Horowitz’s Delicious Academic Bill of Rights

Posted: Sep 20, 2003 12:00 AM

Conservative scholar-warrior David Horowitz has the left in apoplexy over his ingenious proposal for an Academic Bill of Rights that would forbid university faculty from hiring, firing, and granting or denying promotion or tenure on the basis of political beliefs.

Hysterical liberals are screaming “quota” and “McCarthyism,” neither of which has any basis in rationality. Horowitz’s plan would eliminate quotas, not impose them, requiring universities to judge professors on their merits, not their ideology.

Horowitz is not demanding that the percentage of faculty conservatives correspond with the percentage of conservatives in the general population. But he doubtlessly believes that if universities were prohibited from discriminating against conservative professors, their percentages on college campuses would increase.

Can somebody explain how Horowitz’s plan remotely smacks of McCarthyism? Isn’t McCarthyism the groundless smearing of political opponents by accusing them of being Communists or the like? If so, then how much more so are liberals guilty of McCarthyism when they demand actual quotas in university admissions and other areas of society? This is all ridiculous.

Liberals have gotten to the point that they throw out the term “McCarthyism” practically every time they get caught in the act. Their name-calling is designed to divert our attention from the merits of the Horowitz proposal. How dare anyone challenge their title deed to their indoctrination factories?

Yale University Professor Bruce Shapiro – a card-carrying far-left liberal by his own proud admission – pooh-poohed Horowitz on “Hannity and Colmes,” arguing that a professor’s ideology has no bearing on most courses.

Shapiro pressed, “When you say 10-to-1 liberal, are we talking math professors? Is there a liberal way to teach math? Are we talking about Aristotle versus Plato, or Bush versus Gore? Are we talking about, perhaps, biology professors? What is the relevance of how professors or anybody else votes?”

Horowitz shot back, “This is completely ridiculous. Here we have liberals who want diversity of skin color because they claim that that means diversity of viewpoint. That’s what the Supreme Court has declared. And yet when I’m showing you that 90 percent of professors come from one political persuasion, you suddenly object. You can’t get a good education if they’re only telling you half the story.”

Horowitz is precisely correct, but time didn’t permit a more thorough response to Shapiro’s specious charge that a professor’s politics don’t matter in most subjects. Anyone who has attended college in the last 30 years knows better.

Perhaps if Horowitz had had more time, he could have directed Shapiro’s attention to a few examples, which I cite, among many others, in my new book, “Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity”:

  • Professor Michael Dini at Texas Tech refused to write medical school letters of recommendation for students who wouldn’t declare their acceptance of the theory of evolution.

  • San Francisco State University decided that Professor Dean Kenyon, a leading national authority in chemical evolutionary theory, was no longer suited to teach introductory biology. Why? Allegedly because he exposed students to points of dispute among scientists on macro-evolutionary theory and to the fact that a number of biologists admit to the existence of evidence for intelligent design in the universe.

  • Mississippi University for Women asked Professor Nancy Bryson to resign as head of the Division of Science and Mathematics because she taught students the scientific flaws in Darwinian thought.

  • Classroom discussion guidelines for the course “Women’s Studies 797: Seminar in Women’s Studies” at the University of South Carolina required students, as a condition of participating, to “acknowledge that racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, and other institutionalized forms of oppression exist.”

  • In the class “Sex and Death” at Carnegie Mellon University, students examine “whether we need to liberate death now that (maybe) we have figured sex out.”

  • The University of Virginia offers a course in Marxism, which posits that the work of the godfather of Communism is the “standard against which all subsequent social thought must be judged. … It’s worth devoting an entire semester to it.”

  • Draconian speech codes exist on many college campuses, censoring politically incorrect (conservative) speech.

    University administrations overwhelmingly invite liberal speakers to deliver commencement addresses. When conservatives are invited to speak, they are often subjected to ridicule and contempt.

    There is more, so much more, but this is the bottom line: Horowitz is dead on, and his opponents are either in denial or being disingenuous. The liberal monopoly on college campuses exists – shamefully so. It’s relevant, and it matters.

    Bravo to David Horowitz for fighting back.