Sunday, June 28, 2009

Unethical Professor? Just Get in Line With the Agenda!

After a while, when a conservative academic gets into debates with radical leftists, they'll soon have their credentials challenged. I wrote about this earlier: "You're a Professor, Really?"

The "I can't believe you're a professor" line is one of the best indicators of the intellectual intolerance of today's postmodernists: There is ONE WAY to view things, and if you're not down with it, you're excommunicated from what these people believe to be respectable company among the thinking elite.

You see this in the media a lot as well. For example, take a look at today's New York Times piece on gay rights, "
Political Shifts on Gay Rights Lag Behind Culture" (via Memeorandum). The article is a commentary piece disguised as reporting (which should be no surprise to those familiar with the decline of the Old Gray Lady). Public opinion polls on gay marriage nationally belie the argument that politics is "behind" the culture (a socially licentious culture of anything-goes-sexual abandon). We also see these polling trends in states whose courts have legislated gay rights from the bench (just 26 percent in Iowa favored full-on same-sex marriage rights when that policy became law earlier this year). For an example of this cultural lie, check out Matthew Yglesias' post on the Times piece, "Culture, Politics, and Majoritarianism:

The underlying dynamic here illustrates why it’s always been a mistake to try to draw a contrast between gay rights groups’ efforts to secure equality through the courts and to secure equality through the political process.
Shorter Yglesias: The political process is illegitimate in the absence of toeing the hardline gay rights agenda.

As for the academic angle, I noticed the comments of "
Dave the Longwinded" over at Brainrage:

You know, I'm a college instructor by trade, I'm registered as an Independent, and hold a slightly Libertarian bent. I would love to see how he responds to students who write work Don doesn't like from a political standpoint.

His language on his blog with respect to certain topics could be called borderline unethical for a college prof. If you disagree with gay rights/marriage, yay for you. But to use it as a slur against opponents would really make some of my superiors take notice in a way that Don wouldn't like. And some of them hold definite conservative leanings.
This is really interesting.

I've been blogging for over three years. I've been attacked every which way, from this side to Sunday. My information's all public. I'm ashamed of nothing. It turns out that "Dave the Longwinded" is Dave Jones of University of Evansville. He's posted a syllabus from a "critical thinking" class at his blog. I'm gathering that Professor Jones is a remedial instructor, for I don't see him listed at the university's English homepage. He may not even be teaching any more, since he suggests life in academe is a "trade," not that different from drywall contracting or plumbing.

Interestingly, some time back James "Barebacker" Webb went to RateMyProfessors to check me out. He must have been disappointed not to find comments attacking me as a "neocon" or a "racist homophobe." Indeed, as he noted at the time, "you seem to be a fairly amiable fellow ..." (and that's because I had yet to hammer him on his nihilist hypocrisy).

A check over at RateMyProfessors right now indicates no complaints over ideology or intolerance in the classroom. In fact, it's probably the other way around. Check out this May 25th comment from a former student of mine at my Facebook page:
I wish you came out with some of the information you blog on in your lectures ...
And that's the thing. My blog is separate from my lectures. I sometimes pull it up in class, for example, in my recent discussions on democracy I've played some of the videos from Iran's protests. (Seeing that violence, students are stunned by the disconnect between their liberty at home and the brutal authoritarianism abroad.) I will sometimes also point students to my blog to find my published essays or other important articles that relate to what we're doing.

But I don't indoctrinate. It's the leftist academics who are disgracefully guilty of hardline indoctrination. I discussed this in my essay at FrontPage Magazine, "
Grading the One-Party Classroom."

This is what radical leftists do. And if you're not down with it, you'll be smeared as "unethical." You really shouldn't be inside a classroom!


JBW said...

Don, I've never questioned your legitamicy as a professor nor have I ever tried to saddle you with a childish, Levin-esque nickname and believe me, both would be quite easy to do if I so wanted.

The only reason I checked you out at RateMyProfessors is because you sought me out and left comments at my site and that was one of the first sites that came up when I Googled you.

I personally have no interest in what you do or do not teach/indoctrinate your students with. How you make a living in the "real" world is not important to me, just as I'm sure that how I live is equally not important to you.

I characterized you as an amiable fellow lo those many months ago because I obviously did not realize then what you are rhetorically capable of when your visage of reasoned academia slips away to reveal your more petulant and insecure qualities.

But hey, why should you listen to what I have to say? Merely dismiss my words as "radical", "leftist", "nihilistic", and "hypocritical" and go about your merry day. I wouldn't want to trouble a professor by making him think too much.

Noah Johns said...

I teach as well at a local college. I try my best not to let my politics slip into the classroom although I do challenge the "conventional" (i.e. liberal) wisdom found in many political science texts.
My department head chastised a former instructor for letting her viewpoint come into the classroom so I am somewhat tentative about doing the same.
Have you noticed any students complaining they got a poor grade because they disagree with your philosophy? That is my number one concern.
Thanks for the great blog!!