The Boss of the North Carolina Republican Party sees our state's universities as Public Enemy No. 1. A fundraising letter just went out from one of Art Pope's many political tentacles, the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, that said in part (and we're not making this up):
The people have spoken. President Obama will be our president for the next four years.
While we congratulate the president on his victory, conservatives are asking themselves why he won. One reason is our universities.
For years they have failed to give undergraduates an understanding of markets, the role of free enterprise, and the problems of a highly redistributive state. Obama himself lacks that appreciation, which is part of why our economic slump continues.
The Pope Center is dedicated to restoring balance to our colleges and universities. We expose misguided, one-sided courses that attack capitalism and we help students on campus see other aspects of important issues in U.S. history. We encourage universities to teach analytical skills that citizens need. Step by step, we are showing how to bring change to our universities....
Ah, "an understanding of markets." From people who know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.
The outcry against Appalachian State University students getting some kind of mythical special coddling, because they're allowed to vote at all in Watauga County let alone have their very own polling place on campus, has become boilerplate conservative dogma over at The Watauga Conservative. Damn students mess everything up!
More recently, one of the leaders of the Watauga Tea Party Conservatives, Nate DiCola, has written one of the more hilarious public fantasies about the baleful influence on local elections of Appalachian State University students. They are a force to be "overcome." A bit more analysis of 2012 Watauga election stats might have revealed to Mr. DiCola that it wasn't ASU students who defeated Adams, Gable, Oliver, Jordan, and Foxx. It was fellow Republicans, for widely different reasons. Take a look at straight-party voting stats. It was Republicans who did not vote straight party, and it was because of one or more of the above candidates. They split their tickets.
Nevertheless, ASU students are getting blamed for ending civilization, and they are consequently in for some heavy weather with this new Republican governor and his Tea Party troops in the General Assembly. The first thing they'll do is move Early Voting off campus. Count on it.
Then they'll continue to cut budgets. And from the tenor of the Art Pope fundraising letter above, I would expect to see some public demonization of individual professors, or of whole programs of study.