There's nothing inherently wrong with the field of conservative studies, or professorships in it. As the author of two books about conservatives (Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh), I'd certainly be happy to see more jobs available to study conservative ideas. Unfortunately, this particular job appears to be nothing more than preferential hiring for right-wingers, and this kind of explicit political discrimination with little regard for academic values is wrong. Talk-show host Mike Rosen, a member of the hiring committee, told the Washington Times that no liberals or even independents would be allowed in the job (or, one presumes, the lecture series). This kind of suppression sends a message not only to applicants, but also to potential students who may feel silenced in the classroom if they fail to toe the conservative line. If, like me, conservatives believe that political discrimination is wrong in academia, then they must uphold this principle for all appointments. Just as Women's Studies must be open to men, and Black Studies must be open to non-blacks, conservative studies must be open to non-conservatives.
Saturday, April 06, 2013
My View of Conservative Studies
Minding the Campus recently asked 10 people, including me, to comment on the appointment of Steven Hayward to a one-year term as Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Here's what I wrote: