Imagine, if you can, that slightly more than half of the public voted Democratic in the last presidential election, yet some 80 percent of higher education's social scientists voted Republican. In that universe, you would expect the left to demand changes in university hiring practices so that academia would nurture greater diversity so as to better represent the American community.
Then step back into the real world, where academia has become a solid bastion of the Left, as demonstrated by two articles in the latest issue of the scholarly journal Current Review. One article presents a survey of academic social scientists that reports that 79.6 percent of 1,208 respondents said they voted mostly Democratic over the last 10 years, with 9.3 percent voting Republican.
Call that a near monopoly marketplace of ideas...
"I think, partly, it is self-selection," said Klein over the phone Wednesday. He sees "something about intellectuals and hubris and conceit" in academia -- with political scientists pumping themselves up as savvy saviors of a public sorely in need of their enlightened views. While liberal professors often think that they are open-minded, Klein believes that they also often think that "we're smarter" than those outside of academia, which gives them a right to "discriminate against people who get it wrong..."
I've also run into my share of journalists who believe that journalists tend to be liberal because liberals are smarter. It simply doesn't occur to them that editors tend to not hire reporters who don't fit into the well-worn liberal mold.
The Critical Review articles bared two disturbing trends: First, left-leaning academics are more orthodox than right-leaning academics. Klein, and Charlotta Stern of the Institute for Social Research in Stockholm, who conducted the social-scientist survey, polled academics about their views on where government intervention works best. They found "almost no diversity of opinion among the Democratic professors." Republicans -- no surprise -- demonstrated more ideological diversity. GOP scholars also are more likely to work outside the university -- and that's no accident.
I've said it too many times to count: liberals are the most intolerant group of people around.