fbpx

Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

Driving Occasionally on the Right

Chances are you’ve seen commercials on television as part of the University of Minnesota’s long-running “Driven to Discover” campaign.  Typical ones have faculty members standing in front of Northrop Auditorium saying things such as “I am driven to end world hunger.”  Or “I am driven to grow more food with fewer resources.”  Or “I am driven to end addiction.”  Goals like these are as noble as noble gets, free of politically correct skewing.

At least a portion, though, of the campaign’s print component has a different flavor, with one ad in particular saying: “I am driven to train activists to develop new policies for social change.”

And then there are ads in which students express further flavored dreams such as: “Together, we can create a world where we are aware of our privileges and inclusive and respectful of each other’s social identities.”

As for the piece about activists, it’s possible that more than one or maybe two of them are fond of Betsy DeVos, though probably not.

And while words such as “respectful” fit just as neatly in right-leaning vocabularies as in left-leaning ones, somehow I don’t think it was imagined that way by the young person who spoke in near-perfect cant.

Given that I wanted the Rouser played as the Recessional at my wedding, feel free in instances like these to color me Maroon, Gold, and Jaundiced.  But in saying and implying what I do, it’s important to make clear that I’m not singling out the University of Minnesota for having dispositions that people on the right see as instinctually biased but those on the left see as fair and evenhanded.  My affection for the institution is too strong and longstanding to dwell exclusively on it in any dyspeptic way.  Rather, I start from the premise that much of American higher education is equally culpable.  (My wife, by the way, said “Heaven’s No” to my musical request, albeit in more theologically dogmatic terms than that.)

Presuming the Driven to Discover campaign continues, permit me to propose an elaboration that might please, not just ideologically off-put alumni, but broader audiences too.  Here are ten more diverse goals that scholars might offer for loftily fueling the University’s drive forward.

  • “I am driven to enable more low-income families to send their children to schools that might work best for them, including private ones.”
  • “I am driven to prevent teacher unions from stunting educational freedom for inner-city families.”
  • “I am driven to radically increase the number of children growing up with both their parents.”
  • “I am driven to reduce mission creep in Washington.”
  • “I am driven to constrain taxes at all levels of government.”
  • “I am driven to reduce rules and regulations at all levels of government.”
  • “I am driven to stop colleges and universities from disinviting conservative speakers.”
  • “I am driven to stop supposedly grown-up college students from moaning about ‘micro-aggressions’ and demanding ‘trigger warnings’ and ‘safe places’ on campuses.”
  • “I am driven to discover why professors and other college leaders talk all the time about ‘justice’ as progressives do but rarely about ‘freedom’ as conservatives do.”
  • “And I am driven to assure that more Americans recognize how fair and self-sacrificing the overwhelming majority of police officers are, and the degree to which we endanger ourselves unless we respect and appreciate them appropriately.”

Drive On!  Right On!

A former police reporter, Mitch Pearlstein is Founder of Center of the American Experiment.

Comments

Subscribe

Categories

Upcoming Events

  • Morning in Minnesota: St. Cloud

    Location: St. Cloud

    Sign up HERE! Courtyard by Marriott St. Cloud 404 West Saint Germain Street St. Cloud, MN, 56301 Please join Center of the American Experiment on Tuesday, July 21 for breakfast with Center policy fellow and education expert Catrin Wigfall as she explains K-12 education in the state and its persistent disparities despite decades of increased spending. Following her presentation, Catrin will lead a Q&A session. 7:30 AM Check In and Breakfast 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude   Catrin Wigfall is a Policy Fellow at Center of the American Experiment. She is also the director of EducatedTeachersMN and EmployeeFreedomMN. Catrin’s…

    Register Now
  • Kristi Noem: The Courage to Reject a Shutdown

    Location: Online

    Sign up HERE! Join us Wednesday, July 8th for an interview with South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem over Zoom. In response to COVID-19, Noem defied the norm of a statewide shutdown and let South Dakotans choose for themselves what safety precautions to take. Tune in to this live online event to hear how Governor Noem preserved her state’s economy while still keeping citizens safe. Wednesday, July 8th at Noon CT Sign up HERE!  

    Register Now
  • Morning in Minnesota: Marshall

    Location: Marshall Golf Club

      Sign up for this event HERE! Please join Center of the American Experiment on Thursday, July 16 at Marshall Golf Club for a breakfast with Center economist, John Phelan, as he discusses Minnesota’s economic future. Following his presentation, John will lead a Q&A session. 7:30 AM Check In and Breakfast 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude John Phelan is a graduate of Birkbeck College, University of London, where he earned a BSc in Economics, and of the London School of Economics where he earned an MSc. He worked in finance for ten years before becoming a professional economist. He…

    Register Now