Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The mindset of certain academics

George Mason University School of Law Professor David Bernstein at the Volokh Conspiracy posted the following after which I comment below the star line.

Bernstain begins - - -

Guest-blogger Kathy G. at Crooked Timber, protesting Washington University's plan to award an honorary degree to Phyllis Schlafly, manages to express a certain academic mindset (all emphases added):

Nor do I believe that conservatives should never receive honorary degrees. There are conservative scholars who do work that is respected within academia—many economists, for example—and they would not be inappropriate candidates for such an honor. Nor would I have a problem with conservative pundits, so long as they’re sane and genuinely distinguished (which these days admittedly narrows the field to practically zero), such as the late William F. Buckley.

I’ll even grudgingly accept the reality that conservative Republican elder statesmen are regularly awarded these things. Though even here there are limits—while personally I wouldn’t protest the awarding of a degree to George H.W. Bush, even though I find him pretty hateful, far-right lunatics like Cheney, Dubya, and Jesse Helms should be entirely out of bounds.... as much as conservatives may whine and scream to the contrary, liberalism and conservatism are not moral equivalents. Because, on the one side you have the thinkers and activists who have advanced freedom, social justice, and human rights, and on the other, you have those who have attempted to thwart all those things.

Not that this mindset is limited to academics, of course, nor, do most academics have such juvenile ideas regarding politics, but it's sufficiently common in academia that it's little wonder that bright young conservatives will think twice before going into the academy and potentially putting their career fates into the hands of those who think that they are presumptively "hateful," "lunatics," who are not "sane" and are attempting to thwart all that is good and just.



I read Cathy G's post from which Bernstein drew the excerpt you've just read. It's quite something.

There were a few times when I wondered whether the post was a hoax meant to ridicule the bigotry and academic sloppiness of so much of America's campus left.

But judging by the approving comments of Cathy G's readers who self-IDed as academics and appear to know her, that's not the case.

Safe assumption: Cathy G views herself as very fair-mined.

Sad thought: There are a lot of academics as "fair-minded" as Cathy G.


Archer05 said...

Cathy G. sounds like a ‘Old Gal’ feminist loon to me. To think like that is insane, and it is a sad commentary on the 'Gang of 88' types that have taken over higher education. However, at ‘Little Moscow’ the worm turns.
Help Wanted: Lefty College
Seeks Right-Wing Prof

Wall Street Journal, by Stephanie Simon

BOULDER, Colo. -- “How liberal is the University of Colorado at Boulder?"

"The campus hot-dog stand sells tofu wieners.”

“….Peterson plans to raise $9 million to create an endowed chair for what is thought to be the nation's first Professor of Conservative Thought and Policy.”

Anonymous said...

Cathy G. is your typical (it's OK to say this, Mr. Obama said so)elitist leftwing loon. The universities are chock full of these bigots; for which reason, I don't regret my two daughters' decision not to attend college. Either one of them would make mincemeat out of your average liberal arts grad.
Tarheel Hawkeye

Anonymous said...

John -

Cathy G. is the stereotypical liberal fascist Jonah Goldberg wrote about in his book, Liberal Fascism. I highly recommend the book. It provides insight into those people who today term themselves "liberals," which they most certainly are not.

Jack in Silver Spring