Let’s talk politics. No, seriously. How many times have you heard someone say, “well, I have a variety of views.” Well.......maybe, but likely not.....especially if you are a professor in the social sciences.
People in the middle of the political spectrum have the most variation in their political views. They may support gun control, a liberal dream, but also be against abortion, a conservative view. As you move further out on the tails, away from the center, you actually find less and less variation. People on the left generally support ALL liberal policies while people on the right generally support all conservative narratives. An interesting side note, there is actually more variation in conservative support for a variety of policies than can be found on the left side of things. I attribute this to the presence of libertarians ;)
Nonetheless, what this tells us is that 1) the further out you go on the left side of the political distribution, the less variation you will find in causal narratives (poverty causes crime, for example) and 2) the less variation you will find in support for specific policy issues, such as gun control or the minimum wage.
Professors in the social sciences and the humanities are fall disproportionately on the very left side of the political distribution. What this means is that we should see a stark degree of uniformity in their political choices.
Jonathan Haidt obtained secondary data that contained measures of political orientation and questions about political preferences. The data come from a survey of highly productive social-psychologists.
Here is what they found:
Of the 291 respondents:
85% were liberal
6% were conservative
When it came to self-identified political orientation, the ratio was:
36 : 1
When it came to presidential voting:
76 : 1 Obama/Romney.
On a composite measure of political preferences for things like abortion or prayer in school, the difference was an amazing:
314 : 1
This type of intellectual hegemony is nothing short of remarkable and, by the way, statistically impossible.
I spent many years in the military. The military is not known to be a bastion of liberal thinking yet there was and is more intellectual diversity to be found in the military than in our institutes of higher education.
John Paul Wright and Matt DeLisi
Professors of Crime and Criminology