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Susan Greene’s column in today’s Denver Post ( discusses the current CU Board of Regents, and the choices Coloradans have. Sue Sharkey, a Republican reactionary in the 4th Congressional District running for regent of our flagship university, states that “[c]ollege graduates are more likely to be liberalized than non-college graduates.” Her solution to this unacceptable result of receiving a higher education is to impose upon it her ideological agenda. Steve Bosley, a current regent, was one of four to vote no on “Preserving the Independence of the Board of Regents,” a vote on whether to appeal an appellate court decision that regents cannot ban concealed weaons on campus. At a Tea Party rally, Bosley said, “We’re the storm troopers. The storm troopers are going to take back America.”

One important measure of a civilization is how much it appreciates and cultivates the gift of human consciousness, and how sincerely it aspires to be a bastion of wisdom and compassion. The term “a liberal education” refers to our tradition of striving to ensure that as many of our young people as possible are guided through an exploration of human knowledge, learning about humanity, who we are, where we come from, and where we’re going. Our universities are indeed our temples of human knowledge and thought, where we go to learn and to create new knowledge, to investigate the complexities and subtleties of our world and universe, to improve our ability to act wisely.

Not only is America under attack by self-proclaimed  “storm troopers” admittedly determined to undermine our commitment to providing a broad and comprehensive education to our young people, but they are currently the majority on the Board of Regents of Colorado’s flagship university. When a large and vocal minority, passionate, angry, militant, motivated by the desire to catalyze and assist the contraction of the human mind and the human heart, by the rejection of wisdom and compassion, by the advocacy of ignorance and belligerence, succeed in taking over our temples of wisdom, our institutions for cultivating human consciousness, it is not hyperbole to suggest that this is a threat to the very foundation of what it means to be a civilized nation.

Coloradan’s do have a choice this November. As Susan Greene wrote,  “The at-large race is a statewide referendum on what we want the regency to be.” By extension, it’s about something more than that as well: It’s a statewide referendum on what kind of a people we want to be. Melissa Hart, the CU Law professor who is a Harvard Law graduate and former U.S. Supreme Court clerk, represents the choice to be a civilized people committed to wisdom and compassion. The alternative is to allow one more victory of a movement determined to force America to worship at the alter of ignorance and belligerence. Let’s not falter in the face of this truly consequential challenge.

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