By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
Last week while at breakfast, I had a conversation in which the following was related to me. A breakfast buddy gave his car keys to his kids, instructing them to unlock the car door and wait for him in the vehicle.
They went to the car returning a minute or two later. They told him they could not unlock the vehicle door. It turned out that the car battery was dead, thus rendering the remote door opener inoperable. It apparently never entered the kids’ minds to use the attached key to manually unlock the door.
Once the word of the incident got out, the family was overwhelmed by big-name college recruiters. They felt the lack of traits shown by these youngsters reflected what they were looking for in their college students.
Okay, the preceding paragraph never happened. But would you be surprised if it did?
Today many college students run amok on campuses throughout this country. They are allowed to dictate policies they have concluded, from watching “Sesame Street” and “Dora the Explorer,” will meet the needs of other like-minded students.
But what is most alarming is that the “adults,” a.k.a. the school administrators, hired to preserve order and decorum at the institutions sorrowfully failed to fulfill their duties. They act and resemble mothers and fathers who are eager to be their child’s friend—not their parents.
College is touted as a place where parents send their mushy-brained child in order to have their young minds gel, not liquidize. In the past, college and universities introduced students to ideas found on both sides of the coin. These would be debated, thus allowing students to examine and process each side in order to arrive at a conclusion.
But with progressive academia in control, these institutions now resemble the Fidel Castro Cuban-style educational system in which the state controls which ideas are presented. This is known as the “The Art of Persuasion” or in everyday street and coffee shop language: brainwashing.
Without institutions of higher learning, our country would have never obtained or achieved our current place in the world community. But over the past seven years, many of these institutions have evolved into the equivalent of nursery schools where students are treated like children, not young adults. They have anxiety attacks, excessive absences from class and cannot deal with basic daily problems.
When parents continue to fork over excessive tuition while their child does a “Benjamin Buttons,” it causes you to wonder if this could be a long-term effect of past drug use.
Several years ago, Secretary of State John Forbes Kerry addressed a group of college students. Sounding and doing his best to convey the persona of a Boston Brahmin from Beacon Hill, he imparted the following advice to those assembled: “You know education if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you’ll get stuck in Iraq.”
Thus we find ourselves facing a conundrum. Do we want a society made up of high school graduates that keep our cities and businesses running? They are the fire, police and military personnel that provide the security that keeps us safe. Or do we want a society of whiney, Play-Doh-wringing, hot chocolate-sipping, flag-burning, Safe Space-seeking neurotic adolescents who fold under the least bit of pressure?
If memory serves me, when the Vietnam War was raging and colleges and universities were busting at the seams with males trying to avoid military service and the Vietnam War, Kerry ended up in the Navy and also Vietnam. Thus apparently proving in his own words he definitely was not the brightest bulb from the 1960s on.
This year, the annual college spring event known as graduation will see two changes. First, all parents will be presented with a “Grateful Appreciation Certificate,” noting the amount of money donated to the college in order to get their child to graduation.
Second, the graduates will line up to receive from the faculty a hardy congratulatory handshake and a certificate of participation in lieu of an academic degree.