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News Opinion Readers Respond

Young not so easily brainwashed

I am a 17-year-old high school senior and, in reading Robert L. Ehrlich's recent column ("Campus liberals run amok," Feb. 24), I found myself feeling downright insulted by the time I reached the conclusion.

I will be leaving for a four-year university in the fall, and I am appalled by some of the language Mr. Ehrlich uses in this piece. The manner in which this is presented makes it seem as if a college student is incapable of forming his or her own opinions and handling life on his or her own. When I graduate from college, my parents are in for a rude awakening if they try to "deprogram" me because I'll be an adult. I will be 22 years old, and my parents will no longer be in charge of me and my life.

Parents who try to "deprogram their kids after four years of expressive and progressive groupthink is shoved down their throats" are committing the same high crime as the institutions mentioned in Mr. Ehrlich's article are. They will be trying to force their political opinion on another human being who is perfectly capable of deciding for him or herself what he or she thinks. If their child was not smart enough to formulate his own political opinion during his years at college, then I worry about the future of this country.

If students choose to agree with what professors "shoved down their throats," then that is their choice; if they disagree they will just spit out what their professors "force-fed" them. If your child left college with your views in their heads, and came back with different views, than he or she obviously did not really believe in what you had told him or her. Your son or daughter most certainly does not deserve to be "deprogrammed" for believing something different. (I am clearly extremely offended by Mr. Ehrlich's choice of words; I'm a man with a working brain, not some computer that was overridden when I left mommy and daddy's house.)

I cannot speak on the manner in which Mr. Ehrlich raises his children, but my parents raised a freethinking individual capable of analyzing statements, examining fact, wading through the haze of bias and making his own choices, not a robot to be programmed and deprogrammed.

Mr. Ehrlich rants against bias in his column only to end with a disturbingly biased statement. To say that graduates will be brought "back to reality" when they receive their first paycheck implies two utterly abhorrent things. First, Mr. Ehrlich seems to assume that everyone is born to be a staunch conservative who wants the government to keep its hands off their money. This clearly is not the case, as he is no longer the governor of this fine state, and Mitt Romney is not president. Am I to believe that the 56 percent of Marylanders who chose Gov. Martin O'Malley over Mr. Ehrlich in the 2010 gubernatorial election were all forced to sign a pledge by their math professor?

Not everyone agrees with Mr. Ehrlich's views, which means that not everyone is waiting to be brought back to them. His closing statement also implies that his political views are absolutely the correct views to hold — the "reality" as it were. It is people with attitudes like this, on both sides of the aisle, who are the reason Washington is seeing the worst stagnation in its history. Two opinions on the role of government exist because both have aspects that are applicable to the governing of this country. As an American, and more specifically a Marylander, I am grateful that someone with so little faith in the youth of America was voted out of office. Those who do not trust my generation to make our own choices should not expect, and frankly do not deserve, us to agree with their views.

As a curious side note, I always find it interesting that the most intellectual and educated portion of the American political strata leans left (data from the Pew Research Center shows that more "solid liberals" have bachelor's degrees and post-graduate experience than any other group). I wonder what that could indicate. Food for thought.

Chandler Robertson, Forest Hill

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