Friday, December 03, 2004

Study reveals that smart people tend to be liberal

I'm not usually a frequenter to Instapundit but I was aimlessly wandering in cyberspace and found myself visiting his page where I found this Boston Globe article, which struck me as highly deficient in making anything close to a reasonable argument about a subject which is quite important - left-wing dominance on campuses

The survey, which seems to be objectively handled, shows that the predominant number of professors in common fields from University of Houston to UCLAUCLA are leftist leaning to greater or lesser degree. But from this information the article jumps to the conclusion that this means students are being "brainwashed" because professors "frequently comment of politics in class," which is not overly helpful.

The first argument goes directly to the quote given by Ben Shapiro who made the "brainwashed" video (which my computer refused to bother downloading so I didn't see it) that liberalism in universities goes "under higher education's facade of objectivity." Much as I knew, private universities were not under any obligation to be objective. Their private, you don't like them, you don't go there. I might mention Bob Jones University, I also found Abilene Christian University. Plus a google check of "conservative university" revealed a high number of seemingly very organised conservative groups and a conservative national association of some kind. This would indicate that despite a prevalence of liberal professors campuses remain open to all kinds of political discourse and persuasions.

But that aside, lets suppose you do expect universities to provide a more balanced view in educating students. The next question to ask might be, "if there are so many liberal professors WHERE are the right-wing ones?" Are they being discriminated against in employment opportunities? Is there a mass of unemployed conservative political science and liberal arts professors? Or, could it be that most people with half a brain are not conservative-leaning? (that is putting it in a provocative way but the question remains as to why are the majority of them liberals in the first place?)

And then to the crux of the matter. So what? The questions that needed to be asked here are not whether professors talk about their political views in class but whether they prevent students from presenting their own views or whether or not students feel that professors mark them based on political orientation. If that were to be discovered, that would be a MAJOR problem. But just talking politics in a classroom doesn't make the prevalence of leftism "radical, aggressive, and deeply intolerant." that comment is unsubstantiated in the article and until such time as evidence is produced to back it up, it is unfair to make such an accusation.

Currently reading:

"Hell" by Yasutaka Tsutsui