Conservatives seem to be constantly complaining that The Media is all LIBERAL. That has never made sense to me, as lots of media types are more conservative than I am, but it is such a common complaint that maybe it is true. I wish I could believe it.
Conservatives feel persecuted and left out of a lot apparently. Today in The Atlantic Megan McArdle wrote a piece about how the poor conservatives are under represented in academia, which I came across via Crooked Timber quoting Megan McArdle:
Conservatives are, not to overlabor the obvious, marginalized in the cultural elite, even though they are powerful in the political elite. (At least some of the time, anyway). Obviously there’s been an enormous amount of ink shed about why this is, but my experience of talking to people who might have liked to go to grad school or work in Hollywood, but went and did something else instead, is that it is simply hogwash when liberals earnestly assure me that the disparity exists mostly because conservatives are different, and maybe dumber. People didn’t try because they sensed that it would be both socially isolating, and professionally dangerous, to be a conservative in institutions as overwhelmingly liberal as academia and media.
There was a lot more of course and Crooked Timber pointed out how ridiculous it all is. Lots of comments mostly agreeing for a variety of reasons, but one comment really caught my eye because it is the reason that I have long thought accounted for why so few conservatives are in these professions, if it is indeed true that conservatives are under represented.
Cervantes 04.13.10 at 8:18 pm
How about the causal story is backwards? See, what happens is, if you learn a lot of true facts, and you work hard to get good at thinking about stuff and understanding how facts can be established or contradicted, and how probably true facts fit together to create productive explanatory models, you generally end up drawing conclusions that don’t correspond to conservative ideology.
So you were qualified for an academic job first, and not so conservative as a consequence. Maybe you aren’t supposed to say that because it isn’t nice or something, I dunno . . .
One of my very conservative friends accuses liberals, especially me, of “having drunk the cool aid.” Given the “cool aid” definition of “applying known facts to produce rational results”, I am happy to accept the compliment.