Viewpoint Diversity: Why Fight Hypocrisy With Hypocrisy?
I have had some trouble with the claim that the way to "solve" the problem of leftist bias at universities is to hire a lot of additional profs, all of whom are biased to the right. All that would do is validate the claim that bias is acceptable, and reduce education to a power struggle over whether the left or the right controlled the state legislature. Ick.
Stephen K has a long, interesting meditation (actually, he may be on medication!) about the problem, or nonproblem, of viewpoint diversity. Nicely done.
He also links this Mallard Fillmore cartoon:
Sure, I smile when I read it, and some people on the left do buy into a neo-Rousseauvian "secular religion," but...
I really don't think it is harder for a conservative professor to get tenure than a liberal one, in most disciplines. At most good universities, if you publish important work that gets noticed, and restrict your political jabber to the dinner table and your personal life, you will get tenure. It is too hard to find good scholars.
Now, it is certainly true that people on the right, as well as the left, find it convenient to play the victim of enormous shadowy forces (remember Hillary Clinton's "vast right wing conspiracy", when all that really happened is that her husband lied about a blow job?).
There is a growing tendency on the right to blame their own simple laziness, and an appalling dullness of the spirit, on a nonexistent leftist establishment. Lack of productivity is NOT a sign of profundity; neither is it evidence of a vast left-wing conspiracy.
So, sure, there is an embarrassing hypocrisy on the side of the left. They want to hire people who LOOK different, but who all think exactly the same. That's not diversity. But it is crazy to think enabling right-wing nutjobs to force students to parrot a DIFFERENT line of crap will make things better.