Thanks to fivethirtyeight, I watched a video in which Tucker Carlson came out on Fox News and Friends to present a “newfound” study, which shows that students become more liberal after spending four years in college.
My reaction: seriously? Don’t we already know this? It has been shown in all polls in any kind of political election that college graduates tend to lean more towards the Dems (and Ron Paul, I guess, but those kids were just trying to be hip). Isn’t this kind of historical data enough to prove that college students tend to be more liberal?
Granted, Tucker Carlson didn’t provide us with any information regarding where the study came from, or what methodology was even used (besides the fact that 14,000 college graduates were interviewed), so the audience has no idea what the purpose of the study was. But, basing off of the small amount of information that was presented in Tucker “I-don’t-have-the-data-in-front-of-me” Carlson’s segment, it is easy for a progressive like me to go into a partisan tirade making the case that under the belief of fairness/equality for all, gays and lesbians should be allowed to get married, and that global warming is actually a true phenomenon that is threatening the quality of life of our future children. However, there is another aspect of this report that makes Fox News seem even more hypocritical than they already are…Didn’t all of these experts and pundits themselves go to college? So how come they do not succumb to the findings of this study?
According to the 2008 Census, about 45% of the US population (that is 18 years or older, percentage calculated by me) have received some sort of education at an undergraduate institute. Sure, that is not necessarily representative of the entire population, but that is almost half, and it is actually a pretty considerable number, especially if you remember that most of the journalists and experts that have been expressing their opinion on the 24/7 news cycle have credentials from prestigious undergraduate and graduate institutes that are dominated by what Tucker calls “the socially liberal ideologies.” So how can Fox News still exist under this kind of liberal brainwashing culture? How can the socially conservative still be such a powerful force under the heavy influence of these liberal establishments?
At the end of the segment, Tucker concludes that we need more conservative/moderate professors in these academic institutes to reverse the findings highlighted in this study. If the findings in the study are true, this solution is almost impossible. In order to become a professor, you would need to have a Bachelors degree, which is required for a Masters and a Doctorate degree. After spending close to eight years (five or six if you’re lucky) of your life in academia, how can you resist the prominent socially liberal brainwashing? I imagine Tucker would advocate for a systematic reform in academia to have colleges hire more populist intellectuals (tea party activists!?), but is that really necessary? I mean our liberal academic establishment did produce a good old (former) bow-tie-loving conservative like you, Tucker!
P.S. It is somewhat believable that a majority of the 14,000 students interviewed have shown that they lack the basic knowledge in civics, but is this really the college system’s fault? Since most people go into college with the intention of specializing in a specific field, many don’t have the time or resources to take classes outside of their chosen discipline. If anything, that statistic might be further proof that high schools need to have their students better trained so they have the capabilities of being informed citizens.