Dakota State University holds its second Great White Conservative Intellectuals lecture this evening with Dr. Heather Wilson, former Republican U.S. Representative from New Mexico, School of Mines president, and Air Force Secretary, now president of the University of Texas at El Paso, presenting to the DSU History and Ethics Forum a speech on “Expanding the Cyber-Security Workforce“.
Wait. Conservative baloney processors Joe Bottum, Jon Lauck, and Ben Jones put this forum together to promote Kristi Noem’s agenda of cowing campus liberals and whitewashing history under the guise of “intellectual diversity”. The least they could do with their History and Ethics Forum is stick with their Hillsdalian pretense of promoting classical education through discussion of great ideas in, I don’t know, History and Ethics. They managed that charade last year, when they brought Hillsdale College prof Bradley Birzer (no, not the one who wrote Noem’s social studies standards) to drone on about the Greeks and classical ideals of liberty in America’s founding. They could have brought Birzer back this year for a stirring discussion of why Christopher Columbus is a great historical figure.
But after a year of planning, the best they could muster is Heather Wilson to deliver a vo-tech speech? How is expanding the workforce in any field, cybersecurity or otherwise, related to great questions of history and ethics?
Organizers wanly assert that Wilson will say something about history and ethics:
“Dr. Wilson will be able to bring a unique perspective to the concept of cyber-security in the workforce, and how we in education can meet that need,” said José-Marie Griffiths, president of DSU.
Wilson can also examine this concept in light of history and ethics. This is why the forum was created in 2021, to look at issues surrounding the computing revolution in the context of history and ethics. Organizers know that to best understand the computer revolution, it needs to be examined in context with history and morality [DSU, press release, Madison Daily Leader, 2022.10.17].
I am skeptical that recruiting more students to work in cybersecurity has much to do with history or ethics or that South Dakota’s college recruiters are steeping their pitches to prospective students in history or ethics. (Hey, kids! Want to be America’s first line of defense against cyberattacks from Russia? Here, read Plato’s Republic and the history of the papacy in the high Middle Ages!) A far more interesting and relevant field for discussion of ethics would be for Wilson to discuss her involvement in ethically questionable lobbying for no-bid federal contracts for Lockheed Martin and the Sandia National Laboratories back in New Mexico.
But sure—go to the Beacom building at 5 p.m. today, listen for any sign that Wilson can follow through on the promise of this lecture series to discuss great ideas rather than the ephemeral demands of an ever-changing economy. But odds are, all you’ll get is Republican conservatives patting each other on the back for another snowjob well done.