Reaction to Andy Weakland

Nov 082005

This is in response to the "Guest Column" by Andy Weakland on Nov. 4. I wish to firmly refute two myths: 1) The more informed one is, the more liberal one tends to be, and 2) College faculty tend to be liberal because, again, they are more informed than the general public.

The first assertion is pure, unmitigated, nauseating bigotry. Weakland creates his assertion based on two examples of mistakes or misinterpretations by conservatives. But I find this stance amusing for two reasons. First, as a marketing major, it's likely Weakland may well have learned how to influence people based on weak information. All of us are exposed to this in advertising every day. Congratulations on applying what you've learned, Andy, although it would be troubling if you have been persuaded by your own assertions. Second, if underlying mythologies or misinterpretations are grounds for condemnation, liberalism is doomed. Liberals create and impregnate themselves with myths faster than anyone, and a strong argument can be made that liberalism is underlain by numerous psychological and sociological fallacies.

The obvious proof Weakland is wrong in his first assertion is that many people do not change their political views as they age and become more informed. Many people become more conservative over time, and more politicians in recent years have changed from the Democrat party to the GOP than vice versa. Moreover, the most overwhelmingly liberal strongholds are the inner city urban areas, which are well known for poor educational systems leading to poorly informed adults.

Weakland's second point is like saying people tend to become taller the longer they play basketball, coupled with the assumption that if one spends lots of time on the basketball court, one will also be fluent in Danish. In other words, he makes a classic correlation-is-causation mistake, coupled with a false assumption. Let me explain.

Contrary to an arrogantly held myth, college and university professors do not tend to be liberals disproportionately to the general population either because they are more intelligent or more educated. Rather, those holding attitudes loosely liberal in nature tend to gravitate toward careers in higher education. Moreover, those within academia have a highly vested interest in a liberal (in this case, high tax) government: generally, both their salaries and research are funded by taxpayers.

Jerry Magloughlin



 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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