A Deep Concern …

Reblogged on Bob’s Opinion … from AMAC Newsletter.

 

Nearly Four In Five College Departments Don’t Employ A Single Republican

 

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To set foot on an American college campus, as anyone who’s spent a picosecond thereabout lately can tell you, is to step through a left-wing looking glass. But a jaw-dropping new study from the National Association of Scholars (NAS) reveals just how deep the rabbit hole goes: among tenure-track college professors at the nation’s top-ranked liberal arts schools, registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by more than 10 to 1.
Rather than culling data from some voluntary survey, the report uncovers the political leanings of 8,688 elite academics by cross-referencing publicly available voter registration information with faculty lists from 51 colleges. At these schools, “78.2 percent of departments do not employ a single Republican.” And that’s just the topline.
The numbers below the fold, broken down by college and field of study, are even more alarming. Over at Wellesley College, perhaps best known for fostering pantsuited diplomats and disdain for the late Barbara Bush, there are 136 Democrat professors for every Republican. More than a third of the colleges assessed have ratios of at least 20-to-1.
At the low end of the spectrum are schools like the Naval Academy, where still more than twice as many Ds as Rs appear at the front of the lecture hall. Lopsided leanings are also evident in key disciplines, such as environmental studies (25-to-1), the humanities (32-to-1), and sociology (44-to-1).
Even If You’re Liberal, This Is Bad News
Look, it’s news to no one (except maybe the frequently confused Matt Yglesias) that the Left smothers conservative thought in academe. But at this magnitude, the consequences go far beyond who gets to wear tweed jackets with elbow patches. Each year, America’s universities ingest millions of bright but ideologically inchoate young people fumbling towards adulthood. Failing to expose them to an extensive menu of different ideas is a sure recipe for parochialism and intellectual indolence.
Even those who would welcome a unanimously liberal generation of Americans must recognize that a mind untested is as useful as a pencil unsharpened: it may be the tool you need, but good luck filling out your Scantron. The most valuable test of one’s worldview is to be confronted by an earnest exponent of a different or even contradictory one.
Moreover, consider the impact of straitjacketed thinking on academic inquiry. Despite being lavished with billions by American taxpayers, the social sciences are engulfed in a vexing replication crisis. Hundreds of findings once considered axiomatic have been impossible to reproduce, casting doubt on entire corpuses of published work in some disciplines.
Is this really all that gobsmacking, however, given the tool we use to appraise its validity? Peer review aims to ensure that academic evidence can be trusted by subjecting it to the rigorous scrutiny of reviewers with expertise comparable to the author. Yet as activists and politicians grasp ever more desperately at studies to lend scientific heft to their policy wish lists, academic research has become increasingly politicized. A panel drawn from a cohort of homogeneous thinkers cannot be expected to fairly assess evidence that has a political impact.
Look no further than the Implicit Association Test (IAT), a tool social psychologists developed that purports to measure unconscious prejudice. After being cited in more than 3,000 peer-reviewed papers by “psychologists [desiring] to help solve social problems,” and eagerly circulated by fellow travelers in the media, it was revealed that the test returns wildly unreliable results and has no impact on discriminatory behavior.
Despite failing to meet basic scientific standards, the IAT has been taken by more than 17 million people worldwide, featured in multimillion-dollar federal grants, and made the centerpiece of countless corporate diversity workshops. These academic blunders carry a price we will continue to pay until we recognize the limitations of peer review in an echo chamber.
This Means the ‘Consensus’ Is Tilted
The same applies to the notion of “scientific consensus,” commonly aired today in discussions about climate change. In 2014, noted demagogue John Oliver excoriated the media for daring to present viewers both sides of a political question by holding a “statistically representative” mock debate. To illustrate the percentage of scientists who agree on climate change, he trotted out 97 extras in white coats to shout down three climate skeptics.
To this profusion of unintentional irony, the NAS study adds another nugget: the 25-to-1 partisan ratio among environmental studies faculty means that out of professors who declare for a party, 96.2 percent are Democrats. By no means does this invalidate the conclusions of climate scientists. But policymakers should be aware that the oft-cited “consensus” is not necessarily a meeting of purely objective minds.
Let’s face it: the academy’s ability to perform credible peer review and proclaim scientific consensus will be hindered until it reclaims ideological pluralism. But how? The study argues that, “[t]he solution to viewpoint homogeneity may lie in establishing new colleges from the ground up” because reforming hidebound institutions “seems a very tall order.” Yet a vast new expansion, in the context of bloated federal outlays and overextended state budgets, seems even more improbable.
There is no choice but to reform existing universities, although it will take a Herculean effort from within to expand the institutional Overton window. These days, you can hardly walk through a quad without turning up some provost or vice chancellor underfoot, vowing to promote diversity. It’s past time for these administrators to show some mettle and apply that principle not just to race, sex, and creed, but to ideas also.
That means ceasing the assault on academic freedom and putting the kibosh on the heckler’s veto. Those interested in a truly plural discourse on campus should also think twice before reaching for the typical administrative pro-diversity playbook. Mandatory training seminars and hiring quotas are poor solutions, whomever they favor. Instead, we should take matters into our own hands.
Here’s How to Start
First, students and professors with divergent views must be bold enough to publicly voice them. The chilling effect of overwhelming viewpoint discrimination drives right-leaning prospective young academics into tight-lipped diffidence, if not different callings altogether. The magnetism of compelling mentors—visible evidence that conservatives indeed belong—is an indispensable counterweight that must be strengthened.
Meanwhile, freethinkers should join (or promote and support) nonpartisan organizations that defend viewpoint diversity and freedom of speech on campus, like the Heterodox Academy and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. The surveys, tools, and research that groups like these produce are materiel for the vanguard.
Finally, right-leaning professors should strive to play a larger role in peer review, though not a tendentious one. These panels should not become venues for ideological combat, but a variety of perspectives is a needed check on cognitive biases, to which even pedigreed scholars are susceptible.
It goes without saying that all this may come at a substantial individual cost, denominated in professional opportunities and even personal relationships. But it must be paid. Otherwise, partisan faculties will continue to gather momentum like heavy stones tumbling down a hillside. The few conservatives in academia must be willing to stand athwart these boulders yelling Stop, no matter the risk of being flattened. The integrity of the academy depends on it.
From – The Federalist – by William Estes

Just As It Is

Reblogged on Bob’s Opinion

 

 

William Murchison
William Murchison

WILLIAM MURCHISON: Of the Baptists and the modern world

June 12, 2018

 

I live in amity with the Southern Baptists, whose general tolerance for my fellow “Whiskeypalians” I take kindly.

I wouldn’t dream of joining the media whoop-de-do over who among the Baptist faithful did what to whom, and when, and what to do now. You have read it all; I will not recount the imputations of Baptist sexism, patriarchy and the Lord knows what else.

There is a point, even so, to be made about life in an environment — this one — where religious standards of belief and behavior more frequently encounter scorn or indifference than support.

Without brushing off genuine concerns about particular attempts in Baptist ranks to downplay sexual aggression (all forms of sexual aggression are despicable, would you not say?) we need to look at the premises that make such aggressions possible and familiar.

Which are? Ah. Here we get down to brass tacks.

Leave the Rev. Dr. Paige Patterson out of this. The deterioration in male-female relationships over past decades has brought this thing to pass, and all the attendant misery and reproaches.

It is in part the churches’ fault. It is in part not the churches’ fault.

It is the fault, broadly speaking, of the modern supposition that the relationship of man and woman is for that particular man and that particular woman to figure out for themselves — never mind what Western culture and religion taught in the ages prior to Freud.

It will be noted, if one looks, that there was no #MeToo movement — no swelling demand for reckoning with male aggressors — until very recent months.

There was no such movement in the ’50s. There was no such movement in the ’40s. There was no such movement in the ’30s.

Which is a far cry from saying, “Gee, everybody sure was happy and content in them there old days!” It is more reasonable to say society lived by a different ethic than that which came to hold sway following World War II.

That is where the churches came in.

The male-female relationship, as the churches saw it, and tried to teach it, involved obligation. Personal expression was low on the totem pole as a cultural objective. There were limits.

These limits, under religious tutelage, society acknowledged. Sorrow and pain and cruelty, being elements of the human character, hung around the house and, often enough, broke out windows or set the place on fire.

But that wasn’t supposed to be the way of it. The way of it, according to the Christian principles America’s churches had been endowed with, was love; it was mutual forbearance; it was kindness toward, and respect for, others.

Personal, shall we say, “expression” — meaning, among other things, rape, humiliation, aggressive encounters with members of the opposite sex — ran counter to how the Good Book told it. There were limits. You needed to keep within those limits.

You didn’t, for instance, get a stranger drunk and carnal knowledge have of her — as rape statutes used delicately to phrase it. Families and social institutions of all kinds assumed responsibility for the observance of these necessary limits.

Until they didn’t. Until the churches, to put it another way, more or less gave up on proclaiming the value and worth of the old norms: acceding, in effect, to the modern clamor to let people do as they liked; adjusting the Christian message so as not to look old-fashioned and out of it.

The Rev. Joseph Fletcher, in “Situation Ethics,” stressed the need to avoid “stern, iron-bound do’s and don’ts,” along with “prescribed conduct and legalistic morality.”

Fletcher, was, well, um, I admit it, a fellow Whiskeypalian whom the Southern Baptists could accuse of helping fellow Christians, along with non-Christians, create a vast moral trash heap.

I ache for the Baptists at this juncture: victims of, as well as collaborators in, the moral confusion through which we lurch, yelling, denouncing, prosecuting, demonizing — everything but trying to remember what it was like back when the cultural rule of thumb was taken to be to love your neighbor as yourself.

William Murchison’s latest book is “The Cost of Liberty: The Life of John Dickinson.”

 

 

 

Some Places Still Do…

 

 

R.S. Helms … 5-12-2017

 

At least we are patriotic Jesus loving Americans in spots and in a major majority…

I was honored to attend my niece’s high school graduation last night, and knowing they had to hold it on the local college campus, in the sports coliseum venue, which holds 7000, … my wife Jettie and I are in our seventies and after waiting in traffic for nearly an hour, we found parking about ¾ mile from the coliseum, needless to say that is no hill for a climber but in the heavy humidity, and crossing the Bayou, it was a real treat to find the family and our saved seats. 

Once seated, I noticed that the band was playing ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic’  nice to hear a national ‘Christian’ instrumental from the Republican North of the Civil War, even here in the South, where the liberal shadow government is at work rewriting history and removing all the confederate statues of New Orleans.  It is going to give ammunition to the republican conservatives when arguing the facts of slavery.  If there is no history of the civil war, then there is no history of the horrors of our nation’s worst time, from the signing of the Declaration of Independence until the end of Jim Crow in the 60s.  Sure, the civil war was fought over slavery, but that was not the only reason of many.  Nonetheless, it was the Southern Democrats who were the prominent slave holders, because of agriculture being the main-stay of the South.  Cotton, Cain Sugar, and Tobacco were the cash crop of the economy, which were heavily taxed to make up for the lack of labor costs, if the government would have enforced the equality statement in the preamble of the Constitution, we would have had the civil war much earlier, if indeed at all.  Slavery and the slave trade was a dark, dark period of the American history; however, good bad and ugly history is history, and ever much as important as anything else we may value as our nation moves forward. I think forced integration was achieved because of history, the history of slavery and the civil war. 

I would have been disappointed if they would have played hip-hop or pop rock, or had a band sit in attempting to entertain the crowd.  Nonetheless, I was noticing the crowd when they had the color guard bring in the colors, the American flag and the state flag, not a seat was left with no one sitting that was able to stand.  It was the quietist moments of the whole night.  Next was the National Anthem, no one sat, no one just stood there, the ones that I could see removed their caps, and placed the hand over the heart.  Then quiet reigned once again as they posted the colors.  Next, was something unique, one of the four-point honor students came to the podium and while the audience still standing … she prayed, a very appropriate prayer for graduating seniors, … closing “in Jesus name” amen, and the whole crowed echoed Amen. 

We had over six hundred in the graduating class of 2017, hundreds were accomplished students, some of which were inducted into the national honor society for life.  I was proud of them each and every one.  They not only achieved four years of education during one of the roughest times in the history of public schools, but they did so with valor and held to their values and determination.  I was honored, and humbled by their achievement.

God bless each of them, as they leave this celebration of — a milestone, and accomplishment moving now into a new adventure … college … or for some … life.

R.S. Helms