I guess everyone knows that conservatives are discriminated against at liberal universities. But I thought this Wall Street Journal article had some interesting insights about how far conservative professors have to go to hide their views from their colleagues on the secular left.
Everyone knows that academia is predominantly liberal: Only 6.6% of professors in the social sciences are Republicans, according to a 2007 study. But what is life like for the pioneering conservatives who slip through the ivory tower’s gates? We decided to find out by interviewing 153 of them.
Many conservative professors said they felt socially isolated. A political scientist told us that he became a local pariah for defending the Iraq war in his New England college town, which he called “Cuba with bad weather.” One sociologist stated the problem well: “To say a strong conservative political opinion with conviction in an academic gathering is analogous to uttering an obscenity.” A prominent social scientist at a major research university spoke of the strain of concealing his political views from his colleagues—of “lying to people all the time.”
Some even said that bias had complicated their career advancement. A historian of Latin America told us that he suffered professionally after writing a dissertation on “middle-class white guys” when it was fashionable to focus on the “agency of subaltern peoples.” Though he doesn’t think the work branded him as a conservative, it certainly didn’t excite the intellectual interest of his peers.
A similarly retrograde literature professor sought advice from a colleague after struggling to land a tenure-track job. He was told that he had “a nice resume for 1940.”
Let’s put some numbers to these stories, with an article from the Washington Times.
It’s not every day that left-leaning academics admit that they would discriminate against a minority.
But that was what they did in a peer-reviewed study of political diversity in the field of social psychology, which will be published in the September edition of the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science.
Psychologists Yoel Inbar and Joris Lammers, based at Tilburg University in the Netherlands, surveyed a roughly representative sample of academics and scholars in social psychology and found that “In decisions ranging from paper reviews to hiring, many social and personality psychologists admit that they would discriminate against openly conservative colleagues.”
[…][C]onservatives represent a distinct minority on college and university campuses. A 2007 report by sociologists Neil Gross and Solon Simmons found that 80 percent of psychology professors at elite and non-elite universities are Democrats. Other studies reveal that 5 percent to 7 percent of faculty openly identify as Republicans. By contrast, about 20 percent of the general population are liberal and 40 percent are conservative.
Mr. Inbar and Mr. Lammers found that conservatives fear that revealing their political identity will have negative consequences. This is why New York University-based psychologist Jonathan Haidt, a self-described centrist, has compared the experience of being a conservative graduate student to being a closeted gay student in the 1980s.
In 2011, Mr. Haidt addressed this very issue at a meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology — the same group that Mr. Inbar and Mr. Lammer surveyed. Mr. Haidt’s talk, “The Bright Future of Post-Partisan Social Psychology,” caused a stir. The professor, whose new book “The Righteous Mind” examines the moral roots of our political positions, asked the nearly 1,000 academics and students in the room to raise their hands if they were liberals. Nearly 80 percent of the hands went up. When he asked whether there were any conservatives in the house, just three hands — 0.3 percent — went up.
[…]”Because of the way the confirmation bias works,” Mr. Haidt says, referring to the pervasive psychological tendency to seek only supporting evidence for one’s beliefs, “you need people around who don’t start with the same bias. You need some non-liberals, and ideally some conservatives.”
But that’s not all – those findings are confirmed by other studies of campaign donations by professors:
Professors, administrators and others employed at the eight universities of the Ivy League have given $375,932 to Obama and $60,465 to Romney, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington watchdog group that tracks campaign finance issues.
[…]The president’s academic advantage extends behind the Northeast’s ivied walls and into the Midwest.
At Ohio State University in Columbus, for example, Obama has raised $18,230 from faculty and staff, compared with Romney’s $3,500.
How did this massive imbalance happen? Answer: active discrimination against minority viewpoints. Secular leftists discriminate against conservatives in hiring and employment decisions. This is because liberalism is a false ideology, and the only way to maintain it is to punish anyone who disagrees with it. Allow any sort of open, rational discussion of methodology or evidence undermines the delusion that the elites are trying to maintain.