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News Opinion Readers Respond

There are good reasons why liberals dominate academia

Professor Richard Vatz may be correct in his assumption that there is a bias against conservatives on college campuses, but I believe that it is for good reason ("The diversity hoax: On campus conservatives need not apply" June 23) .

He quotes studies that indicate that 72 percent of professors teaching at American universities and 87 percent at "elite" universities are self-described liberals. Has he ever wondered why these figures are so overwhelmingly one-sided? He also berates the National Communication Association for opposing "discrimination against certain groups, such as African-Americans, women, LGBTs, disabled people, and certain others." This is followed by, "What most NCA members do not oppose — and even support — is discrimination against conservatives — especially, again, in the academy."

It is because conservatives tend to support so many practices and attitudes that consistently block the efforts of people, either born into, or forced by circumstances beyond their control into, a demographic that has traditionally met with discrimination from those who are more culturally advantaged by no effort of their own, such as the onetime white Protestant majority or any temporarily majority political party.

Conservatives, on the other hand, are not born into, or forced by circumstances into their decision to become conservative. They are holders of ideas that can be considered wrong by many others, and they fight fiercely to support their misguided opinions, in spite of any evidence that may indicate that they are wrong. Among these ideas are, the American Civil War was not fought over slavery but over the states' rights, forgetting completely that states' rights were written into the Constitution in order to protect slavery as an institution from the tinkering of the many abolitionists among the founding fathers, a compromise!

Another is the idea that what they call a free market, the ever popular "invisible hand," is the only sound basis for making economic decisions. And another yet is that government can't do anything as well as the private sector. The list is goes on and on, and each is sheer dogma. All these positions are arguable. Conservatives by nature are orthodox and liberals by nature are doubters. Thus the only liberal "agenda" is to expose to all clear-thinking people of good will that most orthodoxies are at best only partly true, and to protect us all from those who would impose their orthodoxies on all of us. I propose that that is why roughly 80 percent of college professors choose to be liberal rather than conservative. The bias part is just a natural follow up, one that I choose to describe as a pragmatic weapon to be used in the war against ignorance.

Thomas Davies, Towson

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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