The Liberal Version of Tolerance.

  1. in the fight
    the liberal version of tolerance


    by matt friedeman, phd
    march 31, 2005

    (agapepress) - while i attended one of the most liberal universities in the midwest, my dissertation committee allowed me liberal -- in the best sense of the word -- latitude.

    they let me write a dissertation with evangelical flavor, on jesus. and then passed it with honors.

    truly liberal.

    the problem, of course, is that every time i have shared that moment with other academicians they have looked at me with dropped jaws, knowing that could never happen at a university today. too open-minded, too fair, too tolerant.

    i was reminiscing about that experience when i read about conservative columnist ann coulter's visit to the university of kansas. a few years previous, ann had written something kind about another conservative lawyer and feminist (that latter word utilized in the very best sense), phyllis schlafly. schlafly, at my alma mater, was absolutely shouted down in a manner that should have made the officials of the school shudder in shame.

    after all, ku is liberal. open-minded. fair. tolerant.

    well, they weren't that night. schlafly had hardly begun before she was shut down for the evening by the gays, the lesbians, the "peace" activists, the democrats -- the "tolerant."

    so, 25 years later the protégé shows up in ms. coulter. she waxes warm to begin ("i've come to find i like liberals a lot more. they're kind of cute when they're cold, shivering, and afraid."). hecklers in the crowd interrupted her speech. coulter said two things reported by the local paper that got her through the rest of the evening.
    1. "i think there are some people in the audience who meant to be at the sexual reorientation class down the hall." touché.
    2. "could 10 of the largest college republicans start walking up and down the aisles and start removing anyone shouting?" she did this when, of course, the university had no authorities in the area to take care of problems they knew would arise.
    at earlham college, a school renowned for its peace studies program, associated press tells us conservative william kristol, publisher of the weekly standard and former chief of staff to vice president dan quayle, was met 30 minutes into his speech with an ice cream pie. action may well be taken in this case; the college president was sitting on the stage at the time and some of it landed on him, too.

    alas, liberalism -- true generous, abundant, broad-minded, kind and gentle liberalism -- is dead. in its place are those who talk tolerance, but practice quite the opposite.

    no place is this more apparent than on the college campus, according to a recent study. robert lichter, stanley rothman and neil nevitte found evidence of "possible discrimination against conservatives" in information gleaned from 183 four-year schools.

    possible discrimination? now that is a liberal descriptor ...
    • 72 percent of those teaching at american universities and colleges are liberal; 15 percent are conservative.
    • 50 percent of faculty members identify themselves as democrats; 11 percent as republicans.
    • the more elite the schools, the worse it gets with an 87-13 liberal-conservative breakdown there.
    • 84 percent of the professors and instructors are in favor of abortion rights; 67 percent believe homosexuality is acceptable; 88 percent want more environmental protection even if it raises prices or costs jobs; and 65 percent want the government to ensure full employment, something not even the democratic party is willing to stick its proverbial neck out to say.
    • faculty in all fields of study are dominated by avowedly liberal professors, but more so in english literature, philosophy, political science and religious studies, where 80 percent of the teachers call themselves liberal and no more than 5 percent label themselves conservative.
    how can schools get away with this?

    three ploys:
    • play with the language; while being remarkably prejudiced and fanatical yourself, label everything else (particularly republican, conservative or evangelical) as bigoted, small-minded, and, yes, intolerant.
    • hope against hope taxpayers and alumni of a bygone era don't notice.
    • shout down everyone with whom you disagree, when they come to town.
    tolerance, american-style.
    http://www.agapepress.org




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  2. 63 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    I've have to read the article when I'm not so sleepy.

    So highly educated people employed in colleges today are liberal and are discriminating against conservatives. Is that what they are saying?

    I think making the jump from the fact there are more liberals in education to they are discriminating against conservatives is a stretch.

    The writers of that study being ultra-conservative themselves makes me suspect their assumptions aren't necessarily based on factual evidence.

    But again, I'm tired.
  4. by   BeachNurse
    I agree that conservative views are generally frowned-upon in academia. Yes, they are discriminatory. What happened to freedom of political expression? Why do liberal professors present their views as the only correct ones, as opposed to presenting students with both sides of the issues so that they may choose for themselves? How is there any room for debate when these institutions want to silence conservatives from expressing their views? They will invite the likes of Michael Moore and greet him with open arms but allow conservative speakers to be trashed all over the place!
  5. by   BeachNurse
    Response to speaker was rude, immature

    By Amanda Hooper

    GUEST COLUMNIST

    April 01, 2005
    At least no one threw a pie in his face.

    More courtesy than the conservatives Ann Coulter and William Kristol have received on college campuses, but that is about all I can say for the hostile audience that greeted conservative speaker David Horowitz to the Bowling Green campus Wednesday.

    The debacle was truly embarrassing to the entire campus.

    As Horowitz said, "This is the most uncivilized college audience I've ever seen."

    Perhaps some of the protesters are proud of that distinction. They shouted, booed, heckled and completely disrupted his entire speech that was supposed to center on academic freedom.

    The evening opened with the Pledge of Allegiance. Literally, audible gasps of disbelief rushed through the crowd. How could we have the audacity to stand in respect for the country that allows citizens on polar opposite sides of the ideological debate to publicly gather without fear?

    Fine. Maybe protesters don't recognize the flag they scorn is the flag that allows that scorn.

    Surely once Horowitz began his speech, they would listen attentively to try to understand the perspectives and thoughts of others.

    Instead, students and faculty (yes, the mature, distinguished molders of young minds) rudely shouted their own opinions and disagreements while Horowitz was in mid-sentence.

    Unfortunately, he sank to their level by responding, but he never even had the opportunity to put together a coherent argument because he was constantly being interrupted and bullied.

    A distinguished speaker was invited to our campus. It was his turn with the microphone, and we didn't even have the courtesy to allow him an hour of free speech.

    I know Mr. Horowitz's ideas are very different from what you commonly hear in the classroom and what many students on this campus personally hold to be true. Fine. Listen, evaluate and then, if you want, completely disregard.

    After all, isn't this what conservative students are told to do in the classroom? Students with dissenting views let the professor speak, then raise their hands, present the other side and the professor responds.

    Horowitz attempted to argue that students are faced with situations repeatedly where professors insert their own ideology into a classroom and do not present dissenting viewpoints. He wants students who pay thousands of dollars for an education to be presented with the whole picture and to not fear retaliation if they disagree.

    Obviously, our fellow students can't handle dissenting viewpoints. Perhaps if they were used to hearing more than one side of the story, like in the classroom, they would know how to respectfully and intelligently respond.

    As part of the privileged sector of society who is able to attend a University, we showed Wednesday evening that many students here don't have the manners of a 5-year-old.

    Apparently, on our campus, this is not the case. Forget about academic freedom. Forget about diversity, freedom of dissenting opinion and the marketplace of ideas. If you don't like what someone else has to say, then just make sure they can't be heard.

    Not only were Horowitz's ideas slandered and slurred on this campus, but so were his religion and ethnicity. This came from the same people who booed when Horowitz said America doesn't have a problem with racial oppression, "but there will unfortunately always be racists."

    The last time I checked racial and religious insensitivity are not values condoned at the University, and it is certainly not the way to "win friends and influence people."

    Week after week, liberal viewpoints are represented on campus by guest speakers. I sat calmly as Bobby Muller claimed that President Bush was secretly orchestrating a military draft that would occur as soon as he got elected.

    I listened, evaluated, actually researched his stance and then in this case, completely disregarded.

    I know it is frustrating to listen to someone who seems to be viewing your shared world through a kaleidoscope. The answer is not to attempt to smash their kaleidoscope. That is what the 5-year-old with no concept of respect or manners does. It's time to prove we graduated from kindergarten and can play and debate nice with others.
    http://www.bgnews.com/vnews/display.v/ART/424d82a46c4ee
  6. by   BeachNurse
    Buchanan Gets Face Full of Salad Dressing

    Friday, April 01, 2005

    KALAMAZOO, Mich. -Commentator and former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan (search) cut short an appearance after an opponent of his conservative views doused him with salad dressing.

    "Stop the bigotry!" the demonstrator shouted as he hurled the liquid Thursday night during the program at Western Michigan University (search). The incident came just two days after another noted conservative, William Kristol (search), was struck by a pie during an appearance at a college in Indiana.

    After he was hit, Buchanan cut short his question-and-answer session with the audience, saying, "Thank you all for coming, but I'm going to have to get my hair washed."

    The demonstrator, identified by authorities as a 24-year-old student at Kalamazoo Valley Community College (search), was arrested and faces a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace. He was released on a $100 cash bond, pending his April 14 arraignment.

    "He could have faced a felony assault charge, but Pat Buchanan decided to not press that charge," university spokesman Matt Kurz said.

    Buchanan's visit had evoked controversy on campus because it fell on the birthday of the late Mexican-American labor leader Cesar Chavez (search). Buchanan favors tighter controls on immigration.

    Kristol, editor of the influential conservative magazine The Weekly Standard and former chief of staff to Vice President Quayle, was splattered by a student during a speech Tuesday at Earlham College in Richmond, Ind.

    Members of the audience at the Quaker college jeered the student, then applauded as Kristol wiped the pie from his face and said, "Just let me finish this point." Kristol then completed his speech and took questions from the audience.

    The student, who was not immediately identified, was suspended and could face expulsion following a disciplinary review, Earlham Provost Len Clark said Wednesday.

    Clark also issued a written apology complimenting Kristol for his "graciousness."
    http://www.foxnews.com/printer_frien...152175,00.html


    7 days Archive Go

    Ruth Holladay
    Pie hit conservative speaker but missed its mark


    April 3, 2005


    This is one pie that didn't fly.

    Granted, Earlham College student Josh Medlin successfully smeared pastry all over neoconservative thinker William Kristol during Kristol's talk on the Richmond campus Tuesday. But the sophomore's sophomoric actions did not make Kristol appear "silly," which was Medlin's intent.

    Instead, Kristol's graceful reaction -- "Let me just finish this point," he said, wiping his face -- and his willingness to answer questions for 30 minutes afterward showed him to be a class act. No wonder he received three standing ovations from more than 500 listeners.

    Medlin and his small band of student supporters, meanwhile, are left with egg on their face.

    They've come off looking like spoiled and yes, silly, babies unwilling to tolerate a perspective different from theirs -- and this at a Quaker school founded on the Friends' tradition of inclusiveness and "respect for the consciousness of others."

    The circumstances behind Kristol's presence at the eastern Indiana liberal arts school make this incident worthy of reflection.

    Kristol wears several hats, but the one that upsets Medlin, according to a statement he released Friday -- "Why I Threw the Pie" -- is Kristol's role as co-founder and chairman of the Project for the New American Century. The nonprofit promotes America's role as a world leader backed with a strong military.

    Given the war in Iraq and the nation's protracted divisons, Kristol's ideas deserve scrutiny and debate.

    That's why the 52-year-old commentator was on campus, said Newell Pledger-Shinn, 24, an Earlham College graduate and assistant to Earlham President Doug Bennett.

    A recent study of 275 first-year students indicated almost 80 percent consider themselves "liberal" or "far left." Pledger-Shinn calls his own politics liberal.

    But during the presidential debates, Pledger-Shinn was disturbed by the disconnect between President Bush and Sen. John Kerry. They sounded as if they were delivering monologues from parallel universes, he said. They neither connected nor dealt with issues of substance.

    Hence a radical idea, cooked up by Pledger-Shinn and friends. "On campus, where our mission is committed to truth wherever that will lead, I wanted us to model serious, respectful, challenging dialogue about things that matter."

    They formed DIALOGUE -- Diverse Individuals Actively Listening to Others for Greater Understanding and Education. They asked Kristol to speak.

    Pledger-Shinn was "shocked and horrified" by the pie-throwing. "We had invited Kristol, hoping that Earlham students, being passionate, idealistic and articulate as they are, would give him a run for his money." But not a physical attack.

    The college leadership concurs. Earlham issued a statement condemning the pie-throwing, although some faculty have asked for tolerance for Medlin -- who has been suspended indefinitely. Others on the faculty questioned why a pacifist school would welcome Kristol.

    Still, a noon pro-pie-throwing rally Friday drew only a half-dozen or so of Medlin's supporters from among the 1,200 students. Despite Medlin's statement, saying he wanted to answer questions, he did not return phone calls Friday from his home in Lynn.

    But the fact that another student at a Michigan college Thursday smeared conservative Pat Buchanan with salad oil, and cited Earlham, shows Medlin has had an impact. Sadly, it's about as substantial as cream pie.
    http://www.indystar.com/articles/1/234061-9901-103.html
  7. by   Fluesy
    one explanation for the seeming bias is that all the conservatives are earning the big bucks in the private sector or are working for the administration, as congressional staffers, lobbyists or for think tanks. since they have the vast majority of those jobs, who's left to teach?

    a different explanation might be how "conservative" and "liberal" have been defined for the purpose of this "study". since many self described conservatives seem to classify anything that is not conservative as liberal it seems reasonable that they find themselves in a minority. in truth liberalism is every bit as poorly defined as conservatism so depending on the criteria's used the opposite result could be achieved.
  8. by   Tweety
    I think college students tend to start out liberal and as they get jobs, married and children tend towards a more moderate view. Take a look at the students who essentially ended the Vietnam war with their liberal protests. Today many of them are married with children and card-carrying conservative republicans, who describe today's students as above: silly and unwilling to listen to any view other than their own. (Of course, that like the cat calling the kettle black to me, conservatives just are more polite about it. :chuckle )

    Perhaps they do act like immature brats, but they are passionate in the views and I'd rather not see that stifled.

    Do conservative schools, such as private Christian institutions invite liberals like Michael Moore to speak at their colleges, and if not is it discrimination that they don't?

    It's very wrong however for a school to promote one agenda while stifling opposing views. if the they are a public institution. Liberal universities used to be the shining example of debate. Apparently it isn't so (although in all my many years of going to school, I see it is, but have to take it on faith that those who say it isn't are accurate in their experience.)
    Last edit by Tweety on Apr 8, '05
  9. by   palesarah
    Quote from Jo Anne
    84 percent of the professors and instructors are in favor of abortion rights; 67 percent believe homosexuality is acceptable; 88 percent want more environmental protection even if it raises prices or costs jobs; and 65 percent want the government to ensure full employment
    Maybe I'll have to re-read the article when I'm less sleepy too, but I fail to see how this is a bad point... and maybe it's because I am a flaming liberal, but I can't see why the author is citing these statistics in a negative light.

    Does the author think "liberal" universities would be more tolerant if professors did not hold tolerant points of view?
  10. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from fluesy
    one explanation for the seeming bias is that all the conservatives are earning the big bucks in the private sector or are working for the administration, as congressional staffers, lobbyists or for think tanks. since they have the vast majority of those jobs, who's left to teach?

    a different explanation might be how "conservative" and "liberal" have been defined for the purpose of this "study". since many self described conservatives seem to classify anything that is not conservative as liberal it seems reasonable that they find themselves in a minority. in truth liberalism is every bit as poorly defined as conservatism so depending on the criteria's used the opposite result could be achieved.

    the liberal academics described themselves as liberal. it wasn't a conservative describing them.

    my best friend's daughter attended uc san diego, a very liberal university. she has lots of liberal friends. recently she was playing a tape in her car that her mom had sent of she and her sister talking with they were in pre-school. they also were singing songs . . . one song was "jesus loves me" and when that came on her friends who were riding along gasped, shocked and then started laughing at her. "you are kidding me!!" comments. instead of thinking it sweet, they thought she was indoctrinated.

    yeah, there is a negative connotation to being conservative and believing in god.

    steph
  11. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from palesarah
    Maybe I'll have to re-read the article when I'm less sleepy too, but I fail to see how this is a bad point... and maybe it's because I am a flaming liberal, but I can't see why the author is citing these statistics in a negative light.

    Does the author think "liberal" universities would be more tolerant if professors did not hold tolerant points of view?

    The author is saying that since the majority of profs are liberal you would think there would be great tolerance on college campuses but if you hold a conservative viewpoint, there is not alot of tolerance for you.

    I heard a conservative yesterday talking about his and saying Michael Moore and others should be able to speak on college campuses and so should conservative speakers, without being treated intolerantly. College is about open dialogue . . .

    steph
  12. by   Elenaster
    More right-wing propaganda IMO. The perceived persecution of conservatives in academia is more incidental hype than reality. What do they want now? Affirmative action type hiring for professors who identify themselves as conservative?

    There was an incident recently at a Colorado University where some student claimed to receive a failing grade on a paper because he expressed his conservative viewpoint in the paper. Some of the pundits even started their usual howling, only to have to recant later when they read the paper and saw that it was horribly written and didn't even remotely follow the assignment.

    I've said this before and I'll keep saying it - just because I identify myself as a liberal doesn't mean I have to tolerate everything that occurs in America. Repeating that tired, neocon rhetoric of you're a liberal, you're supposed to be tolerant and you're not being tolerant shows a decided lack of independent thought and only serves to perpetuate the right vs. left tug-of-war that accomplishes nothing.
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from Elenaster
    More right-wing propaganda IMO. The perceived persecution of conservatives in academia is more incidental hype than reality. What do they want now? Affirmative action type hiring for professors who identify themselves as conservative?

    There was an incident recently at a Colorado University where some student claimed to receive a failing grade on a paper because he expressed his conservative viewpoint in the paper. Some of the pundits even started their usual howling, only to have to recant later when they read the paper and saw that it was horribly written and didn't even remotely follow the assignment.

    I've said this before and I'll keep saying it - just because I identify myself as a liberal doesn't mean I have to tolerate everything that occurs in America. Repeating that tired, neocon rhetoric of you're a liberal, you're supposed to be tolerant and you're not being tolerant shows a decided lack of independent thought and only serves to perpetuate the right vs. left tug-of-war that accomplishes nothing.
    AB-SO-LU-T-LEY!!!!!!!!!!!!! thank you.
  14. by   Tweety
    Quote from stevielynn
    The author is saying that since the majority of profs are liberal you would think there would be great tolerance on college campuses but if you hold a conservative viewpoint, there is not alot of tolerance for you.

    I heard a conservative yesterday talking about his and saying Michael Moore and others should be able to speak on college campuses and so should conservative speakers, without being treated intolerantly. College is about open dialogue . . .

    steph


    Steph, I agree college should be about open dialogue and it isn't easy being conservative on some campuses, and that is so hippocritical of liberals to make fun of conservatives. I totally disrespect that.

    I still don't think that just because most college students and professors are liberal that there is discrimination. Not that there isn't intolerance and some isolated cases of discrimination, but it's not rampant. But any intolerance and any discrimination is wrong.

    But to presume a liberal discriminates against a conservative just because he's a liberal is fear-based and false. I rather enjoy knowing there's an atmospehre where conservatives know what it feels like to be a minority, but that's mean-spirited of me.
    Last edit by Tweety on Apr 8, '05

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