Tags: Deep | Blue | Campuses

Deep Blue Campuses

Monday, 06 December 2004 12:00 AM

Of the Kerry campaign’s top 20 contributors, five were universities – the University of California, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, and the University of Michigan. By way of comparison, not one of the 20 institutions listed as employing the most generous donors to the Bush campaign was a college or university.

Harvard employees donated 97 percent of their presidential campaign contributions to John Kerry, and just 3 percent to George W. Bush.

Harvard faculty, administrators, and other workers gave more money to John Kerry’s White House run ($341,589) than employees of Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, or Time Warner. In fact, Harvard employed more Kerry donors than every other institution in America save the University of California system.

Harvard faculty and administrators are neither more numerous nor more wealthy than their counterparts in the corporate world. They are just more intense in their political interests.

Other Ivy League institutions mirror Harvard’s overwhelming political bias.

For every $270 Princeton employees gave John Kerry, they donated $1 to George W. Bush. The dollar disparity at Cornell is roughly 32-1, Penn 22-1, Yale 11-1, Brown 7-1, and Columbia 5-1. I could not find a single Dartmouth College employee who donated to George W. Bush’s campaign, which makes the ratio in favor of Kerry infinite at the New Hampshire school.

Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports, as displayed online by the Center for Responsive Politics and Political Money Line, display information – including the donor’s employer – for those contributing $200 or more to federal campaigns. My methodology in researching the aforementioned schools consisted of counting only contributions to the two major campaigns and their auxiliaries containing the candidate’s last name in the title.

This is an inexact science. Public FEC reports contain only $200+ donors, not everyone fills out the reports honestly or completely, and searches based on key words “Bush” or “Kerry” leave out some contributions that in effect go to the campaign. Even with these limitations, it’s unlikely that anyone looking at the same reports – as blogger “David M” did on the eve of the general election cycle – would come up with ratios that differ in any discernable way from the ratios I’ve computed.

And it’s those wildly lopsided ratios that are so disturbing.

The vote totals of America’s top schools resemble election numbers in Castro’s Cuba, Hussein’s Iraq, or other one-party states. Lest one find this hyperbolic, consider that the phony elections in these nations are actually more competitive than the Kerry/Bush donation split from top schools.

Despite “diversity” becoming a mantra on most campuses, intellectual diversity – the type of diversity most important to education – is conspicuously absent. Instead of experiencing the full spectrum of economics, literature, and history, students learn about obscure schools of thought within each field. This prepares them neither for life in the real world, nor even an intelligent conversation.

Intellectual conformity in higher education contains other pitfalls.

Conditioned to think liberalism is both the norm and the good, campus denizens institute safeguards to preserve their hegemony – speech codes, ideologically driven “studies” departments, and sensitivity training, which all have more to do with indoctrination than education.

By making intelligence and liberalism virtual prerequisites to a career in the professoriat, institutions of higher learning deny students the best possible educations.

Because the impulse to challenge ideas that flatter us isn’t as great as the impulse to challenge ideas that grate on us, politically convenient lies – as I document in my book "Intellectual Morons," which examines the ideologically inspired scholarship of Alfred Kinsey, Noam Chomsky, W.E.B. Du Bois and others – proliferate in cloistered settings. Many liberals, unsurprisingly, do not see all of this as much of a problem. “It is entirely rational for conservatives to flock to jobs that reward competition, aggression and victory at the expense of others,” opines Northwestern professor Steven Lubet.

“So it should not be surprising that liberals gravitate to professions – such as academics, journalism, social work and the arts – that emphasize inquiry, objectivity and the free exchange of ideas.” Columnist Ellen Goodman contends that such surveys “don’t actually prove that one-party faculties color the classrooms blue. Nor do they prove that students are being wooed leftward.”

If the shoe were on the other foot and the Right exponentially outnumbered the Left on campus, would any liberal be making these rationalizations?

Take the bluest city in the bluest state, and it’s still redder than Princeton, Harvard, Stanford and the University of Michigan. When William F. Buckley famously remarked that he would rather be governed by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phonebook than the faculty of Harvard, he knew of what he spoke.

This is the first article in a series on bias within higher education.

Read Part II:

Read Part III:

Read Part IV:

Daniel J. Flynn is the author of


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Of the Kerry campaign's top 20 contributors, five were universities - the University of California, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, and the University of Michigan. By way of comparison, not one of the 20 institutions listed as employing the most generous donors to the Bush...
Monday, 06 December 2004 12:00 AM
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