Junior McCarthy College Now, I don't know if you've seen this, but an alumni group from UCLA is offering money to Conservative students who want to monitor their professors for thoughtcrimes, in their "Exposing UCLA's Radical Professors" initiative. You can follow the link if you want the full story, but the crux of it is, they are offering up to $100 to students who can identify, record, and document instances of faculty "actively proselytizing their extreme views in the classroom, whether or not the commentary is relevant to the class topic."
So. Yes. This is a horrifying case of Conservative political correctness that should ashame anyone concerned with academic freedom, and should at least feel vaguely similar to anyone who's read either The Crucible or studied the 1950s in any depth at all. These students and alums have concerns that, while not valid, should at least be taken seriously, but the thought of a externally funded witch hunt on the campus of UCLA should make those of us concerned with free speech--especially in light of the possibility that our emails, phone calls, and web searches might be tapped--at least a little nervous.
But more important, as a Conservative, shouldn't you be just the slightest bit offended by this? Ignoring the idea that this search assumes that you have the mentality of a 5-year old and can thus be "brainwashed" by liberal propaganda--after all, I know how frustrating it can be to be in a class where not only your classmates but the authority in the room disagrees and belittles your arguments--don't you think this is just a little too much handholding for you?
But ultimately, the reason both Liberals and Conservatives should be offended and rise up against this bullshit is that they're just not paying enough for this information. Think about it: as a student at UCLA, you go to class a couple dozen times a semester (California schools on a quarter system, if I remember properly), paying over $5,000 if you're from California, and maybe five times that if you're from out of state. Even if you're taking five classes, that's anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 for that one class that you simply must take to get the dirt on the dirty hippies. For the full $100 payment, you have to go to each class, take detailed notes, wear a wire for some of them, collect all the class materials, catalogue "audience reactions, comments, and other details that will properly contextualize the professor's non-pertinent ideological comments" and summarize all this for the organization.
On top of that, you might even have to write all the required essays and take all the tests, if not for the grade, for the snarky little leftist notes ("snark" being the only form of criticism the Liberal dares do, not being a manly wo/man like these Conservatives, thus unable to handle direct confrontation or go to war or do all the things a Conservative talks about doing without actually following through on) the infidel professor will leave on your D paper on why Reagan would have handled that bitch Mrs. Dalloway so much better than her liberal husband did, much less your F on the paper on why MLK is really more like Iago than Othello, despite the visual similarity.
In the end, you spend a semester earning less than $2 an hour for what's really a lot of work, all for a group that's going to take credit for anything that happens, regardless. Sure, there might be an ideological victory involved in this fight, but if you're anything like most California Conservative students, you're not in this fight for an ideological victory, but to make the shitload of money that victory can bring. Besides, isn't the standard payment for actions such as this a couple dozen pieces of silver?
It hardly seems worth it, to me. The campus republicans should refuse to do the bidding of this alumni organization until more money is on the table, and if they have to unionize and demand better wages for their freelance McCarthyism, so be it. Los Angeles is an expensive town and $100 won't even buy the first round for the College Republican's weekly "Drinking *ahem* Liberally, Bwahahaha" gathering. You might be able to buy a keg of an off-brand beer, but come on, Conservatives, show some fucking taste and discretion! You can do better. Demand a living wage! Police informants can earn $1,000 or more per month for their actions. College students should be able to swing at least a portion of that.
Conservatives of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your distaste for unions!