Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Why Democrats Predominate on Campus

Jonathan Chait wrote about two recent studies that show that Democrats vastly outnumber Republicans on college campuses. He points out that wingnuts say this proves that academia is a bastion of liberal bias, but he wonders why the fact that the nation's best-educated people overwhelmingly reject the GOP is "seen as an indictment of academia, rather than as an indictment of the Republican party."

It's not as if this bias only holds among Marxist sociologists: The democratic tendency is just as marked in the hard sciences. Are we really to believe that this is the result of an ideological conspiracy that "physics departments everywhere suppress conservative quantum theorists?"

Of course not. The truth is that, Republicans don't want to be professors. "To go into academia, you have to believe that the life of the mind is more important than making a Wall Street salary."

You also have to believe that thinking, reason, and science have merit. In recent years, the GOP has deliberately "cultivated anti-intellectualism" scorning experts in every field, from global warming to stem cell research. Even on such matters as the war in Iraq and the federal deficit, Bush follows his gut and ignores the advice of the experts. Academics -- who are trained to think through complexities, not brush them aside -- are rightly appalled by this. Their bias isn't against Republicans. It's against people who embrace their ignorance and call it a philosophy.

Bush's gut will be working to reform (coughcoughdestroycough) social security. He certainly won't be using his intellect which is in a larger deficit than the national debt. If unchecked by spinless Democrats, I feel certain that our economy and the social security system are doomed to a fate similar to that experienced by our soldiers in Iraq. Apparently Bush's gut isn't smart enough to learn from its mistakes and his brain (Karl Rove) only runs political campaigns.