Dan Patrick threatens innovation that drives Texas’s economy

Lieutenant-Governor Dan Patrick brings me back to my quiet days of fighting bigotry and promoting economic growth at the University of Texas at Austin.

Patrick’s statement against “critical racial theory”, “waking up leftists” and “Marxist professors” reminds me of the years of my college, when conservatives opposed multiculturalism, political correctness and, as you may have guessed, Marxist professors.

Demagogue Dan uses a tried and tested textbook to silence minorities, censor dissidents and expel intellectuals. He does not care that full-time teachers make important discoveries and stimulate economic growth.

Patrick’s attack on academic freedom is already causing problems for freethinkers, but if he convinces the legislature to lift labor protection for professors, he will blow up the engines of innovation in Texas.

Our lieutenant governor has always been an intolerant Christian nationalist. He often promises that his religious beliefs take precedence over his political party or human laws. But now that the Republican Party is imitating his brand of populist authoritarianism, it has broken.

“I will not stand aside and allow stupid UT Marxist professors to poison the minds of young students with a critical theory of race. We have banned it in state-funded K-12s, and we will ban it in the highest state-funded edition, ”he tweeted on February 15.

Patrick held a press conference at which he said that the struggle for a position in public universities was his top legislative priority in 2023. He wants to make it illegal for administrators to offer positions to new professors, and he wants to expand his powers to rid him of existing faculty.

Settlement is a tradition designed to protect intellectuals from politics. Scientists spend their lives studying, writing and helping people better understand their world. At best, universities are a place to discuss and debate these studies without fear of retribution or cult dogma.

Political winds can change abruptly, and demagogues like to purify dissident thinking to consolidate their power. The arrangement protects intellectuals, both left and right, from the mood of the crowd at the moment.

Critical racial theory, like multiculturalism, explores how authorities used skin color to distribute power and privileges. Adherents believe that because our institutions were created by the English, who used their power to oppress colored people, we must question how these institutions work today.

Despite Patrick’s misinformation, the goal is not to make English-speaking young people feel bad about their race, but to create a better union. To improve the present, you need to understand the past.

Patrick rejects this premise. He was furious when UT teachers passed an optional resolution stating that “teachers, not politicians, should make decisions about teaching and learning, and uphold the rights and academic freedom of teachers to develop courses, curricula and pedagogy, and to conduct relevant research ”.

Duration is a vital bonus that most universities offer to attract the best talent. Professors of medicine, science, engineering, business and mathematics are expected to remain in office in exchange for a lifelong commitment to the institution.

The arrangement also attracts more than experts in the application of Marxist theory to the weaving of public baskets in the Stone Age clans.

Senior professors oversaw the establishment in 1945 of Texas Medical Center, which now includes eight special institutions, eight academic and research institutions, four medical schools, seven nursing schools, three health organizations, two pharmacy schools, and a dental school.

Full-time faculty at UT Business School and the Electrical Engineering Department turned Austin into Silicon Locks in the 1980s. All the technological growth of the capital was due to the involvement of professors of the Corporation of Microelectronics and Computer Technology in 1982.

Finally, full-time UT and Texas A&M scientists are turning San Antonio into a cybersecurity hub, highlighting new companies and creating thousands of jobs.

However, extremism scares away the higher minds of America. A UT professor told me that one candidate responded to a call for recruitment by referring to Margaret Atwood’s novel The Maid’s Tale, asking, “Why would I want to move to Gilead?”

From personal experience I know that Patrick does not care about the freedom of ideas.

On July 2, Patrick’s campaign sent out a fundraising letter promising to defend the First Amendment. He then ordered the Bulak State Historical Museum to cancel the conversation about my best-selling book “Forget About the Alamo” a few hours before the scheduled start time.

Patrick also forces private companies. He backed a law requiring government contractors to swear they would not boycott Israel, and banned the state from doing business with organizations that do not invest in fossil fuel companies.

Patrick’s right-wing police started with public schools, switched to government contracts and headed for higher education. He is far from finished, and everyone who supports his re-election is responsible for fascism and the economic slowdown that will follow.

Tomlinson writes commentaries on business, economics and politics.

twitter.com/cltomlinson

chris.tomlinson@chron.com

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