Antique World Map 1587 – The Conservative National Association of Scholars Does a Smear Job on Bowdoin

Antique World Map 1587

Antique World Map 1587

1587 was the year  Queen Elizabeth I of England signs a death warrant for her very own cousin Mary, Queen of Scots. Mary was implicated in a plot to murder Elizabeth, but how much trouble would it have been to banish her to some country castle under house arrest for life.

1587 was also the year the English colony in North America, of Roanoke Island of North Carolina was re-established. It was also the year the first Filipinos in North America landed in Morro Bay, near San Luis Obispo, California.

Radio set ownership by state in 1930

Radio set ownership by state in 1930. This theme map is courtesy the U.S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration U.S. Census Bureau. Sad that so much of the south and south-east was disconnected from the most powerful news and entertainment media of the era.

This editorial is awful. It lacks all the things that occupy the basis of it’s complaints, certain standards of intellectual honesty and fairness, using a well known radical Right organization’s “report” as the basis for what could only be categorized as an alternate version of reality, The Golf Shot Heard Round the Academic World. The tale of a teed-off philanthropist and the head of Bowdoin College, where identity politics runs wild.

It sounds like the setup for a bad joke: What did the Wall Street type say to the college president on the golf course? Well, we don’t know exactly—but it has launched a saga with weighty implications for American intellectual and civic life.

Here’s what we do know: One day in the summer of 2010, Barry Mills, the president of Bowdoin College, a respected liberal-arts school in Brunswick, Maine, met investor and philanthropist Thomas Klingenstein for a round of golf about an hour north of campus. College presidents spend many of their waking hours talking to potential donors. In this case, the two men spoke about college life—especially “diversity”—and the conversation made such an impression on President Mills that he cited it weeks later in his convocation address to Bowdoin’s freshman class. That’s where the dispute begins.

In his address, President Mills described the golf outing and said he had been interrupted in the middle of a swing by a fellow golfer’s announcement: “I would never support Bowdoin—you are a ridiculous liberal school that brings all the wrong students to campus for all the wrong reasons,” said the other golfer, in Mr. Mills’s telling. During Mr. Mills’s next swing, he recalled, the man blasted Bowdoin’s “misplaced and misguided diversity efforts.” At the end of the round, the college president told the students, “I walked off the course in despair.”

Word of the speech soon got to Mr. Klingenstein. Even though he hadn’t been named in the Mills account, Mr. Klingenstein took to the pages of the Claremont Review of Books to call it nonsense: “He didn’t like my views, so he turned me into a backswing interrupting, Bowdoin-hating boor who wants to return to the segregated days of Jim Crow.”

The campus of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine

The real story, wrote Mr. Klingenstein, was that “I explained my disapproval of ‘diversity’ as it generally has been implemented on college campuses: too much celebration of racial and ethnic difference,” coupled with “not enough celebration of our common American identity.”

For this, wrote Mr. Klingenstein, Bowdoin’s president insinuated that he was a racist.

Whenever the Right kicks into nose high intellectual mode they try to sound like P. G. Wodehouse, but always end up sounding like the most boring speaker at a casket sales convention. The crack about ethnic diversity is well known code for racism. That conservatives keep framing inclusiveness as some kind of liberal plot instead of part of just plain American ideals is the key to cracking a not very clever code. So Thomas Klingenstein sets about to get revenge for being called out on his wacky world view. He signs up the  National Association of Scholars to do a “study” of Bowdoin College. Which is like having a arsonist do a study of fire fighters and fire prevention safety.

Perhaps so. But he’d have a stronger case if, for example, his colleague Marc Hetherington hadn’t written the same year in Bowdoin’s newspaper that liberal professors outnumber conservatives because conservatives don’t “place the same emphasis on the accumulation of knowledge that liberals do.”

In publishing these and other gems, Mr. Klingenstein and the National Association of Scholars hope to encourage alumni and trustees to push aggressively for reforms. They don’t call for the kind of conservative affirmative action seen at the University of Colorado, which recently created a visiting professorship exclusively for right-wingers. Rather, Mr. Klingenstein and the NAS want schools nationwide to stop “silent discrimination against conservatives.” Good luck.

In case you’re wondering, Bowdoin’s official statement on this week’s report amounted to little more than a shrug. A serious response would begin with inviting Mr. Klingenstein to campus for a public debate with President Mills.

For the ironically named “National Association of Scholars ” to find too many liberals in a college that is too liberal is like about as astonishing as finding dust under your bed. If your organization and mindset are about as far Right as Eva Braun then everyone seems like a liberal. This is from a report on the NAS from People for the American Way, Buying a Movement

Conservative University Programs and Academic Associations
In order to secure a lasting victory in the battle for America’s future, right-wing foundations are aware that they must not only control contemporary public debate, but also foster the next generation of conservative scholars, journalists, government employees, legislators and activists. To this end, Bradley, Olin, Scaife, Smith Richardson and others funnel millions of dollars into conservative university programs, university chairs, lecture circuits and right-wing student publications, and promote conservative research in the media to legitimize their positions. They have created and continue to support networks of conservative professors, such as the National Association of Scholars and the Madison Center for Educational Affairs, whose “Collegiate Network” links  conservative student papers. According to the founder of the Center for Campus Organizing, a clearinghouse of information for progressive students, roughly $20 million is pumped into the campus right on an annual basis; almost one fifth of this comes from a handful of right-wing foundations.

In the words of one journalist, these conservative foundations have, “by strategically leveraging their resources…engineered the rise of a right-wing intelligentsia that has come to wield enormous influence in national policy debates.”

The University of Chicago was authorized $3.7 million by the Bradley Foundation for its Bradley Fellows program between 1990-1992.

The Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University, devoted to the study of
“the self-ordering market, free trade, free migration,”received $2 million from the Koch Family between 1986 and 1990.

Harvard University received more than $6.2 million from the Olin Foundation
between 1993 and 1997 to set up various conservative law, business, economics and
strategic studies programs.

The National Association of Scholars (N.A.S.), a network of conservative university professors dedicated to combating perceived “liberal bias” on college campuses, received $125,000 from Olin in 1994; Bradley granted $378,400 between 1990-92 and authorized a two-year, $150,000 grant in 1994; the Scaife foundations have contributed more than $400,000 in recent years; and the Adolph Coors, J.M. and Smith Richardson foundations are also regular contributors.

The Madison Center for Educational Affairs, formerly the Institute for Educational Affairs, founded by Irving Kristol and former Treasury Secretary William Simon (current president of the Olin Foundation) to finance right-wing research and conservative student publications, received $100,000 grants from the Olin, Scaife, J.M. and Smith Richardson foundations. Its “Collegiate Network” of conservative student newspapers was signed over to the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), in 1996. Founded by William F. Buckley in 1953, ISI works, in its own words, to “battle the radicals and P.C. types on the campuses.” It receives regular funding from the Bradley, DeVos, Lilly, Olin, Murdock and Scaife foundations. In addition to funding conservative programs, particularly in the fields of business administration, economics, law and history, foundations also channel money into organizations that monitor academic output and propagate neoconservative and right-wing agendas in the academic community. In 1978, former Treasury Secretary William Simon and neoconservative ideologue Irving Kristol founded the Institute for Educational Affairs (I.E.A.). Its purpose is to seek out promising Ph.D. candidates and undergraduate leaders, help them to establish themselves through grants and fellowships and then help them get jobs with activist organizations, research projects, student publications, federal agencies, or leading periodicals. I.E.A. received start-up grants of $100,000 from the Olin, Scaife, J.M. and Smith Richardson foundations, as well as substantial contributions from Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical, Ford Motor Co., General Electric, K-Mart, Mobil and Nestle corporations.

The NAS follows the conservative playbook, make it seem as though they are the ones who are the poor beleaguered victims of discrimination, outgunned, out spent facing the massive infrastructure of liberal indoctrination. It is also usually the case these radical far Right organizations are projecting and have the reality backwards. As the full report from PFTAW shows, liberal organizations might give as much as a tenth of what the very well organized far Right gives to advancing it’s agenda on college campuses. There is no progressive organization that controls student newspapers in the well coordinated and authoritative control with which the IEA controls conservative newspapers.  Campus conservatives probably think they’re getting the latest deep thoughts from their conservative college peers. Instead they are getting a very well organized campaign of the meme of the moment from some oak paned office a thousand miles away. It is true that most college professors lean moderate to liberal on cultural issues. There is no reason to  make excuses for a group of the nation’s smartest citizens being pro liberalism, the philosophy on which America was founded – Jefferson and Madison were liberal thinkers, not conservatives. Don’t take my word for it. Go over and look up the National Review editorials that hold  Edmund Burke as their intellectual champion – a man who argued that democracy might be fine for the new nation of the United States, but Europe should stick with the tried and true rule of despotic monarchs (see this classic essay:  What Is Conservatism and What Is Wrong with It? ). Maybe Bowdoin is an outlier in terms of balance, but the college and university system overall is not all liberals all the time, Data Comes to the Culture Wars

A more appropriate title for this book might be Are Professors Liberal? The answer, Gross’s large-scale survey data tell us, is a little more than liberals would like to admit and a lot less than conservatives would have us believe. His survey research indicates that in simple terms of party affiliation, 51 percent of American professors identify as Democrats, versus 35 percent of the voting-age American public. A significant one-third of faculty identify as independents (though they are twice as likely to lean Democratic as they are to lean Republican). Unsurprisingly, political orientation is differentiated somewhat by disciplines, with those in the humanities and a number of the social sciences, including sociology and psychology, tracking more to the left, and those in disciplines such as economics, law, and engineering tracking more to the right. Despite the prominence of claims that the university is awash in tenured radicals, only 8 percent of the professoriate identifies as “radical.” The “gotcha” factor with such a number is mitigated by the fact that 8 percent of American faculty members are distinctly un-radical business professors, and business is currently the most popular major in American universities.

…One standard explanation for why parts of the academy skew moderately left appeals unsurprisingly to liberals. Smart people who are capable of sustained, rational analysis often chose to pursue this analysis for a living as professors; with the same tools they cut through the intellectual fog surrounding conservative political arguments and moral commitments. A different explanation—and one that has traction among critics on the right—is that higher education is awash in prejudice against conservative students and faculty, who either are deterred from or systematically chased out of the profession. Then there’s an argument that has traction on both sides: Liberal intellectuals, better educated than they are paid, jealously police their cultural capital within the academy in the absence of any tangible financial capital. While recognizing the intellectual coherence and historical plausibility of all three theories, Gross points to his survey and historical research suggesting that they are bedeviled by fuzzy causality and “explanatory overreach.”

Those on the center-left part of the political scale, in discussions around the water-cooler or in internet forums – should never ever apologize for most academics being liberal to moderate. These people as a group are very bright. They have done their homework and decided that America’s founding liberal traditions and ideals are the best course for the U.S. The radical Right disagrees and thinks America should be an authoritarian plutocracy with a strong weird fundamentalist bent. Why is it  fair to have more of the authoritarian American Taliban in our schools. Liberals are in no way obligated to be tolerate of right-wing intolerance and ant-intellectualism. As far as their poor little voices not being heard, the WSJ and the NAS must be delusional. I’m inundated with radical conservatism every day. It is on television all the time, on radio , on the net and they own innumerable newspapers like the WSJ.

This list of donors and Board of Advisors of the National Association of Scholars, is a veritable who’s who of radical plastic patriots,

Major Right Wing Donors:

Sarah Scaife Foundation
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Inc
Castle Rock Foundation
John M. Olin Foundation

NAS’s Board of Advisors:

John H. Bunzel, Hoover Institution
Edwin J. Delattre, American Enterprise Institute
Chester E. Finn, Fordham Foundation
Gertrude Himmelfarb, Independent Women’s Forum
Paul Hollander, National Review, Front Page Magazine
Harry V. Jaffa, Claremont Institute
Donald Kagan, Project for the New American Century
Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, UN Ambassador under President Reagan, American Enterprise Institute
Irving Kristol, American Enterprise Institute
Richard D. Lamm, American Reform Party
Leslie Lenkowsky, National Review
Seymour Martin Lipset, Hoover Institution
Christina Hoff Sommers, Independent Women’s Forum
Shelby Steele, Hoover Institution, Manhattan Institute
Stephan Thernstrom, Manhattan Institute
James Q. Wilson, Manhattan Institute

Remember a little thing called the invasion of Iraq that would be a cakewalk. It is no coincidence that these people were also part of the chorus of lies and disinformation that got hundreds of thousands of people killed and may ultimately cost the U.S. $6 trillion dollars. Organizations such as the American Enterprise Institute, Claremont Institute and Hoover pushed the conservative economic and deregulation policies that lead to the Great recession of 2007.