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The Pollyanna view

Reader comment on item: The War on Campus

Submitted by Ethan Corey (United States), Sep 17, 2002 at 12:33

Dr. Pipes' article adds to a growing body of literature (some of which has been written by Dr. Pipes) documenting the overwhelmingly one-sided (read liberal) composition of American academia, and the mau-mau'ing of campus speakers who fail to espouse the current politically correct viewpoints. An unstated fear is that students will uncritically adopt the positions espoused by their professors and will attempt to silence critical viewpoints.

Happily, I believe that these fears are overstated. I believe that campuses began to assume their current tinge in the wake of Vietnam and Watergate. Therefore, we are looking at a phenomenon that is approximately 25-30 years old. If campuses were successful in indoctrinating students, we could expect that students in the past 30 years would be more liberal than their elders, that the Democratic party would be gaining ground as more graduates joined the electorate, and that the leaders of the Democratic party would be younger than their Republican counterparts.

None of these has proven to be true. The Democratic party enjoys greater popularity among senior citizens than it does in the population in general. Many of the Republican representatives elected since 1994 graduated college after 1975. In general, the Democratic party leadership is not noticeably younger than the Republican leadership.

What is true is that academia and journalism tend to attract a disproportionately liberal segment of society. Fortunately, they don't seem to be terribly successful in influencing the opinion of those not within the cabal.
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