Sunday, December 11, 2016

Liberal Echo Chamber Does Us No Good

College campuses need more diversity of political thought.
"Repeated studies have found that about 10 percent of professors in the social sciences or the humanities are Republicans." -- Nicholas Kristof in today's NYTimes (here)

I suspect most of that 10 percent is at Liberty University, Bob Jones U., Brigham Young and like-minded schools. You'd likely be hard-pressed to find several of those
Republicans in the Ivy League or at elite universities like Stanford, UVa, Georgia Tech, Tulane, Northwestern and any of the nation's private liberal arts colleges. I don't agree with Republicans about anything I'm aware of, but I most certainly do not agree that their message should be shut down--even if it's Rush Limbaugh or the despicable Breitbart talking.

College students--especially--need a balance, a fair look at what people believe and why they believe it. They are in the formative stage and we already see, quite strikingly I'm afraid, what a lack of education leads to. We are faced increasingly with a non-responsive, profits-only national and regional media and our children must learn to separate the chicken salad from the chicken shit. They won't be able to do that if they don't understand both sides of a debate.

And now we have a season of "fake news" by fake news people who are after your hearts, your minds and, most of all, your money. They're selling intentional misinformation, based on hate, based on our own bigotry (that's right and left bigotry), based on misinformation or no information.

Consistent surveys have shown over the past few years, for example, that people who rely on Fox News for their information know less about what's going on than people who watch (or read) no news at all. Distortion leads to blindness far more reliably than does masturbation.

Says Kristof, a liberal, "I fear that liberal outrage at Trump’s presidency will exacerbate the problem of liberal echo chambers, by creating a more hostile environment for conservatives and evangelicals. Already, the lack of ideological diversity on campuses is a disservice to the students and to liberalism itself, with liberalism collapsing on some campuses into self-parody."

He adds: " ... do we really want to caricature half of Americans, some of whom voted for President Obama twice, as racist bigots? Maybe if we knew more Trump voters we’d be less inclined to stereotype them."

As Kristof concludes: "... this election also underscores that we were out of touch with much of America, and we will fight back more effectively if we are less isolated." Indeed.

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