The letter below was published in The Washington Times on Monday, March 18, 2019 entitled, “The ‘cowboy way’ under fire” which chronicles the fate of one western tradition under identity politics and political correctness. It also reports on The University of Wyoming’s new slogan “The World Needs More Cowboys.” ~ Ed
If you are a coastal elite parent of progressive inclinations, there are a wide range of colleges and universities you can encourage your children to attend (“The ‘cowboy way’ under fire,” Web, March 17). If, however, you value a traditional liberal arts education and want your child to have one, you have a problem finding a non-ideological college or university that will provide it. Further, you need to think about whether you and your children want to incur substantial debt to turn out “social justice warriors.”
Political socialization used to be both the domain and responsibility of parents. Today, however, political socialization has been outsourced from the family to both lower and higher institutions of education.
As both a father and a retired academic, I endorse the old adage that “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” Nonetheless, for that sliver of parents who value self-reliance, grit and courage, a degree in “cowboy studies” may not make your children any worse off than a degree in “gender studies,” “race studies” or “victimology studies.”
GORDON E. FINLEY
Professor of Psychology Emeritus
Florida International University