Beware of Your Own Bubble

By Bill Maher

It’s September, which means millions of young adults have just headed off to America’s colleges and universities to spend around $60,000 of their parents’ money on porn camp. This also means it won’t be long before we hear the same conservative complaints about liberal indoctrination on college campuses. Except …they kind of have a point.

Over the next four years - or five, if you’re a football player - your typical college student isn’t going to hear much in the way of conservative thought. Using data collected by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, political scientist Sam Abrams points out that in 1995, the liberal-conservative ratio among faculty on American campuses was roughly 2 to 1. By 2004, that number had risen to 3 to 1. By 2010, it’s 5 to 1. And then there’s New England, where the liberal to conservative ratio is now above 25 to 1. Of course, if you’re a Christian conservative matriculating at Smith or Mount Holyoke, maybe you should have read the brochure a little more carefully. Then again, that is a pretty stacked deck.

Now, do I believe those professors are there to try and indoctrinate their students into the ways of liberalism? No, of course not. Like professors teach your students! The TA’s, maybe. The professors are too busy trying to publish an article in the American Journal of Who Gives a Shit. However, college is a place where you’re supposed to be exposed to new ideas, new modes of thought, and new experiences, and not just when you’re on mushrooms.  

Could it be that in creating “a safe space” for students, what we really have done is eliminate any chance they’re going to hear an opinion that may be different from their own? Or is it that conservative intellectualism is so on the decline, and because Republicans have made book learnin’ such a bad thing, that liberals are the only ones who want to be a professor in the first place?

All I know is it’s not a good thing to go through college and not have your liberal bubble burst at least a few times. And since the Fox News/Drudge/talk radio bubble seems to be what ruined conservatism, shouldn’t liberals be wary of creating their own?