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Re: Another victim of radical liberalism
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2006, 05:19:47 PM »
I did say a significant portion and, as the original CNN link that you posted states, a "poll conducted by the Harvard Crimson student newspaper, 57 percent of 424 undergraduate students said Summers should not resign". I would still say 40% is a significant portion of the student body.

Now I grant that there is evidence on both sides of the debate, but that still doesn't make it prudent for Summers to make this assertion. You want to know why it is reasonable only for him to take the politically correct side? Well, look at what it got him. Anyone could have seen this coming from his comments. But if you want more then suffice to say that it is untactful, presumptuous, and generally improper. It isn't political correctness to exercise discretion in a speech. Discussion that is fit for the board room isn't necessarily fit for a convocation. Just as you don't ask someone their salary or talk business at the dinner the table, you don't make these kinds of assertions in a public forum. Put simply, if you equate common social graces to liberalism then fine. That's a mantle I think they'll happily bear. However, I think tact is something that should be fairly universal and it should certainly be exercised by people in positions of power and attention.

The fact of the matter is that a fairly liberal President at one of the most traditionally conservative academic institutions in America was forced to resign because he allowed himself to become far to contraversial. If you honestly believe that this is some sort of sign of liberal bias in academia then we're gonna be spending a lot of time (and pry have a decent amount of fun) dragging this thread out.

Unfortunately, your reasoning is circular.  You are arguing that he deserved to be pushed out because he made comments that you say were stupid.  Then, you further argue that his comments are stupid because of the result. 

If you honestly believe that there ISN'T liberal bias in academia and that this ISN'T a sign of it, I don't what more to say to you.

I don't think it's circular to say that there's a time and a place for everything, and that there's a difference between being tactful and being unnecessarily PC, which were Evolve's basic points about Summers as I understood them.

I tend to think that there's something of a liberal bias in academia, particularly in smaller liberal arts institutions, but I think it's more of a bias towards the ideological and against the pragmatic.  Professors on both the left and right (particularly those who are tenured) have more professional freedom than just about any other career path.  You'll find zealots on both sides who say things that would get them fired from most other jobs.  I think the bias is largely self-selecting though; academia's reputation for leaning left only attracts others to the profession.  Not that I'm sure what can be done about it.