Sunday, May 15, 2011

Talk radio and liberal professors

I listen to little talk radio and its usually when I am driving somewhere. I can't talk too much of the puffery of Rush Limbaugh although I have heard him say a few insightful things. Yet he remains a one trick pony with regards to subprime mortgages, the impact of CRA on banker's lending decisions and simply ignores evidence to the contrary. Sean Hannity keeps saying the same things over and over and gives his guests no time to answer questions. Unlike Limbaugh, Hannity is rude to liberal callers. I can't listen to Glenn Beck either or the myriad of lesser knowns like Mike Church, Mark Levin and Michael Savage. I do like Bill Bennett and it is truly a shame that SiriusXM replaced him with the caustic Church. Andrew Wilkow is one of the few who understands markets and his discussions involving supply and demand are textbook and informative. However, on other matters there is little to differentiate him from the others. One of the areas where many of the hosts (save Bennett and sometimes Wilkow) err is in their view of liberal professors. Apparently they are John Locke extremists believing that the students mind are blank tablets when they arrive at the university. These "minds full of mush" then get shaped and influenced by liberal leftist one-world-statist professors. Really? Since when did young people pay any attention to adults? Why do you think that the university students are any exception? I have taught at universities for 40 years including the uberliberal American, Howard Universities and Macalester College. There are those like the late Jesse Helms who considered another of my universities (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) to be a hot bed of communism. If Helms though that he was a fool but even if he didn't he used it to get elected to the US Senate much like many of his southern predecessors used the "N" word to get elected. Now the truth is that at all those universities, the students were considerably more conservative than the faculty. It is remarkable given they have been mostly taught by liberals from pre-K to college and have been indoctrinated by the liberal press and more liberal "culture". In my 40 or so years, I have generally been the most conservative faculty. I hear stories of how black conservatives are vilified. I don't know of an instance in which I have been vilified at the university. And if I have it certainly has not affected my career. I also hear stories on talk radio of how conservative students suffer at the hands of liberal professors. It that is true, I have never heard of such an instance within the university. I have never had a student tell me of a single case of being punished for not parroting a professor's political views. I am also amused by charges by most of talk radio of how liberal professors are indoctrinating our youth. That is garbage. The students who listen to the side bars not associated with the course are the ones who agree in the first place. The others tune out. Personally I could care less what a professor's political views are. What I care about is scholarship. I would rather have a serious scholar as a colleague with different views than a fool that agrees with me. If we mistakenly have a fool on the faculty then hopefully that person will not get tenure and promoted. I had a professor at Georgia who once told me that bad teachers did not hurt good students and bad teachers could not hurt bad students but good teachers helped good students be better students. If that good teacher happened to be liberal then why should we care?

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