February 28, 2016
U.S. Population Fragmented, Divided, White House Proud
Moderation is taken for apathy, and patience is looked upon as a pretext for inaction. There is mounting unrest and violence not only among university students but in society at large. The product is a weakening of confidence between young and old, between racial groups, between partisan political factions, between students and administrators, between citizens and government. An individualism of suspicion and distrust is replacing an individualism of opportunity and hope."
Written almost 50 years ago, the above aptly describes what is assailing America today. In 1968, Philip H. Rhinelander, then a professor of philosophy and humanities at Stanford University, wrote a piece entitled "Education and Society" for The Key Reporter which was delivered before the Phi Beta Kappa chapter at Stanford on June 15, 1968.
[. . .]
One cannot enter a classroom of higher learning today without walking into pitched battles and extreme positioning. University students deride the idea of consensus-building and seek to run administrators out of town. Any student daring to express an opinion different from the politically correct one of the day is frightened into mental subservience, so much so that logical argumentation is in tatters. Aristotle's classifications of ethos, pathos, and logos rarely make their way into classroom discussions as shouting matches become the rule of the day.
February 23, 2016
By Eileen F. Toplansky