Do college students — and their parents — truly understand how thoroughly left-wing professors dominate the humanities side of academia?
Many people know that most professors are liberal, but the degree to which the left wing rules is jaw-dropping. A study published last September in Econ Journal Watch, "Faculty Voter Registration in Economics, History, Journalism, Law, and Psychology," documents the overwhelming left-wing nature of the voter registration of college profs at 40 leading universities. An examination of voter registration in five departments found that Democrats outnumber Republicans by 11 1/2-to-1. Even in economics, where one would think that views would be driven by data, not politics, Democrats outnumbered Republicans 4 1/2-to-1. History was practically foreign terrain for Republicans, as Democrats outnumbered them 33 1/2-to-1.
And it's getting worse. A 1968 study put the Democrat-to-Republican ratio in history departments at 2.7-to-1. This latest study found that among profs 65 and older, Democrats outnumber Republicans by 10 to 1. But for scholars under the age of 36 the ratio is 22.7-to-1.
In 2012 the California Association of Scholars published the results of a two-year study about the bias of professors in the University of California system. The study claims that professors' bias "corrupts" education, turning schools into indoctrination camps. According to the National Association of Scholars: "The report documented curricula that promote political activism, in violation of UC regulations. For example, one course aims to be a 'training ground' for 'advocates committed to racial justice theory and practice.'" The CAS report also cited earlier studies that found that associate and assistant professors, those waiting in the wings, are ever more likely to be registered as Democrats. Among UC Berkeley's associates and assistants, said the report, registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by 49-to-1 in all departments — including sciences.
What about commencement speakers?
Of the political speakers, left-wingers dramatically outnumber conservatives. The student political advocacy group Campus Reform looked at last year's commencement speakers for the top 100 colleges and universities from U.S. News & World Report's annual ranking of best colleges. Of the then-announced speakers associated with political messages, 40 were liberal and 10 conservative, a ratio of 4-to-1 in favor of Democrats.
What about political contributions?
In the 2012 presidential election, a Campus Reform study found that 96 percent of the Ivy League's faculty and staffers who made campaign donations sent their checks to Barack Obama. At Brown University, just one professor contributed to Mitt Romney's campaign. Employees of the eight prestigious schools sent more than $1.2 million to President Obama, but contributed just $114,166 to Romney's campaign — a ratio of more than 10-to-1 in favor of Obama.
This brings us to what can only be described as Trump Derangement Syndrome, campus style. UC Berkeley claims, in effect, that it cannot protect students and property, therefore "incendiary" conservative speakers like Ann Coulter and David Horowitz — who actually attended graduate school there — had to cancel their proposed speeches. Meanwhile, at Claremont McKenna College in California, students blocked entry to those who came to hear pro-cop researcher Heather Mac Donald. "Activists" called Mac Donald a "white supremacist fascist," among other things, for researching and concluding that, no, cops are not engaging in illegal racial profiling. At Middlebury College, a professor who co-sponsored the invitation to conservative Charles Murray, which prompted a riot, apologized — to the rioters! Another California human psychology professor called Trump's election "an act of terrorism."
Dartmouth recently conducted a field survey of nearly 500 of its students and found that 45 percent of the students who self-identified as Democrats said they would be "uncomfortable" rooming with a conservative, while only 12 percent of Republican students said that they would be "uncomfortable" with a liberal roommate.
The question is whether left-wing professors create left-wing students. To say there is no effect is to say teachers don't matter. Consider this. In an attempt to quantify the effect of media bias, UCLA economics and political science professor Tim Groseclose writes: "(The) average voter received approximately 8.2 percent of his news from Fox, and 79.9 percent from establishment media (defined as all outlets except Fox, the internet and talk radio). Thus, the 'reach' of establishment media is approximately 10 times that of Fox News." He says in presidential elections, liberal media bias gives Dems an advantage of eight to 10 points. Were the media truly fair and balanced, concludes Groseclose, the average state would vote the way Texas does.
Is it not reasonable to assume that professors have at least some measure of influence on their students? Have many professors crossed the line from education to indoctrination? Will opposing views be tolerated and respected? Does a student run a risk of facing grade retaliation by a Trump-hating poli-sci professor?
Campus activists have long complained about "microaggressions," for which they demand "safe spaces." Is there any place where a left-wing student can feel safer than a college campus, where conservatives are not just unwanted but cannot even speak?
Larry Elder is a best-selling author and nationally syndicated radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com. Follow Larry on Twitter @larryelder. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.