Why Conservatives Are Winning the Campus Wars
Robert Whealey forwards an article which shows that, while conservatives denounce "liberals"· on our campuses, they are in fact pumping money ìnto conservative student organizations so that the playing field is not level. Here are excetpts from Backlash 101. "Why conservatives are winning the Campus Wars" by Joshua Holland (The Gadflyer, (8/28/04)
In 1973, when Richard Mellon Scaife and Joseph Coors kicked together some seed money to start the Heritage
Foundation, the Democrats held the Senate and had a 50-seat majority in the House. As progressives are starting to understand, the funding, planning, and coordination of the conservative movement has led to tremendous success in elections and government policy. But another arena of ideological competition has gone largely beneath the radar. An asymmetric political war is raging at universities across the country, and once again conservatives are running circles around progressives.
The campus Left, which is still organized for the most part by students and community activists, increasingly finds itself facing off against seasoned conservative strategists. And while progressive student groups are mostly self-funded, by the mid-1990s roughly $20 million dollars were being pumped into the campus Right annually, according to People for the American Way. Morton Blackwell, the treasurer of Paul Weyrich's Free Congress Foundation, understands the value of those efforts. The long-time GOP activist and one-time Reagan advisor has been fighting the campus wars for four decades. Currently, he's president of the Leadership Institute, which trains, supports and does public relations for 213 conservative student groups nationwide. If you want to fight the Left on your campus, the Leadership Institute is one-stop shopping. Young America's Foundation (YAF), like Heritage, is another shop started in the 1970s with Scaife seed money. According to Insight magazine, "the Foundation organizes so many programs on so many campuses that it's difficult to find a [young] conservative activist" who hasn't been associated with its activities. Those include the National Conservative Student Conference, YAF also has a rewards program: if you work really hard "fighting the Left on campus," you can visit the Reagan Ranch for "an immersive ‘themed' weekend aimed at getting a chance to live as Reagan did..." These organizations, along with others like the National Association of Scholars and Students for Academic Freedom, serve as ready sources of materials, skills and support for young conservative activists.
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September 26, 2004