Meghan McCain—former co-host of The View and current Daily Mail columnist—has sparked controversy with her recent column expressing strong opposition to her children attending what she refers to as "woke colleges" and will only do so over her "dead body."
McCain argues that college degrees no longer guarantee bright futures and criticizes what she perceives as an emphasis on "social justice" and "indoctrination."
\u201cNew \u2066@DailyMail\u2069 column: https://t.co/DW6G0EJubw\u201d— Meghan McCain (@Meghan McCain) 1685560767
“Who in their right mind would willingly subject themselves or their loved ones to hateful, irrational, woke indoctrination? Free Market Capitalism 101!”
McCain said "college is the last place I would pay for my kids to attend" because of the state of "academia today." She cited “the vile, unhinged commencement address at The City University of New York’s law school” earlier this month, in which a graduate who gave the keynote address condemned White supremacy in the legal system and criticized the Israeli government for colonizing Palestine.
“Professors and administrators no longer strive to teach students how to think, but what to think. ... [This demographic's 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. American Universities better recognize that before they fail out.”
Critics of McCain's column argue that her arguments lack nuance and are dismissive of critical social issues. They suggest that McCain's opposition to what she terms "woke colleges" reflects an anti-intellectual stance and an aversion to examining systemic power dynamics.
Indeed, McCain's column betrayed a singular unawareness that even conservative-leaning institutions such as Liberty University and Brigham Young University offer programs and courses that may be considered "woke" by her own standards.
McCain's assertion that colleges are failing to teach critical thinking and instead dictate what students should think was met with skepticism by those who believe in the importance of diverse perspectives and intellectual exploration.
She was swiftly called out and mocked online.
\u201c@MeghanMcCain @DailyMail What does that even mean? Would you have a problem if they became friends with people like, oh I don\u2019t know, Clay Aiken?\u201d— Meghan McCain (@Meghan McCain) 1685560767
\u201c@MeghanMcCain @DailyMail Hmmm. We\u2019ll see what you say when they are college age.\u201d— Meghan McCain (@Meghan McCain) 1685560767
\u201c@MeghanMcCain @DailyMail Republicans can\u2019t even define \u201cwoke.\u201d It\u2019s a catchall and it\u2019s lazy grievance politics.\u201d— Meghan McCain (@Meghan McCain) 1685560767
\u201c@MeghanMcCain @DailyMail Republican definition of WOKE: Anything and Everything I personally disagree with. \nMerriam-Webster definition: \u201cAware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice).\u201d\u201d— Meghan McCain (@Meghan McCain) 1685560767
\u201c@MeghanMcCain @DailyMail I guess it\u2019s good thing you can\u2019t make that decision for other peoples children.\u201d— Meghan McCain (@Meghan McCain) 1685560767
\u201c@MeghanMcCain @DailyMail You can opt to not pay for it. But they will be adults who can chose to go to school wherever they like. You might want to rethink that \u201cover my dead body\u201d statement\u201d— Meghan McCain (@Meghan McCain) 1685560767
\u201c@MeghanMcCain @DailyMail I\u2019m sorry but this a major \u201ccart before the horse moment.\u201d 1. Your children need to apply & be accepted (unless you are willing to risk jail time) 2. I have 3 strong willed, independent thinkers, & I can tell you your job is to support them in THEIR choices no matter what.\u201d— Meghan McCain (@Meghan McCain) 1685560767
\u201c@MeghanMcCain @DailyMail You\u2019re scratching the bottom of the barrel with this one.\u201d— Meghan McCain (@Meghan McCain) 1685560767
The debate surrounding "woke culture" in colleges and universities is emblematic of broader discussions about the purpose of education and the role of critical thinking in society. While some view the emphasis on social justice and inclusivity as essential for progress and dismantling systemic inequalities, others argue that it stifles free speech and promotes ideological conformity.
This polarization has received even greater attention as a result of continued attacks against "woke" institutions by Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, who is currently vying for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
From implementing laws that target refugees, Black people, and LGBTQ+ Americans to signing a bill making it exceedingly difficult for Floridians to access abortion care, DeSantis' actions have drawn national attention and provoked widespread debate and condemnation.
DeSantis' decision to block schools from teaching certain aspects of history related to race and gender has further fueled concerns about educational equity and inclusivity and he has made no signs of slowing down, pleding to end "woke politics" and liberalism in the United States if elected.