College faculty out of touch with the U.S.
It should probably come as little surprise, but a recent survey by pollster Frank Luntz added further evidence that the faculty at our elite universities and colleges are increasingly out of touch with America.
Luntz questioned Ivy League humanities professors on their
political views, and the results speak for themselves. Only three percent
of professors considered themselves to be Republican, versus 57 percent
who called themselves Democrats. Zero percent labeled themselves conservative.
On most individual issues, professors similarly to the left
of mainstream America. Seventy-four percent opposed spending money on
missile defense research, versus the 70 percent of Americans that support
missile defense. Forty percent of professors supported reparations for
slavery; just 11 percent of Americans do.
Granted, I don't go to an Ivy League school; I missed the
cut at a couple of them. But there is little reason to believe a similar
poll taken here at Bowdoin would have different results. I can remember
one of my history teachers last fall making plenty of jokes about then-candidate
Bush's intelligence. Another professor gave the class an article by that
professional anti-American, Edward Said. And about a week after September
11, a faculty panel was called to discuss possible reactions to the bombings.
The mood was overwhelmingly liberal, with most of the panel members dwelling
on how American policies had enraged the Arab world. One girl in the audience
even had the gall to say of the bombings, "This is the sort of thing
the United States does to other countries all the time."
After the President's address was shown, the panel's reaction
was similarly negative. A speech that received a 90 percent approval rating
nationwide was dubbed "simplistic" here at Bowdoin.
This problem of a leftist bias in academia has existed for
decades now, ever since radicals stormed American campuses in their wrong-headed
crusade on behalf of North Vietnam's communist butchers. It is now basically
a given that the majority of college professors in this country run the
gamut from liberal to neo-Marxist. When the Soviet Union fell, the university
intellectuals simply shifted their support to a new ideology: political
correctness. Strict speech codes have become the norm on many campuses.
Instead of encouraging dissent, the college left has become an institution
that stifles it.
In the wake of September 11, far from being supposedly scared
into silence, our campus intellectuals have been especially vociferous
in their anti-Americanism. A physics professor at UMass-Amherst called
our flag "a symbol of terrorism and death and fear and destruction
and oppression." Brown University rushed out "a curriculum guide
on how to discuss the attacks in the classroom...that called for understanding
why people resent the United States." According to The New York Times,
"an emeritus professor...agonized over why the United States was
the most violent nation on earth and ended by saying 'We are complicit'"
at Haverford College, one of our fellow small liberal arts schools.
Now does all of this mean that a liberal arts education
in this country is irredeemably poisoned by political bias? No. I would
hope I wouldn't make my parents waste a small fortune on college if that
were the case.
But we should all take care to examine the biases and qualifications of those who teach us. As a French diplomat once remarked, "An intellectual is a person knowledgeable in one field who speaks out only in others."