Thursday, January 26, 2006

Educated Does Not Mean Liberal!

So I was watching that Pen and Teller show Bullshit the other night and I saw something on there that has always gotten on my nerves. Don't get me wrong--this is a great show, but they did this whole "College is Bullshit" segment and within that segment, they talk about how colleges are now stamping out freedom of speech for anyone who is not a minority and or a conservative Republican. They had this guy from FIRE.ORG (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education), whose name I believe was Alan Charles Kors talking about how colleges today are bastions of liberal, democratic and socialist brainwashing. For those of you who don't know, FIRE is not a group that is concerned with every student’s free speech on campus. They are only concerned for the speech of people whom they agree with, namely conservatives, Republicans and Christians. This is not a group who will defend a student artist who creates nude or controversial art or the rights of a Palestinian student union to show films depicting the suffering of the Palestinian people under occupied rule. This is also not a group that will fight for the rights of war protesters on college campuses. So their name is somewhat misleading, as with all these other "family" and faux free speech and equal rights (for Christians and gun owners) type groups because the title doesn't live up to their intentions. That is probably what the show should have been about; after all, it is called Bullshit.

Anyhow, on this Bullshit episode Alan Kors cited the study of 1000 university professors in the U.S. and found that Democrats outnumbered Republicans 7-1 in the Humanities and Social Science departments and 30-1 in the Anthropology and Sociology departments. At U of C Berkeley and Stanford he found a 9-1 ratio of Democrats to Republicans within the faculty and administration. They also claim that the University of California system and Harvard topped U.S. universities in per capita political contributions to Democratic candidates and that within those two systems, Kerry voters outnumbered Bush voters 19-1. On the FIRE site, they talk about a study conducted in 2000 that stated among the voter registration records of Humanities and Social Science instructors at Cornell University, Democrats outnumbered 166-6 and 151-17 at Stanford. In the Ivy League system, they found that 80% of the professors voted for Gore in 2000 and only 9% voted for Bush. They claim that this is bad and that religious, conservative, Republican and uneducated people need to be represented as well. What they don’t report on is the discrepancy between conservative vs. liberal staff at a place like Liberty University, David Lipscomb, Bob Jones or Regent University. Sure, those aren’t state schools but neither are Harvard or Stanford and they are a lot cheaper than Harvard, Stanford, or Berkeley, so why can’t these conservative students go there if they want to learn about how the dinosaurs never existed?

Of the Universities mentioned with these terribly biased teaching staffs, I would like to point out the following: US News and World Report publishes an annual ranking of the nation's top schools; for 2006, Harvard was ranked number 1, Stanford number 5, and U of C Berkeley ranked 20th in the nation. Clearly, one of the main reasons these schools are ranked so high is because of their qualified and educated faculty. They wouldn’t be ranked this high if they were hiring half-retarded, bible-thumping, gun rack-owning, high school dropouts would they? What this says to me is that when you become educated you leave behind fantasy, myth and dogma and you appear to become what is considered “liberal”. You start to challenge traditions and begin questioning the world from an outside viewpoint and start questioning what you were taught by your parents and Sunday School teachers. Don’t mistake a guy who can analyze strata layers to determine how old they are as liberal if he concludes that the earth has been here for close to 5 billion years with no evidence of human fossils for the first 4 or so billion years. He doesn’t have an agenda, he has data. He has evidence that may or may not go against what you believe. Just because you don't believe that an invisible man created the entire Universe in 6 days doesn't mean you are a liberal socialist, it means you have evidence to the contrary and you know better. Bottom line: don’t confuse educated with liberal if you are not educated enough to know the difference.

Why is higher education the only place Republicans care about the ratio of Democrats to Republicans? At least in an educational setting there are facts that are discussed and independent books to read that weren’t written by these liberal professors. How can something like geography, history, or numbers and math be either liberal or conservative? Teaching kids that Europeans (us) wiped out the Native Americans and owned slaves is not liberal, they are historical facts. What they should be worried about is how the Republicans in Congress out number the Democrats and that 78% of all oil company donations go towards Republican candidates. A Democrat teaching kids about art history or Sigmund Freud is far less damaging than the oil industry running the White House and deciding which countries we invade.

I would also like to point out that if Harvard, the rest of the Ivy league and all these other “liberal” brainwashing institutions are trying to convert our students into liberal socialists they are doing a terrible job. George Bush went to both Yale and Harvard and most of his cabinet has attended other Ivy League schools. These are not people I generally think of when I hear the terms liberal or socialist. The President, Vice President and Secretary of State all having oil ties that affect our foreign policy is an easier connection to make than professors that happen to have voted for Gore, are all brainwashing our youth into becoming tree hugging, Christ hating socialists.


michael the tubthumper said...

there is evidence of the US government infiltrating the colleges. Have you heard of 'Project Troy'?

'Project Troy'?

Nölff said...

Well If educated means liberal then Conservative means dumb. right?

Toad734 said...

Well, I suppose it would. I wonder if they know that when they call the ivy league liberal?

Toad734 said...

I don't think there is a woman uglier than Ann Coulter.

Erudite Redneck said...

Beautiful, Toad.

Same goes for the press. The righty-rights rightly see the habit of asking questions and challenging authority as being anti-conservative in the sense of being anti status quo -- but confuse it to mean "liberal" in the political sense.

I love this: "don’t confuse educated with liberal if you are not educated enough to know the difference." Sadly, they're not educated enough to understand the sentence. And that is what I call "ignorance gone to seed."

NewsBlog 5000 said...

I looked forward to seeing Penn and Teller's show on Showtime. After watching a few episodes, it left a bad taste in my mouth.

Anyone who is informed on a subject which Penn and Teller hold up to scrutiny will soon find that they twist the facts as well as any political spin doctor. They stack their deck with well groomed "experts" on their side and the most outer wackos against their side.

Their episodes did spike some lively discussion between myself and my wife, but in the end we would end up only agreeing with about half of what they said. And that would be great if they presented their opinionated information as a point for discussion. However, they present it with such showmanship and zeal, that I fear many would take it as gospel truth.

Toad734 said...

They do tend to put the wackos on the opposite side of their position. However, on this episode they obviously failed. The guy they were getting to prove their point was from this ultra right wing christian militia group. As I mentioned, there could have been an entire bullshit episode about the FIRE organization.

slayne said...

I'm proud to be part of a union that is made up of mostly high school graduates. Many of the jobs in my field do not require college degrees.

Still, the union constantly reminds us how Bush's "compassionate conservatism" is not the slightest bit compassionate towards uneducated, working-class people. If anything, more uneducated people should lean towards the liberal side, not the Ivy Leaguers whose MBAs are gonna make them a whole lot of money anyway.

Toad734 said...

Good point

Mike V. said...

Don't you love the irony of a bunch of ivy league people running around bashing the "liberal elite" at colleges they all went to?
Totally awesome.

erinberry said...

Getting a college education can definitely broaden one's mind. It's harder to be a redneck who thinks everyone but you is going to hell, when you're meeting all kinds of people from different backgrounds. Being open to new ideas and perspectives is often the opposite of conservatism, so in that way, sure, there are more liberals in college. If the conservatives had their way, we'd still be burning science professors at the stake who were so evilly liberal as to insist the earth revolved around the sun.

I love how right-wingers try to make "educated" have a negative connotation. Morons.

Toad734 said...

Yet they are quite proud of it.

livingjetlag said...

Thank you.

BRUISER said...

Wow --- Who would have thought a cartoon could kill? I wonder if the racist cartoons of America's past should be remembered for their lack of intolerance----eh Mammy?

None333333 said...

I went to an elite liberal college. There is definitely a bias, although I didn't notice it at the time because I bought into the whole deal.

Liberals love to sneer at more conservative types and imagine themselves as more educated and broad-minded. They hold dearly to the dumb bible-totin' redneck stereotype.

Looking at all this from a more conservative perspective, it all seems very vain and self-indulgent. If you assume the 'other side' is stupid and uneducated, you will never have a real dialog with anyone but people just like you.

After college, I was a self-righteous arrogant little snob. It's the 'uneducated' people that taught me the most about being real and humble and down to earth.

Oh, and the US printed a 'Mammy' type cartoon featuring Condoleeza Rice. Apparently someone felt that it was ok to print a racist cartoon since conservatives like her don't count.

Toad734 said...


It goes both ways; when conservatives dismiss the work of science and say it doesn't have any more evidence backing it than the Bible, then it makes it hard to hold dialogue with someone so closed minded and wrong. Again, they are the ones who are calling people who are educated, liberals.

Grant said...

Educated may not mean liberal, but every school I have attended (all South of the Manson-Nixon line) was filled with teachers with a liberal bias (and by liberal bias I mean essentially liking America almost, but not quite, as much as Che Guevara). My high school history teacher liked to give everything an anti-America spin. We spent nearly two weeks covering the Trail of Tears, and less than one hour on WWII. I remember her summation of the Big One as “I guess we could have done worse” as she shook her head and rolled her eyes. Things didn’t improve much during college. The day after 9/11, my English professor started class by saying “I’m not trying to say what happened was a good thing, but we must have really done something terrible to them to force them into that action” as if terrorism was the logical response to our actions. At the same college I had one history professor who seemed to be the ultimate educated conservative – smart and funny, but patriotic and a WWII vet – but he always seemed uncomfortable discussing his views, like the lone Panther at a Klan rally.

As to why they didn’t convert us all, it’s probably related to why we don’t remember how to calculate the area under a curve or remember anything in French beyond “This is the fish of my brother Francois” – we only learned what we needed to survive, and then we forgot once we walked out the door. For myself, I didn’t care about their opinions. If anything, their posturing and blind rants turned me in the other direction.

Toad734 said...

Ok, but no one covered WW1 in history. I never once opened a history book to read or discuss WW1, WW2 the Kennedy assassination, the Cuban Missile Crisis or anything from our modern times.

I think one of the main reasons those events aren't covered in school is because the story of the conquered written by the conqueror. This continent was at one time full of Native Americans, now it's full of white people. What happened to all these people? Where did they all go? Why are there so many Indian Reservations in shitty areas out west? Don't you think this subject warrants more discussion than George Washingtons cherry tree?

They can say what ever they want about how great and honest George Washington was or how Lincoln wanted to end slavery because there would be no one there to prove them wrong. Starting with WW1 and moving forward those people were still alive and could verify or disprove the "hero" stories our history is painted with. There is a reason Americans think they are noble people; our history books say so.

As far as 9/11, no professor should really have a place to comment on that but although there are just a lot of crazies out there who do crazy things; something drove those people to that point to do what they did. Although the hijackers may have all been crazy and brainwashed the people who planned it were not. So the question of "why did they do it" is a valid question. They didn't do it to Brazil, or Japan, or Switzerland; what has the US done to make these people so upset. Maybe if our history books focused on our funding of Israel we may come to some conclusions.