We have long assumed that the elite universities and colleges prepare the brightest and most ambitious students in the nation to lead the country in every field. Thus, the impoverishment of soul among these students has become increasingly a cause for gloom.
The old assumption might still be correct, but based upon my experience at a leading charter school in Colorado and what I know to be taking place in other charter and church schools around the nation, as well as among homeschoolers, I believe the time is coming when we shall view the lack of thumos in young people, caused ultimately by their lack of a love for truth and beauty and for God, as a blue-state malady in an increasingly red-state America. The lurid accounts of moral decline in contemporary students simply do not describe the mental and moral condition of the students I teach every day.
Increasingly, I am putting my money on these latter students—bright, moral, faithful, energetic, and hard-working young people in red-state America—rather than on those sophistic and often morally stunted youth currently attending the nation’s major universities. By “red-state America” I do not mean simply Republicans or people who happen to live in the red states. I mean the culture that deliberately embraces traditional morality, principally based in the Christian faith, most prevalent in, but not confined to, the “red states.”
If my thesis is correct, we would not expect to find a predominance of great-souled students on elite campuses, since Ivy League universities and their equivalents—at least for now—are enclaves of relativistic, secular, blue-state America. To find great-souled students, we must cast our nets to the other side of the boat. [snip]
See More in Touchstone Magazine Article, "Not Harvard Bound"