Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Keep it to yourself

I love free speech, particularly political speech. But sometimes its when we don't speak that makes the difference. Tonight, in my last Crim Pro class, my professor, your typical lefty public defender type had to provide all of lawyers to be with some words of wisdom. This is actually unusual at SCU Law, but actually it was a nice idea and a sentiment that could and should be appreciated. But, then the prof started talking. He worried that the USA is not understood by our good friends over in Europe. He thought he USA makes the mistake of not acknowledging the Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court at the Hague. He broke down the world's population by stating that if the world were 100 people, the North American would have 13 and the USA only 5. 2/3 is not white or christian, but the USA still has 23% of the world's wealth. Interestingly enough he blamed our culture of entitlement, interesting because this was in the middle of fretting that America was not sharing its resources/wealth/power with unelected eurocrats not accountable in constitutional scheme. The implication was clear: this country has more than it needs, probably because we feel entitled to more. Finally, he harangued about the threat now existing to civil liberties and that granting government more power over these liberties for security will provide us neither security nor liberty.

While I agree with that last sentiment, it was clearly meant to imply that the government is now trying to take away all our liberties without providing any security. I'm surprised he didn't mention the Patriot Act. I actually wonder whether he would have made the same speech if a Democrat were in the White House. Overall, it was just more badmouthing the USA by another leftwing law professor.

Anyway, my biggest problem here is what he said. I don't agree, but I've heard it all before. The problem is that he chose class time, which I pay for, to share his politics with us. Its not the first time. He's called Scalia the "midevil" justice before. Like I said, this is not new, but in my estimation its unprofessional for any law professor to attempt to indoctrinate their students into believing what he does. He probably thinks everyone agrees with him, so there no worry that he might offend.

It would have been possible to share his words of wisdom, without getting into why he thinks this country stinks. He did say some things worthwhile, for example that we all will take an oath to uphold and defend the constititution. Its just hypocritical that he admires that oath, minutes after he stated that we should give up our sovereignty.

This is just part of a larger problem. The problem of teachers and professors using class time to expound on their particular politics, using class to indoctrinate and propagandize rather than teaching. I'm not saying people should speak there mind. But I paid for Crim Pro, not Kroeber's Political Views 101. When I sign up for that class I will expect to hear these leftwing views. Otherwise, I'm hear to learn criminal procedure. He told us that professionalism is a major tenet of our vocation. Apparently not if you are a law professor. I'd appreciate words of wisdom, I just wish there was some wisdom behind the words.

UPDATE: I should clarify this post by mentioning that the entire speech was not one long anti-American tirade. The prof did say a couple things about being attorneys that were worth hearing. In addition to the "defending the constitution" portion, the prof did say one other thing that was noteworthy. He told us to never apologize for being lawyers. I thought worth hearing and remembering. But to that I'd add, don't ever apologize for being an American.