PROF GIORDANO: How the Biden Administration is politically weaponizing higher education
Millions of taxpayer dollars have been funneled into universities for the creation of sophisticated tools designed to surveil and suppress speech.
As higher education continues to be politically weaponized, the unholy alliance between academic elites and government bureaucrats casts a chilling effect on college campuses,
Nicholas Giordano is a professor of Political Science, the host of The P.A.S. Report Podcast, and a fellow at Campus Reform’s Higher Education Fellowship. With 2 decades of teaching experience and over a decade of experience in the emergency management/homeland security arena, Professor Giordano is regularly called on to speak about issues related to government, politics, and international relations.
The Media Research Center (MRC) has revealed that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is using the “Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP) Grant Program” to single out and vilify political opposition- effectively criminalizing freedom of thought and free association. This is the same DHS that has classified the American people’s personal “thoughts, ideas, and beliefs” as “critical infrastructure” and “cognitive assets.”
As higher education continues to be politically weaponized, the unholy alliance between academic elites and government bureaucrats casts a chilling effect on college campuses, with far-reaching implications that reverberate throughout the nation. Millions of taxpayer dollars have been funneled into universities for the creation of sophisticated tools designed to surveil and suppress speech. However, with the MRC’s recent revelations, it is now evident that the mere regulation of speech falls short of their ambitions.
These concerns are heightened by the actions of the current administration. The Biden administration’s National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism has already labeled individuals such as parents, traditional Catholics, and government critics as potential domestic terrorists. Simply expressing anti-government/anti-authority sentiment or dissenting from the government narrative puts individuals at risk of being labeled as a potential violent extremist. Officials argue that the sole remedy to combat domestic terrorism is to embrace a far-left political agenda.
The TVTP enhances the National Strategy, with DHS Secretary Mayorkas describing the $40 million dollar program as imperative and that the “work being done is of the highest importance.” One of the awardees, the University of Dayton, secured $352,109 in taxpayer funds to mobilize the “expertise” of faculty in combating “domestic violence extremism and hate movements.” Their grant application included a prominently featured “Pyramid of Far-Right Radicalization,” showcased during a University of Dayton seminar in 2021.
The pyramid delineates mainstream organizations like the Heritage Foundation, Fox News, the Christian Broadcasting Network, the American Conservative Union, and even the Republican Party as the alleged initial sources of “right-wing” extremism. Shockingly, organizations such as PragerU, Turning Point USA, and the Blue Lives Matter Movement are placed in a category just below neo-Nazi organizations. This distorted classification raises serious concerns regarding the potential targeting of legitimate Republican and conservative ideologies under the guise of countering domestic terrorism.
Absent from the grant application was any depiction of a corresponding pyramid that scrutinizes the origins of “Far-Left” radicalization, including entities such as MSNBC and the Democrat Party as potential sources fueling the ascent towards left-wing extremism, including movements like Antifa and BLM. Astonishingly, the very existence of the threat posed by these extremist groups is conveniently dismissed as nothing more than a conspiracy theory.
During my tenure in emergency management, including at the New York State Office of Emergency Management (NYSOEM), I collaborated extensively on various DHS grants, including preparedness grants and the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI). Not once did we associate Democratic and/or Republican political ideologies with domestic terrorism. Our focus was on comprehensive planning, threat assessments, emergency operations, and training to enhance response and recovery capabilities for all stakeholders.
As government officials and academic elites usurp the authority to suppress free thought, conservative groups like Turning Point USA will inevitably disappear. Leftists have effectively portrayed longstanding, widely accepted political beliefs as extremist, but this suppression won’t be limited to Republican and conservative organizations. Over time, even moderate and left-leaning groups will be targeted if they deviate from the radical left’s preferred narrative.
In order to uphold the fundamental principles of academia, we must break free from the suffocating grip that the radical left has exerted within higher education. The preservation of intellectual inquiry and freedom necessitates the dismantling of the alliance between ideologues in government and academia. It is imperative for Congress to launch a thorough investigation into the allocation of grant funding to higher education institutions, ensuring that no funds are channeled towards programs intended to unjustly target ordinary Americans and undermine our God-given liberties.
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