Monday, September 22, 2008

Conservatives and Colleges

The conservative attempts to take over colleges retains its hilarious ineptness.

It's so shocking that their attempts have failed so far! I mean, who could have guessed that Americans were generally completely uninterested in engaging in an ideological holy war against liberal professors!!!

I feel their new tact, to fund courses in the classics and triumphalist American history with right-wing funding but without overt ideological overtones, is also bound to fail. First, what is the connection between reading the classics and becoming conservative? Certainly it can happen--and there's no question that a larger number of conservative professors are classics or ancient historians than other fields. But there's not much of a correlation, as I am sure many of the writers and commenters on this blog know.

Second, who is going to teach these classes? The idea that there is this huge cadre of right-wingers with Ph.D.s floating around looking for jobs but being denied because of their politics is absolutely absurd.

And the reason is simple--what self-respecting conservative would go to school for all this time and make so little money?

The only hope these groups have is to take advantage of institutions' financial problems to become major funders that allow them to make curriculum changes. Which given the precarious funding for higher ed in many states is a real possibility.