Monday, September 29, 2003

Lots of Chat about David Brooks's latest column. Says Brooks, on the subject of conservatives in academia:
The most common advice conservative students [aiming for tenure-track positions] get is to keep their views in the closet. Will Inboden was working on a master's degree in U.S. history at Yale when a liberal professor pulled him aside after class and said: "You're one of the best students I've got, and you could have an outstanding career. But I have to caution you: hiring committees are loath to hire political conservatives. You've got to be really quiet."

. . . If it were my kid, I'd say go to graduate school — read the books you want to read. Then go to Washington, where you won't feel embattled because you'll exchange ideas with liberals and others in a more intellectually diverse setting. You'll probably end up doing more good.

Perhaps we can expect affirmative action at the university level. My proposed slogan: Hire a neoconservative to teach Classics; he'll think it makes him important, and it'll keep him out of the DoD.

Hmmm. Not very catchy, is it?

Sidebar: Brooks has taken some hits from the right, specifically insinuations that he has tempered his conservatism to take his NYT post. I disagree. Brooks has always been a thoughtful, moderate observer, not a red-meat podium pounder. He's subtle, fair, and very articulate. I think he's doing a bang-up job at the Times.

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