Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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NY Times on the Cutting Edge As Usual

Today’s Times once again displays its ability to emulate a near-sighted detective with a feature story about how conservatives are setting up academic centers on various campuses to teach serious things. Try as they might, they have a hard time coming up with a sinister spin on the story.

Discussions - 6 Comments


This seems an appropriate place to acknowledge my gratitude to one of those centers, the Program on Constitutionalism and Democracy at UVA for giving me the time to finish my gargantuan dissertation which I recently defended with success, hence the "Doc" moniker. UVA, the illustrious home of Jim Ceaser, political scientist extraodinaire, author of must-must-read books like Political Science and Liberal Democracy, and occasional NLT contributor, as of well as of the inimitable Paul Cantor, literary savant, Shakespearean critic par-excellance, and founder of the flourishing field of Gilligan studies, is also famous for being founded by Thomas Jefferson.

The title of my dissertation is "The Inconstant Democratic Character: A Comparison of Plato's Republic and Tocqueville's Democracy in America." It's great, it contains over 200 footnotes, but far more importantly, it's DONE! It perhaps would not have come to be without PCD and those who lent the program their support.

Congrats Dr. Carl on finishing. And I'll second your shout-out to the roster of luminaries at UVA.

"...they have a hard time coming up with a sinister spin on the story."

...and you simply can't acknowledge that such a liberal paper wrote a fair and reasonably straightforward, objective piece on the situation.

If conservatives successfully expand their right-wing academic centers and come to dominate higher education will liberals and lefties be able to whine and moan - as the right-wing has - about how they're marginalized, and call for ideological affirmative action programs????

Cubs fan, this is your year, best wishes for your fine franchise.

But unlike the long-suffering Cubs fans, conservatives are never going to see their guys win any equivalent of a world series academia.

Exhibit A: 2005 survey of 1,643 full-time faculty, relying on 1999 data showed that 87% of them were liberal, 13% conservative.

Exhibit B: 2002 study reveals that only 3% of Ivy League professors are Republicans. Take out the likely greater number of Repubs in the hard sciences, and you'd get an even lower figure.

Exhibit C: Using public info on campaign contributions to the 2004 presidential election, we learn that employees of Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and University of California favored Kerry to Bush by ratios of 25 to 1, 302 to 1, 20, to 1, and 21 to 1 respectively.

Exhibit D: walk down the faculty office hallways of almost any college or university, and count how many left-leaning cartoons, articles, or quotes are taped on to the doors as oppossed to right-leaning ones.

And we could go well past Z...

These academic centers are frankly the last effort on the part of center-right folks prior to a full-scale campaign to set up an entirely "Red" network of colleges founded in conscious opposition to the current deep-blue institutions. That is, if in another two decades it becomes clear that they haved failed to somewhat rectify the situation, we will begin heading toward a Red/Blue divide in higher education. So actually, you should be cheering these centers on...almost as lustily as you root for the Cubs. And if that's too distasteful, why don't you ask your local college and university faculty to begin to rectify the scandalous situation themselves.

Congrats, Carl!! Hooray for PCD.

Nice job dodging my point about conservative calls for ideological affirmative action (see Horowitz and his grotesque efforts), Mr. Scott.

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