Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Colorado Springs Gazette sometimes posts liberal letters to the editor...

We do have some intelligent life here in Colorado Springs. Here is a most eloquent letter to the editor from Dec 11th, interspersed with the gun nuts and the creationists.

IVORY TOWER Academics not liberal, just more enlightened

Syndicated columnist George Will and the people he cited think academics (I am one) are lacking in diversity of political thought (“Campuses not diverse in political beliefs,” Other Voices, Dec. 4). He quoted a professor who says that “the ‘first protocol’ of academic society is the common assumption that, at professional gatherings, all the strangers in the room are liberals.”
That’s not the first protocol. The first protocol of academic society is that academics are trained investigators who rely on evidence and method, as opposed to mere received opinion, authority and faith, in their professional work. We can be as prejudiced as others in our private opinions, but we have real and enforceable standards of professional ethics.
That academics aren’t, in the main, politically in agreement with the conservative coalition now in control in Washington, is, as Will emphasizes, no surprise. But he’s tendentious about the reasons.
It’s time to get past conservative-liberal labeling. President Bush now leads, and the pundits of the right cheer on, a radical — not a conservative — experiment: unilateralism and aggression in foreign and military affairs, deregulation and privatization to respond to environmental and social problems, re-engineering family life based on selective Biblical norms, a big policy tilt toward the interests of corporations and the wealthy, and politics ahead of science wherever they conflict. The fragmented opposition now represents what hope we have of holding on to the traditional — conservative as well as liberal — values of international law, government intervention to soften social inequality, environmental stewardship, respect for labor and science, and toleration of the lifestyle choices of others. Colleges and universities are, along with some of the mainline churches and non-profits and the remnants of the labor movement, a crucial and imperiled institutional base for rebuilding an America we can be proud of.
Owen Cramer
Colorado Springs

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