How I taught my intro econ class. I responded briefly that it was probably different than a textbook approach he may have been familiar with. To which he replied in almost the non-sequitur of the year, “oh, so you’re a Democrat?” I actually don’t know what to say.
I caught this in the WSJ on the way to registration today:
Thus, the current Guide to the First Year at Harvard alerts incoming students to orientation programs in diversity designed to build connections within and across “nationality, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, class, physical ability, and religion.” Characteristically and tellingly absent from the list is political or intellectual diversity.
Those who established higher education in this country knew that constitutional democracy was not biologically transmitted, but would have to be painstakingly nurtured in every new cohort of students. When schools dropped requirements for compulsory attendance at religious services and subjected all certainties to critical scrutiny, the schools may have assumed that faculty would find more creative ways of teaching the foundational texts and of rehearsing the debates inspired by those texts. Conservative students—and not they alone—long for exposure to the ideational diversity of Jefferson and Hamilton, Jesus and the Grand Inquisitor, Marx and Hayek, liberal and conservative. They want a campus where a professor who says he votes Republican isn’t considered either courageous or crazy.
The pity is that, so far, students who desire such a campus will have to work for its transformation on their own.