43 percent of the political gap can be explained because professors are more likely than others:Going from the outrageous to the ridiculous, consider the last point. Liberals in academia have a high toleance for controversial ideas? This must be Clinton-speak where it depends what the meaning of 'controversial' is. Liberals in academe might tolerate way-out ideas or far left ideas or wacky ideas, but controversial ideas? Take for example the controversial notion that theories of global warming are junk science. Take the controversial notion that capitalism is the optimal economic system for the growth and social mobility in a nation. Or, take the controversial idea that 2,000 years ago a man was born who was God incarnate, that he was crucified and buried and then, after three days, he rose from the dead. Now there's a controversial idea that's also way-out and wacky! How many liberal professors have high tolerance for that one?
•To have high levels of educational attainment.
•To experience a disparity between their levels of educational attainment and income.
•To be either Jewish, non-religious, or a member of a faith that is not theologically conservative Protestant.
•To have a high tolerance for controversial ideas.
On the third point, I don't know about the Jewish part, but certainly, academia is filled with secularists, unless this study might have included seminaries or colleges like Grove City, Christendom and all those with religious mission statements. As for a disparity between levels of educational attainment and income, all occupations must suffer to some degree from a disparity between credentials and income. Take a look at me. I'm a homemaker with no income to speak of, and I have a Master's degree! But, seriously, yes, there are many of us who might be of the opinion that college professors enjoy an income entirely too extravagant for the amount of work they do. Finally, the last point, that most professors are more likely than others to have high levels of educational attainment is like saying that doctors are more likely than others to have medical degrees!
There is, admittedly, a modicum of reason to the study when its authors say that academia has become generally recognized as a home for liberals. "We argue that the professoriate, along with a number of other knowledge work fields, has been 'politically typed' as appropriate and welcoming of people with broadly liberal sensibilities, and as inappropriate for conservatives."
But they spiral downwards again as they imply that it never occurs to a "committed conservative" to become a professor. This is just idiocy.
There are so many liberals in academia because society would cease to function if we actually had to depend on these people for anything. If anthropologists, sociologists, political scientists and English professors ran the world, who would invent new products, create works of art, figure out how to build bridges and roads, explore outer space, run our businesses, clean our streets, grow our food, defend and protect us from outside enemies and teach our children reading, writing and arithmetic? Liberals have created their own ghetto of stagnant, circular, self-important and biased thinking which the rest of society generously tolerates. In fact, I think my own time might have been better used had I skipped over this article.