I've been thinking about a poll taken by the Republican polling group Luntz Research Companies for David Horowitz, the president of something called the Center for the Study of Popular Culture. You might remember Horowitz from the Sixties when he pretended to be a thoughtful, progressive human being but who has now mutated into just another mindless, mean spirited Republican.
Anyway, the poll claims to have questioned more than 80% of Ivy League professors as to the candidate that they voted for in the over-throw of the American electoral system in 2000. What the poll discovered was that only 3% of the professors reported that they had voted for the moron and that their choice for the best president of the past 40 years was Bill Clinton.
Now, we know beyond a doubt that Horowitz would immediately toss a tizzy about such horrible news and we would be correct in assuming so. "All that this survey shows is what we already know, that the elite universities are subsidiaries of the Democratic Party and the political left," Horowitz proclaimed. Even Frank Luntz, the Republican pollster who conducted the poll, grumbled that he was "disappointed" to find such political conformity.
Some of the other areas that are bringing these two irrelevant, right wing, white, wealthy self-important big shots to the edge of a major temper tantrum were such findings as:
84% of the polled professors voted for Gore in 2000 while 48% voted for him out of the general public (although Gore received thousands of votes more than their favorite little moron did).
Only 8% of those polled chose a Republican as their favorite president from the last forty years while 71% chose a Democrat.
Only 3% of those polled said that they were registered Republican while 57% stated that they were Democrats.
74% of the Ivy League professors strongly oppose the Star Wars program while only 14% support the program.
67% of those polled oppose school vouchers while only 26% support it.
Okay, that's the majority of the important points that you need to know about this silly and insignificant little "survey". If you want to read more about it, go to the Front Page Magazine's site. I had to wash my hands over and over after visiting there, though. These people make Limbaugh seem reasonable and intelligent.
What seems to me to so painfully obvious about these findings, though, is completely ignored by Horowitz and his buddy Luntz.
First, America's Ivy League schools are among the elite universities both nationally as well as throughout the world. Thus, they have the ability to attract and employ the brightest and most highly educated people that the world has to offer. Obviously, then, Ivy League professors are far and away more intelligent and educated than the vast majority of the drooling, unthinking American public let alone your average Republican.
Secondly, to be as educated as these professors are means that they would be able to acquire positions in Corporate America that would allow them to enjoy great material wealth and some level of power in America. Instead, these individuals have dedicated their lives and careers to sharing their knowledge with the generations of Americans who follow them through the educational process. Thus, professors are, by their very nature, more interested in sharing knowledge and the act of contemplation than in mere material gain, as well as far more caring than the average Republican in that sharing their wealth of knowledge is more important than selfish visions of personal wealth.
Next, Ivy League professors, by virtue of their superior education and intellectual skills, have the ability to look beneath the cheap suits and dyed, blow dried hair of the unqualified individuals that the Republican Party have slipped past the unconscious American people. These professors have the ability to judge a politician through deeds, not just stupid slogans and sound bites. Thus, they would immediately pass over Reagan's or daddy Bush's administrations and look for someone who at least paid lip service to decency and fairness. Admittedly, choosing Clinton proves little other than the dearth of qualified people who held the office and is one that provokes wonder for those of us who remember JFK and Johnson, both of whom made more of an effort to help those in need than the quasi-Republican that was Clinton.
Finally, the poll itself was modeled in such a way that its eventual findings were pretty much predetermined. Instead of polling a true cross section of professors in all areas of study within these universities, the poll mostly questioned professors in the humanities departments (social science and liberal arts, etc.), those most likely to be heavily liberal. In fact, only 12% of the "sample" were from the fields almost certain to be Republican such as the business and economic departments. This created a climate within the poll that completely negates any possible claims by these two ditto-heads that their findings reflect anything other than what they intended the study to prove.
Of course, the rabid right has jumped on this study as proof positive that America's universities are hot beds of evil liberal teachings. Ultra-conservatives such as Dan Flynn of Accuracy in Academia, a "watchdog" group heavily invested in "proving" the fabrications that underlie their political views, proclaims that, "Students are being shortchanged. They pay $30,000 a year for an education, but are exposed to only a small range of political and cultural opinion."
The Washington Times also reported everything about the poll except the truth but that's to be expected of that paper.
That last claim is one I would have to argue, though. University students are well versed in the conservative cultural viewpoints. Every university history class covers the Jim Crow laws, the Ku Klux Klan, the Depression, the right's nasty fight against Social Security and Medicare and unemployment insurance and unions and minimum wages the forty hour work week and paid vacations and worker's compensation laws and worker safety laws and OSHA and anti-pollution efforts and their forty year war against the poor in the guise of "Welfare Reform" and their demand that America follow a superstition that even the Republicans refuse to adhere to and their desperate, sick, and total worship of simple material wealth. If that doesn't provide America's students with an in-depth and far reaching education in the ethos of Republicans and other conservatives, then I guess they'll never be pleased.
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