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viewpoint

A note to ND student conformists

| Wednesday, November 11, 2015

As I sat in the auditorium, I double checked the address that I put into WAZE just to make sure that I hadn’t erroneously entered the Alliance for Liberal Learning Organizations. No, I had it right — Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, at which the public was invited to attend a panel discussion about the controversial Iran Nuclear Agreement.

I sure was looking forward to hearing unfiltered, intelligent commentary from both sides. Where other than Notre Dame could I learn from knowledgeable experts, filling in the gaps left open by narrow, shallow media reporting? I wanted to soak into my open mind the deep intellectual analysis of the pros and cons without the emotional, partisan demagoguery.

My wife and I settled into our primo seats, and, for light entertainment, began to speculate on which speakers were going to be for or against the Agreement, based upon their body language — casual, innocent stereotyping for amusement purposes only.

Much to our surprise, when the discussion was concluded, we discovered that all three speakers opined that the Iran Nuclear Agreemen is a wonderful deal. John Kerry could not have picked a better panel to praise his negotiating prowess — groupies, you might say.

Not only did we not hear an opposing point of view, but America, as a country, was soundly criticized because of its role in agreements throughout history. And we gave up a pleasant evening of bike riding around our small American town to come to Notre Dame for this?

After the discussion, I asked the moderator if he was unable to find a single professor at this entire world-class university who held a different opinion and could speak intelligently on the topic. He said he could not.

Nevertheless, more disturbing was the failure of the student body to raise a single voice in opposition. What? No dissent from about 140 students? In the 1960s, college students were unabashed critics of the status quo and verbally challenged university professors for pure sport. In 2015, do the students happily march in lock step with the propaganda at this prestigious university? Have you no desire, or courage, to dissent? Whom do you fear?

My wife and I left Notre Dame that night petrified — not of an Iranian nuclear bomb, but of the lack of balance, open-mindedness and independence of the next generation of leaders of our great country. Student indoctrination with one political philosophy, regardless of the bent, diminishes free speech and critical thought.

Let us all learn from Bill Maher of Politically Incorrect, “This country is not overrun with rebels and free thinkers. It’s overrun with sheep and conformists. We need more people speaking out.”

C’mon Irish, wake up the echos!

Kim Hall
Notre Dame dad

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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