---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 14:05:21 -0800
From: radtimes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: The Ivy League Left
The Ivy League Left
A new study shows that Ivy League professors are just as radical as you
by Lee Bockhorn
IT SEEMS that conservative provocateur David Horowitz, ever willing to pee
in the punch bowl of American academia, has done it again. Horowitz--who,
among other things, heads up the Los Angeles-based Center for the Study of
Popular Culture--had pollster Frank Luntz survey Ivy League humanities
professors last November to assess their political views and compare them
to the views of the American people overall. The results, which were
released last week, were not surprising to those of us who bother worrying
about such things.
A few choice examples of what Luntz found:
-Of those professors polled who voted in the 2000 election, 84 percent
voted for Al Gore, 6 percent voted for Ralph Nader, and 9 percent voted for
George W. Bush.
-When asked for their party affiliation, 57 percent chose Democrat, and 3
percent chose Republican. (Among the general public, the numbers are pretty
even: 37 percent choose Republican, 34 percent Democrat.)
-When asked to name the best U.S. president of the past 40 years, "all
things considered," the professors' top four responses were: Clinton (26
percent), Kennedy (17 percent), Johnson (15 percent) and Carter (13
percent). Ronald Reagan came in fifth, at 4 percent.
-Forty percent of the professors expressed support for paying slavery
reparations to blacks, while just 11 percent of the general public
supported reparations in another recent poll.
-When asked whether the government should spend the money required for
research and development of a missile defense system, the professors
favored not spending the money, by a margin of 74 to 14 percent. In an
October 2001 Gallup poll, Americans favored spending the money for missile
defense, 70 to 26 percent.
-When presented with the following statement--"If the federal budget has a
surplus in any given year, this money should be returned to taxpayers in
the form of a tax cut"--80 percent disagreed (26 percent "somewhat," 54
percent "strongly"), and just 13 percent agreed.
There were a few pleasant surprises. For example, 68 percent said they
"strongly" or "somewhat" support CIA recruitment on campus, and 71 percent
(33 percent "strongly," 38 percent "somewhat") support the presence of ROTC
programs (though it's fair to suspect these numbers might have been
different pre-September 11).
Now, even while duly noting all the usual caveats regarding surveys like
this--the tiny size of the sample, the absence of professors from
departments whose faculties usually don't tilt so far to the left (i.e.,
hard sciences and engineering), etc.--the poll results are pretty damning
for those who would still deny that professors at America's most
prestigious universities are, on balance, somewhat to the left of Che Guevara.
Luntz's results certainly don't surprise me; I spent my undergraduate years
on one of the most P.C. campuses in America, so I've seen the leftward tilt
among professors first-hand, and it disgusts me as much as anyone. But
perhaps it's a sign of how entrenched the Left is in American higher
education that even I find it difficult to get too worked up over these
poll numbers. Everyone knows by now that America's elite universities are
the bluest precincts of the liberal "Blue America" we've heard so much
about since the 2000 election.
Fortunately, it's also becoming apparent, even to those who don't count
themselves in the conservative edu-crisis camp, that these supposedly elite
universities are mere shadows of their former selves. As academic
institutions, no one really takes Harvard or Princeton or Yale as seriously
as they did, say, fifty years ago--especially in light of such
embarrassments as the recent brouhaha at Harvard over Cornel West and the
school's notorious grade inflation problem. Today, students who still
choose to attend these schools do so as much for the social connections a
degree from Harvard or Yale promises as they do for the intrinsic value of
an Ivy League education.
And based on the patriotic reaction of most students to the events of
September 11 and our current war on terrorism, it's not clear that these
liberal professors are having quite the effect that critics like Horowitz
fear. As David Brooks noted in a widely-discussed piece he wrote last year
for the Atlantic, most students today are so apolitical that whatever
radical propagandizing their professors are doing doesn't seem to be
rubbing off on them. They may be turning into relativists, but they're not
turning into socialists.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon Jan 21 2002 - 18:52:24 EST