, these presidents have no moral compass.”

Donors Don’t Want to Pay for This

It’s a little-known fact that most of these universities depend on these endowments. It’s their operating budget.

“A Stanford with 40 billion or a Harvard with 60 billion; they depend on 6 to 8 billion a year. That’s what their fundraising is, and when you lose 10 or 20% of it, as some of these Ivy Leagues are experiencing, then they panic because that’s the operating budget.

“Nobody thought that would be possible, but these universities are now facing the reality that their alumni do not want to subsidize this [PC and DEI], and they may be looking at a Republican president and Senate and House that has already said they’re going to look at the tax-free endowment on the income. They’re going to look at the $1.7 trillion federal subsidized loans for these kids that you see on TV. They’re going to look at these massive multi $1,000,000 grants of federal monies to these universities, and so I think the universities are just now in full panic mode.”

It’s Comparable to What Is Happening in the Military

He compared the university situation to what is taking place in the military. The best of the best are being investigated and demonized with no evidence.

“When I watched the testimony of our four-star generals,” Hanson said, “I thought, wow, they’re committing suicide in their institution because they’re making unfounded charges and they’re implementing new protocols that are directly aimed at a supposedly biased young 18 to 20-year-old, who has never had much of an opportunity in this country. They were the losers of globalization in the Midwest and South, rural people. And yet we know from their statistics and their battlefield efficacy that these are the very people that our enemies are afraid of. These are the people we send into the streets of Baghdad. These are the people we send to Kabul. They’re very good soldiers; they’re the world’s best. Why would you tamper with that?

“It makes no sense it’s the same thing on the other end of the spectrum on these campuses. These were the world’s most preeminent campuses…

The Illiberal Foreign Students

“We have a million foreign students that come in here to study at these preeminent universities, but if you look at what they’ve done. They have dropped the SAT entrance requirement; they do not grade high school grade point averages comparatively. So, if I get a straight A out here in the 500-person high school and somebody’s, you know, in Palo Alto with 2,000 people and he’s got an A, it’s the same. So, it’s a methodology not to use merit to let in students from minority backgrounds for the large part or different types of gender or sexual identities.

“And what I’m getting at is that they didn’t understand the consequences of that, just like the military didn’t. The consequences of that in the fourth year of these repertory admissions are Yale is giving 80% As, Stanford about 65. They’ve had to stop the traditional workload; they’re softening the courses; they are introducing new courses; there’s thousands of diversity equity inclusion people auditing the faculty, so, they don’t want to die on the altar of standards.

“And in this conundrum, we have, as I said, a million foreign students, and they’re mostly from illiberal nations. There are about 150 to 200,000 from Middle Eastern Muslim nations, 350,000 from China, and another 200 from right-wing or left-wing cartographies. And in Latin America and Asia, we don’t audit them. But, universities recruit these people because they pay full tuition with no discount or scholarship.

“And so you put all of that together, and one of the subtypes of this campus demonstrations are a lot of students feel that they want to renegotiate the university. That it’s too difficult; or it’s too traditional, and they didn’t sign up for that. They can’t do the work, and they want to be excused from their finals; they want to have their senior project dropped, et cetera, et cetera.

Employers Bud Light Them

“So, if you talk to employers, and I know you’ve seen it on the news, but you talk in person to them, they’ll say, I don’t want to hire these people; I don’t want to hire them because I see them on television every night. They leave, they protest, they’re coddled, they’re hothouse plants. They want delivered food as they destroy buildings. When they leave the campus quad, it’s a mess; their trash is there. They treat policemen and maintenance people like dirt, middle-class good Americans.

“If I hire them, I know they don’t have the analytical skills, the English fluency or compositional skills, the mathematical background that that university’s preeminent degree used to signify. And I know they’ll go right to human resources the moment I hire them and complain.

“And so you talk to these employers and they’ll say I would prefer Georgia Tech or Texas A&M or the University of Tennessee graduate to a Columbia graduate or a Yale graduate because actually these are the new prestigious schools. We just haven’t caught up the Ivy League in American higher education. The elites are going the way of Disney and Bud Light, Target, and you know CNN, and they don’t know it, but it’s happening as we speak”


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