Update: Tenn. lawmaker clarifies call to "get rid of higher education"

Sen. Kerry Roberts of Springfield called for eliminating higher education while speaking about attending a recent abortion legislative hearing on his conservative radio talk show on Sept. 2. (Images: TN General Assembly, State Farm / Flickr / CC by 2.0)

A Republican Tennessee lawmaker says he supports getting rid of higher education because he argues it would cut off the "liberal breeding ground."

Sen. Kerry Roberts of Springfield called for eliminating higher education while speaking about attending a recent abortion legislative hearing on his conservative radio talk show on Sept. 2.

Roberts specifically called out one activist who testified in favor of protecting abortion rights. He asserted without evidence that the woman's beliefs were a "product of higher education" and claimed that getting rid of higher education would "save America."

The senator did not immediately respond to a request for further elaboration.

Roberts also questioned funding higher education with tax dollars. He voted in favor of the state's $38.5 billion budget earlier this year, which included money for colleges and universities.

Tuesday morning, Roberts' office send a news release by email, clarifying his position. Here is the statement in full:

"While the call for eliminating higher education was clearly hyperbole, I stand behind my general critique of liberal arts education in America one hundred percent.

Many higher education institutions have unquestionably become liberal breeding grounds where radical values and hatred for America are fomented. Conservative parents are often spending (or borrowing) tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to participate in an elaborate bait and switch. They sign up their children for education and advancement and instead receive intimidation and indoctrination.

And with each passing year, leftist policies grow more aggressive in an attempt to normalize behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs that just a few short years ago were considered unhealthy, morally bereft, economically bankrupt and un-American.

Hostile learning and working environments are suddenly acceptable when the leftists are zealously doing their duty of quashing any dissent. Repulsive stories abound of First Amendment rights abused, shamed or denied. There are no safe spaces for conservatives on many campuses.

It’s time for conservatives – whose taxpayer dollars significantly fund these institutions of higher education – to rise up and demand the restoration of balance in our halls of higher education.

Do we literally need to abolish higher education in America? Of course not. There are institutions that have found balance and they are to be applauded. But it’s time for lawmakers to question the efficacy of higher education in America, meaningless majors, liberal bias, and intolerance of traditional values and conservative points of view."

Depend on us to keep you posted on this developing story.

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