I'm sure you've already seen the Rick Santorum clip where he says that contraception is "not OK" and expounds various other medieval ideas about sex.
Here's what probably you don't know: That's not even the most alarming piece of that interview. This is:
Just like we have certifying organizations that accredit a college, we'll have certifying organizations that will accredit conservative professors. If you are to be eligible for federal funds, you'll have to provide an equal number of conservative professors as liberal professors.
Federally empowered political commissars controlling our universities. What could possibly go wrong?
You'll find the quote at around the 26:30 mark.
Think about what he's saying: He wants the federal government to enforce a system in which professors at private or state universities are hired for their political views. "Certifying organizations", i.e. political commissars, would decide who is conservative enough to provide appropriate "balance" to the professors that the commissars decide are liberal.
Whatever you think about academic bias in the current system -- the recent college graduates I know didn't get enough exposure to a Marxist critique of capitalism, IMHO -- it doesn't have federal commissars. That would be new.
Picture Santorum's system in operation. Would an accredited conservative professor be afraid to teach or publish anything that might jeopardize his rating? And how will the commissars define liberal or conservative? Is it "liberal" for a climate scientist to look at the data and conclude that global warming is happening? What about evolution? Keynesian economics? A history of religion class that treats Christianity the same as Islam or Animism? Anthropology classes that see nothing special in our sexual mores?
Do you think President Santorum would also insist that Liberty University or Regents University "balance" themselves by hiring some liberals?
Perhaps the scariest thing is that Santorum had just said:
We're going to repeal all sorts of regulations ... that inject the federal government into the area of education.
He doesn't see the contradiction.
Fundamentally, that's what's most dangerous about Santorum: his self-centeredness. It shows up across the board. He can't picture his own view as one among many, or think in terms of principles that apply equally to himself and to those he disagrees with.
[This post is a preview of what's in tomorrow's Weekly Sift.]