Tuesday, December 21, 2004

I just discovered a great article appearing in the LA Times a few weeks ago. It's titled "Why Academia Shuns Republicans" by Jonathan Chait. I love it because whereas many liberals cringe when accused of being "intellectual elites," Chait chooses to embrace it. He writes,
A few weeks ago, a pair of studies found that Democrats vastly outnumbered Republicans among professors at leading universities. Conservatives gleefully seized upon this to once again flagellate academia for its liberal bias.

Am I the only person who fails to understand why conservatives see this finding as vindication? After all, these studies show that some of the best-educated, most-informed people in the country overwhelmingly reject the GOP. Why is this seen as an indictment of academia, rather than as an indictment of the Republican Party?
The studies showing that academics prefer Democrats to Republicans also show that this preference holds in hard sciences as well as social sciences. Are we to believe that higher education has fallen prey to trendy multiculturalist engineering, or that physics departments everywhere suppress conservative quantum theorists?
The GOP is just being rejected by those who not only prefer their leaders to think complexly but are complex thinkers themselves. There's a problem with this picture, all right, but it doesn't lie with academia.

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