A Father’s Outrage

April 13, 2013 — 1 Comment

I’m still in the process of getting used to a new job, new city and new life. So my blogging life has slowed considerably. But I expect to be able to pick it up in earnest soon. I have so much to be thankful for and my gratitude is primarily directed toward God. As well as some folks who are in my prayers.

A friend of mine shared a letter with me that no doubt represents the concerns of many fathers. I’d like to share parts of it. His anguish is real and heartfelt but very well articulated. He’s clearly identified one of America’s many problems that are emblematic of our decline.

He wrote the letter to the president of USC.

I am a Trojan (BS Business ’86), a self-made entrepreneur, father of four children and a freedom loving American who employs 50 people in California and Arizona, who earned his way through USC on the way to earning an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In our polarized world of real-time politics streaming from every digital means, I could not help but to read the news story (see weblink below) concerning political science Professor Sragow from my alma mater.

On a busy day at the office where we are struggling to find productive investments in a slow growth economy in the least competitive State in the United States in order to provide opportunity for our teammates and positive returns for ourselves and our investors, I wish I had not read and heard what I did but I encourage you to do the same. My love of liberty, freedom of thought and expression and my heartfelt desire for my children to have the opportunity that I did to get a phenomenal education and become great citizens and independent thinkers motivates me to write to you today. What I heard from the mouth of a professor and a military veteran (for which I have great respect) was nothing short of stupefying and endemic of our no-holds-barred world of unchecked temerity, devoid of intellectual curiosity.

I recently counseled my daughter who came home with fears, tears and trepidation during her first week as a public high school freshman. It seems that her Berkeley educated freshman Honors Literature teacher found it necessary to spend the first several days in class intimidating 14 year olds into seeing the world her way (conservatives and Republicans are bad and liberals and Democrats are—interestingly using the Bible—true examples of ‘my brother’s keepers’). After her tirades the teacher asked a series of questions that required students to raise their hands resulting in a litmus test of whether the student was conservative (and had no heart) or was liberal (and had a heart).

My daughter was in outright fear that her success in the class would be judged according to this teacher’s political views which had nothing to do with the study of, or appreciation for, literature. I couldn’t fathom that my public school would hire such a bully to occupy that special throne of learning and that I would have to counsel my daughter on how to outfox her intellectual heavyweight and all-powerful teacher. In all my years of schooling I never once experienced anything close to this kind of brazen ideology. My teachers and professors had too much intelligence, too much self-respect and also respect for our nation and its true freedom of expression and intellectual diversity to stoop so low.

Professor Sragow well knows he holds 100% of the power (notwithstanding his endorsement of ‘open debate’ on the issues). He talks much of power being the weapon of choice of politicians and he certainly wields it with impunity from the lectern under the ever present threat of his grade book. What he must have missed is that this Nation was conceived under the notion of true liberty by the Founding Fathers, many of whom were reluctant leaders whose sense of duty, selflessness and calling to greatness motivated their public service rather than the lust for power which he espouses.

… I am ashamed for the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and for the black mark this brings to USC, to my degree and to my desire to have my children educated at a USC if professors like this are chosen to educate the next generation. Is any more evidence needed to explain why our nation is so divided? We need not stifle debate nor muzzle opinionated professors nor espouse political correctness from either side of the debate, but damnit, how about re-discovering the Socratic dialectic and hiring truly great thinkers—not partisan tacticians—who in turn will educate a new generation of great thinkers versus breeding the next litter of George Orwell’s Animal Farm dog squad.


Respectfully submitted, Edward

What do you think? And no, I don’t think Ed could be coerced into running for President.

  • John Sposato

    The difficult part of reading favored blogs is that I am sometimes overcome by a desire to sit down, have a beer with the author, and wrestle over ideas that people rarely talk about but should. Ed is one of these people, and so, Marcus, are you. We live in interesting and perilous times. I never expected to see the acceleration of the decline of our nation’s values occur so precipitously before I departed this mortal coil. At the age of 62, I fear I will survive our nation. I fear even more that my children will have to live in the debris. I have precious few opportunities to discuss these fears with anyone. We are all too busy living our lives, making a living, eating, loving, laughing, and hiding from the reality. I pray we all wake up soon. Keep writing.