In a new column published Wednesday, McCain noted that college degrees are increasingly insufficient at guaranteeing young people “bright futures” and bemoaned their emphasis on social justice. “Who in their right mind would willingly subject themselves or their loved ones to hateful, irrational, woke indoctrination?” McCain wrote. “Free Market Capitalism 101!”
“The way things are going in academia today—college is the last place I would pay for my kids to attend,” McCain continued, citing “the vile, unhinged commencement address at The City University of New York’s law school” earlier this month, in which a graduate offering the keynote speech criticized white supremacy in the legal system as well as Israeli violence and colonization in Palestine.
Much of the column descends into an unhinged rant about Fatima Mousa Mohammed, the aforementioned CUNY speaker, who is apparently the main reason McCain is questioning sending her kids to college. After all, what isn’t a “woke” college? Even the Falwells’ Liberty University offers a criminal justice studies major as well as a major in guitar performance, for all the conservative bitching about how any non-STEM university courses are a waste of time. And even Brigham Young University, which prohibits pre-marital sex and same-sex intimate relationships, offers majors in Latin American studies and Arabic language and literature. Considering that right-wingers spent the better part of this week threatening to boycott Chick-fil-A over its internal DEI committee, all of that sounds awfully “woke.”
The rest of McCain’s column names other supposed acts of woke extremism, like the University of Colorado Boulder recognizing misgendering students as violent (good!) as well as un-cited rumors that the school will “soon require students to pass an ‘Anti-Black Racism’ course in order to graduate.”
“Professors and administrators no longer strive to teach students how to think, but what to think,” McCain complains, without naming any “young Americans” she’s ever spoken to. She then claims this demographic “[wants] to be taught a trade or a skill” and that “their parents want to know that their hard-earned dollars are going toward enriching their children’s lives, not filling their heads with useless ideologies.”
“A degree in ‘intersectional solidarity’ isn’t a great way to make a living,” she concludes. “American Universities better recognize that before they fail out.”
There are plenty of jokes to be made about how vapid and anti-intellectual McCain’s arguments are, but more than anything, I’m just left feeling sorry for her two young children. Their mother, it seems, will go to any length to prevent them from learning about the world and the systems of power that belie it—at a time when white suburban moms on school boards across the country are doing everything they can to incite panic on “critical race theory” and ban any books and curriculum that acknowledge racism and bigotry. It’s just deeply sad to consider all the knowledge that’s being denied to kids everywhere right now to ensure they vote for Republicans.