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After the Election

September 15, 2016

On October 1, 1891, Stanford University commenced offering courses. The University was named Stanford to commemorate the son of Leland and Jane Stanford who died in 1884 at age 15 of Typhoid fever.

That act by one wealthy family served a need in the state of California for an institution of higher education. One hundred and twenty-five years later, there is an even greater need for wealthy Americans to establish new colleges and universities.

Many elect to donate enormous sums in excess of $100 million to existing institutions. In an age of domination of higher education by the Left, those donations assure that   sources of wealth and enterprise that make these donations possible will never survive the demand for top down government programs that stimulate the American economy.

American politicians have created a sure-fire method of gaining and keeping power by spending wealth as opposed to creating conditions that create wealth.

This subject came to mind as I finished the manuscript of a book that accounts for my attempt to found a solely Internet-based university dedicated to the philosophy of limited government of the Founding Fathers, the study of American government and history and the system of free enterprise that made the United States an economic powerhouse.

I chose the Internet as the medium for disseminating degree programs because new technologies make it possible to create institutions equivalent to the colleges and universities of our day at a fraction of the cost. Without physical campuses, the only resources required are technical and intellectual and a small amount of investment capital.

This thought came to mind because of a report in the Washington Post for September 14 titled “The Rise of GOP mega-donor Rebekah Mercer,” daughter of Robert Mercer, founder of a hedge fund.

The Mercers are donating vast sums to conservative organizations, political campaigns and the advocacy of single issues. The Mercers are “the real thing,” committed conservatives who carefully invest in people, programs and campaigns in which they believe. What they are not doing is following the example of Leland and Jane Stanford.

After the election of 2016, it may be a good time to evaluate why so many politicians, intellectuals, media professionals and scholars have become political ideologues.

Since the Great Depression, Progressives gained a firm and protected place in American higher education which they used to replace classical liberalism of laissez-faire economics and individual liberty with ideas rooted in European socialism. They were supported by Pope Pius XI who grafted the ideology of Social Justice onto the teachings of the Catholic Church and FDR’s New Deal that transformed the American regime from one of limited powers governed by principles of Federalism into a regime of federal government domination.

From the Wall Street crash of 1929 to the end of World War II in 1945 through the civil disturbances of the era of the Vietnam war, the American system of higher education has been transformed into an advocate for growth of government programs and Leftist ideology.

By mid-Twentieth Century, the Core Curriculum of required courses that was inherited from some distant past had become an artifact that most administrators continued from habit, but with no thought to content. When challenged by student demonstrators during the civil disturbance of the late 1960s and early 1970s, university administrators capitulated. The now dominant “cafeteria style” curricula has failed to educate citizens in their civic responsibilities. The humorous interviews of Jesse Watters in his “Watters World” program at O’Reilly on Fox are indications that we now have a growing population of Americans who know nothing of American history, government or economics.

Hillary Clinton, age 70, is one example of the type of politicians created by a system of education so dedicated.

Something was lost that we must hope will be regained. However, before that recovery occurs we must build new colleges, install scholars who are not party to the ideological excesses of the era of the Left University, and commence the long, hard work, of educating generations of young adults for responsible citizenship.

That can be done, if persons like the Mercers and ten others take a longer term view and build ten new institutions like those that Leland and Jane Stanford founded.

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