The presence of liberal bias and radical left-wing professors on America’s college campuses is as predictable as the rising and setting of the sun. Whether it takes the form of inviting domestic terrorists to lecture on campus, requiring Marxist propaganda to be read for course completion, or offering the ever-popular “peace studies” program, radical leftism flourishes in the world of academia. In fact, there are so many well-documented cases of it that pointing out examples of such educational malpractice is like shooting fish in the proverbial barrel.
But every so often you find a case that is so bizarre, so inexplicable (and yes, so maddening), that it warrants mention. And when it happens in your own backyard, it becomes particularly noteworthy.
About a month ago, I received an e-mail at my radio show from a student at Indiana University Kokomo, enrolled in Dr. Earl Wysong’s Introduction to Sociology course. The student was frustrated because he had been marked down on a class assignment for identifying Nancy Pelosi as a liberal on a political spectrum test. Professor Wysong believed she was a moderate.
I had no reason to doubt the young man, but as an educator myself, I know it’s important to not jump to conclusions based on the accusations of a single student. So I asked him if he could send me an electronic copy of the assignment. Within hours, he had scanned the worksheet and sent me the image: Rush Limbaugh dutifully identified by the student as a far-right “ultra-conservative” with Dr. Wysong’s approving checkmark beside it; but Nancy Pelosi, whom the young man labeled “liberal,” was circled by the professor with a corrective arrow pointing to “middle of the road” (the incredible image is posted here).
Now obviously, it isn’t too difficult to understand Wysong’s strategy. By ingraining in students’ minds that the ideas and beliefs of a radical leftist like Pelosi are “middle of the road,” their perspective of the entire political spectrum in the United States becomes skewed. Mainstream conservative beliefs become “ultra” or far-right, reactionary thought. Simultaneously, left-wing thought becomes “moderate and centrist,” with radical socialism and communism receiving the much more palatable label of “liberal.”
So yes, I understand the strategy. What I don’t understand is why Dr. Wysong, and his superiors who allow this professional malfeasance to occur, think they can get away with it. There is not one respected, rational political scholar in the United States today who would seriously try to attach a moderate label to the positions or person of Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi has achieved a rating of 100% from the National Abortion Rights Action League for her rabid support of child sacrifice, the NAACP for her support of reverse discrimination, the radical Human Rights Commission for her promotion of the homosexual agenda, Americans United for her commitment to eradicating religion from the public square, the National Education Association for her commitment to funneling more money into failed education policies, and the left-wing lobby group SANE for her anti-military voting record. She has received a 21% rating from the National Taxpayer Union for her consistent attempts to raise taxes, a 0% rating from the Federation for American Immigration Reform for her support of illegal immigration, an “F” rating from the NRA for her anti-2nd Amendment positions, and is rated by the online issues analysis organization “On The Issues” as a “Hard-Core Liberal.”
That anyone then, particularly an esteemed college professor, could ludicrously consider Pelosi a moderate is as much an outrageous as it is telling. Such an incident teaches us far more about the political perspective of Dr. Earl Wysong – and IUK, should they continue to stand by him – than it does of Nancy Pelosi.
On behalf of the student, I called Dr. Wysong’s office and e-mailed him three times in the last month seeking an explanation. And while he has ignored me, he has not ignored the incident. The student reported that shortly after I ran with the story, Dr. Wysong announced a policy change for his classroom. He is no longer returning student work for them to keep after he has graded it.
Upon learning this, I contacted IUK’s Department of Social Sciences, Office of Academic Affairs, and the Office of the Chancellor seeking comment. No one has given the courtesy of a response. Given that IUK is an institution being financed with taxpayer dollars, they not only should rectify this situation, but they owe the public both an explanation and an assurance that such flagrant pedagogical misconduct won’t continue.