n October 2017, Donald Trump Jr. spoke at a fund-raising event held at AT&T Stadium, in Dallas, intended to raise money for scholarships at the University of North Texas. Despite the stated goal of supporting education, the president’s son used the occasion to lambaste the elitism and pretense of the modern university. Higher education, rather than improving the lives of young people, made them “unemployable” by teaching courses in “zombie studies, underwater basket weaving, and, my personal favorite, tree climbing.” Universities, he argued, offered parents the following deal: “We’ll take $200,000 of your money; in exchange, we’ll train your children to hate our country.”
In his mockery, Trump Jr. echoed one of the more disturbing works of literature to be published in recent years — the 2014 novel Victoria. This strange book (written by William S. Lind, under the pseudonym Thomas Hobbes) fantasizes about the eruption of civil war in the United States, driven by a multicultural politics emanating from academia. By the early 21st century, Lind writes, universities had become expensive “diploma mills crossed with asylums for the politically insane: howling Bluestockings, inventors of ‘Afrocentric history,’ mewling ‘advocates’ for the blind, the botched and the bewildered.” Knife-wielding Christian revolutionaries consequently set upon a faculty meeting at Dartmouth, stabbing 162 “politically correct luminaries” to death as just punishment for their professed “cultural Marxism.”
Generations of conservatives have seen scholars as responsible for corrupting the young and teaching them to hate their countries.