Thus said the bumper sticker placed on the classroom wall by a
teacher in a public high school. At another public high school also in Los
Angeles, with the principal's permission, 600 Fairfax High School students
walked out of the school at noon and took to the streets to protest
America's possible war on Iraq. The students clearly considered the upcoming
United Nations report by Hans Blix irrelevant, as the students planned the
protest days in advance. According to a police spokesperson, the walkout
caught the force flat-footed, with some student protestors throwing rocks
and other debris.
Wait 'til they get to college.
On college campuses across America, teachers influence students
by running down America, demeaning capitalism, exaggerating "oppression"
against minorities and women, and denouncing Republicans in general and
George W. Bush in particular. In "Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies and the
Special Interests That Divide America," my new book, I argue that leftists
dominate campus teaching. University of California Los Angeles education
Professor Peter McLaren, in a recent UCLA Daily Bruin article, attacks my
"right-wing libertarianism" and denies the charge of liberal bias,
asserting, "The claim that leftist professors and teachers have taken over
universities is palpably misguided." Really?
American Enterprise magazine examined the political
registrations of professors in 20 colleges and universities. The study
divided the registrations into those belonging to a "party of the left" --
either Democrats, Greens, or some other liberal political party; and a
"party of the right" -- either Republican or Libertarian. Take, for example,
Professor McLaren's UCLA. Of the 31 English professors with a registered
political affiliation, 29 belong to a party of the left. Of the 56 history
professors, 53 belong to the party of the left. Of 13 journalism professors
with an affiliation, 12 belong to a party of the left. Of 17 political
science professors with a registration, 16 belong to a party of the left.
And of the 33 women's studies professors, 31 belong to a party of the left.
What about Cornell University? Of the 12 anthropology
professors, 11 are registered to a party of the left. Of 13 economics
professors, 10 are with a party of the left. Also on the left, 35 out of 36
English professors. All 29 out of 29 history teachers are registered with a
party of the left. Of the 17 political science teachers, 16 registered to
the left. Psychology professors totaled 25 to the left out of 26. Sociology
managed a 7 registered to the left out of 7. Women's studies was 33 to 0 to
Stanford University? Anthropology, 15 of 16 to the left.
Economics, 21 of 28. English, 31 of 33. History, 22 of 24. Political
science, 26 of 30. Psychology, 20 of 20. Sociology, 11 of 12. Women's
studies, 5 of 5.
Pollster Frank Luntz, last year, surveyed the political
affiliations of Ivy League humanities professors. Fifty-seven percent called
themselves Democrat, and only 3 percent Republican. When asked to identify
the best United States president in the last 40 years, they named, by the
largest plurality, Bill Clinton. And while only 11 percent of Americans
support reparations, 40 percent of professors approved.
This tracks the leftward tilt in journalism. A 1995 poll by the
Roper Center for the Freedom Forum showed that 89 percent of Washington
reporters polled voted for Bill Clinton, versus 43 percent for the general
public. And only 9 percent described themselves as right of center. But at
least most journalists profess a goal of nonpartisanship. Elaine Povich,
former Capitol Hill reporter with the Chicago Tribune, insisted, "One of the
things about being a professional is that you attempt to leave your personal
feelings aside as you do your work."
Do college professors teach their politics without providing
alternative points of view? Must they?
The American Association of University Professors' general
secretary, Mary Burgan, insists that professors labor under no such
obligation. "It would be impossible to do that," said Burgan, "given how
many opposing viewpoints there are. It is the job of the faculty to decide
which critical, relevant and commanding ones to concentrate on in the
classroom." University of California San Diego Provost David Jordan agrees,
"Why should I teach a point of view I don't agree with? I should teach what
is useful to the student. I don't know that I have a responsibility to teach
somebody's view that is benighted or irrelevant." Don't tell that to UCLA
Professor Robert Hennig, who says, "If you just present your views, you are
doing a disservice to your students."
Question: To what extent do professors' leftist views affect
their students' worldview, ideology and voting patterns? UCLA political
science Professor Thomas Schwartz, a Republican, says, "It has to."
In other words, if teachers teach ineffectually, why bother
going to class?