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11 Feb How the Liberal University Hurts the Liberal Student

Are most college professors liberal? Yes, says Penn State Associate Professor of Political Science and Philosophy Matthew Woessner. Perhaps surprisingly, however, his research shows that liberal bias does not seem to influence right-leaning students. Rather, it insulates left-leaning students, hindering their ability to critically analyze their own ideas. In five minutes, learn more about college liberal bias.
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Is higher education politically liberal? The answer is clearly, “yes.” In virtually every field within academia, the great majority of professors identify strongly with both leftist causes and the Democratic Party.

Renowned Sociologist Seymour Lipset was one of the first to examine this question. Based on a number of surveys taken since World War II, Lipset concluded that academics are more likely than any other occupational group to identify their views as left or liberal. Professors tend to support a wide variety of egalitarian social and economic policies. They are far more likely to vote for Democratic candidates, and in many cases back leftist third parties. While Lipset based his conclusions on faculty surveys from the 1950s through the early 1980s, more recent studies show that the professoriate’s commitment to leftist politics has only strengthened.

In our book, The Still Divided Academy, my colleagues April Kelly-Woessner, the late Stanley Rothman, and I take an in depth look at faculty views at the beginning of this century. Consistent with earlier studies we find, that a near twelve percent of professors see themselves as Republicans. But even this statistic is deceiving. Among this small minority of faculty who call themselves Republicans, fifty-one percent are pro-choice; sixty three percent support more environmental regulations, even though it could cost people their jobs. And thirty-nine percent of Republicans believe that the government should work to reduce the income gap between the rich and the poor.

So not only are there relatively few Republicans in the ranks of faculty, but many of the Republican professors hold views that are identical to Democrats outside of academia. Based on the best evidence, fewer than one in 10 professors hold conservative social, political, moral, or economic views.

Although college professors are overwhelmingly on the left, there are big differences in the political values of faculty depending on their field. Dan Klein, Professor of Economics at George Mason University, and his colleagues conducted an in-depth study of six academic disciplines: Anthropology, Economics, History, Philosophy, Political Science and Sociology. Within these fields, faculty backed the Democratic candidate over Republican candidates by a ratio of 15 to 1. The Left’s advantage was most lopsided in Anthropology and Sociology, where Democratic faculty voters outnumbered Republican voters by approximately 30 to 1. In Political Science faculty support for the Democrats over Republicans runs only 7 to 1 and in Economics the ratio is a mere 3 to 1.

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    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    My US History teacher is a Conservative.

  • George Kaftan
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    His mouth is so full of spit, you can hear it in the microphone. Just keep both sides of politics out of universities

  • bakersmileyface
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    I don't really have a problem with most university professors being liberal. What I despise is how liberalism is treated in universities.

    I studied in 3 universities and in each one, any view that people didn't agree with would get you shunned. I'm a liberal and I got so pissed off with the amount of people that I felt I needed to treat like children. The student council would stop you from doing anything even remotely conservative and if you mentioned any facts that goes against the popular belief in that campus, then you'd be asked to be quiet and "We don't like hate speech here". However if you wanted to say something good on behalf of the consensus then it's "WOW we're all ears".

    My ideologies didn't change going through university, but I certainly came out feeling like Liberals are stupid and realising that university was a waste of my time. I could honestly have searched up what I learned on the internet, and few people really challenged me intellectually because any argument/discussion is 'hate speech'. There were plenty of people smarter than me, but not many were willing to talk about things.
    But that degree does come in handy, i'm not going to lie.

  • Afternoon1201
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    My history teacher in high school was as conservative as conservative could be. Needless to say at the time I was more obsessed with trying to get laid. But now as an adult, I agree with a lot of his tangents (of which, he was infamous for)

  • Timothy Duffy
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    Liberalism is a failure. So is conservatism. Voters think theirs a difference between these things in practice. But the shot callers of both parties are nothing but crooks. Time for a third party that is not liberal or conservative but American.

  • Sergio Samayoa
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    Leftist are "intellectuals" living from wealth created by Rightist.

  • MrNettoon
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    "Education makes you a leftist" maybe its because Facts lean left. But I don't know…

  • TheRollslapper
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    It's funny that people think students become more left because of their professors, and not because of their six-figure debt or something.

  • dap
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    The point of college today is obviously NOT to have your views challenged. That is pretty obvious with things like "safe spaces" and liberals wanting to ban free speech if your views differ from theirs. It seems the point of college and I'd say the majority of our "education" system, is to brainwash the young. It appears to me that some college students lose common sense.

  • EvilPlagueDoctor
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    I had a conservative professor, he told me W = V x A
    I also had a Liberal professor, he told me W = V x A
    both also would except W = E x I (I = current, A = Amps, they're the same thing, same with E/V)

    yup, totally Indoctrinated am I right?
    or perhaps the amount of Liberal 'indoctrination' is much less than you think and facts (vast majority of the time) rules all. (there are always weirdo's that slip through the gaps)

  • Father Time
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    It's heartwarming that he says things aren't as bad as they appear. But he's wrong. Academia is no longer about academics, but indoctrination thru propaganda. He knows, you know it, and I know it.

  • Ronald Matthews
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    My high school class in history is liberal. So far, I am a right wing Trump supporter. Liberal bias can't break me into white guilt.

  • Britton Thompson
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    "If professors and academia are so Leftist, this must mean liberals are the smartest people"

    Wrong. Not even close. Within the world of political polling which studies demographics and relies on meta data, findings in the last two decades have revealed the reason for this trend of academia being so predominantly liberal is not a reflection of "the smartest people are liberals", but is instead caused by self-selection. Intelligent liberals tend to go into the fields of academics or journalism as their profession. However, there are a lot of intelligent conservatives too, ya know? The difference is that intelligent conservatives tend to enter into the fields of business, high finance & banking, or the practicing of law instead. Being a liberal doesn't automatically make you smarter. It's just due to a different set of preferences and values between the two ideologies.

  • Britton Thompson
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    I can attest to this 100%. Having graduated from college not so long ago myself, I take much pride in the more thorough educations all of us Right wing students achieved. It became self evident over the 5 year span that I was in college that we Right leaning students were more battle tested— our academic irons forged in the cauldron of omnipresent liberal beliefs. We were the more prepared, and multi-threat students.

    By enduring the inescapable liberal atmosphere our campus was besieged by, we were forced to learn how to better debate the other side's ideas rationally and coherently. Because we entered college with an unshakable resolve in Right wing values, we quickly realized we would need to evolve to a higher intellectual level in order to endure this stifling Left wing environment. We had to self-educate in order to learn how to effectively blow holes in liberal assertions.

    By the time we graduated, it was us Right wingers who could actually make well reasoned arguments on the topics being discussed while the liberals could only offer slurs & insults. Let's say that hypothetically we were discussing illegal immigration and/or our porous southern border. We were the ones who were actually capable of explaining our firm conservative positions in cogent, structured arguments using facts, statistics, and documented examples to make our cases while the liberals could only respond by calling us racists. Like I said, we could offer arguments. They could only offer slurs and insults.

  • Adrain Acha
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    when you start using the word leftist i give a dislike …

  • David Reynolds
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    Another reason liberal universities hurt liberal students is by saddling them with mortgage level student loan debt in order to pay the liberal professors, deans, presidents and staff.

  • Soul searcher
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    I️ love how conservatives believe in institutional liberal bias in universities but they don’t believe in institutional racism.

  • abc zyx
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    Ok then
    1. Don’t go to university
    2. Create a conservative one and go there
    If you don’t like then, don’t go to them. Why are you complaining?

  • David Walter
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    I went from right to left throughout the 3 years I've spent at the University of Florida.
    I find the argument that I have been manipulated into believing lies unconvincing. I align with traditional academia more than PragerU for a variety of reasons.
    Maybe someone here can convince me otherwise. Ill state some things I have learned from one of my favorite professors.
    Denmark has more economic mobility than the USA. Free trade between nations promotes peace and aggregate economic benefits. Immigration drives economic growth.
    I'm not sure if she said this or not, but the republican tax plan will create $1 trillion in debt over the next 10 years.In another course, (ethnically and gender) diverse companies do better financially.
    In another course, climate change is real, man made, and probably poses a huge threat to our species.In another course, your economic and academic success is largely determined by your socioeconomic status at birth.
    Why would they care to lie about these things?I can tell you why Prager might care to tell you climate change is not something to worry about.

  • Tom Kelly
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    Very interesting outlook. I wonder though, since many young people want to rebel against authority, will left leaning universities begin turning out more right leaning students? Since many young people naturally want to rebel against authority?

  • Jeff Hanson
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    I have to take some offense to the idea being pro choice isn't conservative. It may currently not be Republican since the party has been hijacked by the religious right but it can definitely be a conservative view. We must separate conservative from religious or conservatism will only get weaker

  • JRLM
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    Once you become educated its hard to hate gays..and support politicians who have sexual relationships with 14 year old girls.

  • Joey
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    I remember in Biology class. When my Professor said that both man and women have 24 ribs. A conservative Christian student jump up and said that's a lie, because God took one of Adam's(man) ribs to create Eve. So men only have 23 ribs!


  • David Fishman
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    Pro-choice republican sounds like a remarkably sensible and consistent human being…almost like a…libertarian. Why does your version of a campus Republican have to be someone who contradicts their own beliefs about the role of government? It's far more consistent to wish for a government that doesn't mess with businesses, keeps taxes low, AND doesn't tell women what to do with their bodies, isn't it?

  • Andrew Williams
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    Universities are mostly an expensive daycare and way to keep unemployment numbers down, with a few people on the side actually studying useful degrees that benefit them and society more than 'hmm, that's interesting'.

  • ronan houston
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    It’s almost like smarter people are.. liberal…. hmm I wonder why

  • Jerold Knox
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    how could any one thumbs down this?

  • Ihavealotofsubscribersbecauseofmylongyoutubename
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    My 8th grade history teacher is a liberal.

  • toplaycool21
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    I'm more independent in my way thinking because I am so tired of identity politics. But I have a mix of conservative and libertarian ideas. I barely agree with any liberal policy outside of making stricter smoking laws maybe? Because I have seen what happens when people belief in a political leader leading others as a God-like figure and it is so bad that I will never rely on any political movement or leader to be a supposed "savior" to our country.

  • Freshnewz10
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    Can someone tell me when did this happen?

  • Kommander Kool
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    I said thank God in front of an advisor and tried not to laugh at me……im bet he lives an unhappy and unfulfilled life….just judging on how he carried himself

  • Philip Winn
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    I'm fairly liberal, but I wholeheartedly agree and believe that it's very important to be exposed to political views that are different from your own. I know so many fellow liberals who have never really talked to a conservative before, and it's actually a bit sad. These people only seem to know of right-wing ideas from what their fellow left-wingers have told them, and that's enormously detrimental imo.

    Not to mention that at my university, the republican students managed to form a club but all of the meeting times and locations are kept secret, because conservative groups that try to form on campus are invariably subjected to protests from liberal students and literally shouted down.

  • TheTruth
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February


  • SylkaChan
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    Well higher education does not always mean more intelligent, and quality education effects IQ scores; not only that but people can gain or loose intelligence based on extreme experiences. An intellectual is more likely to be misanthropist which does not mean any less moral but more philosophical and not satisfied with the way things are.

  • Mega Man
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    you conservatives think you're outnumbered. Im a centrist and I can't stand this liberal indoctrination

  • Maryanne Cortez
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    This video gets leftist and liberal confused. Leftist are not liberal. They just butcher the term "liberal". Leftist are not intellectual challenged, but true liberals are. Liberals are actually open minded to various opinions, leftist are not.

  • James Swyter
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    Old Adage: those that can do; those that can't teach. From my perspective, working in industry is higher pay and more gratifying and challenging work. It obviously pays better, especially where wealth is created generously. I can't think of a single reason why I would want to reach lazy overindulged overaged teenagers

  • Smokey Doke
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    So in plain speak, the Liberal is completely ignorant to the world! I'm right and you are wrong because I have a college degree…!!! LMFAO you are nothing more than useful idiots!

  • Sparky Shirts
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    Waning, this chat will contain Atheists so Christians and people of other religions be aware of the atheists who will destroy the meaning of life

  • john rogers
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    Where does aggregate wealth come from? Not MBAs. The kind of person who studies economics is… [insert pejorative]

  • Mitch Johnson
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    I guess I'll take what I can get, but these guys are remarkably meek about this societal outrage. I won't discuss it at length, but let me just address a few of the things they talk about here.

    1:46 Why didn't they include English, the arts, journalism, education, and Psychology? Are those just assumed to be leftist fiefdoms like "X studies"?

    Islands of conservative thought? We should thank those generous liberals for allowing us to live on some reservations.

    Liberal students remain liberal? Yeah, they've already got 12 years of liberal indoctrination by that point, so anyone who is conservative is already accustomed to this. The problem is that this is another 4-8 years of the same indoctrination that students have already been giving.

    "It's not conservative students." Yes it is. They know they're less likely to get into law school or many other grad schools than a liberal. They know that extracurricular leadership in conservative causes will be counted against them, while extracurricular leadership in liberal causes will help those students get into more prestigious school and programs.

    But the greatest injustice is done to society in general, where liberals get 20 years of leftist indoctrination camps to help raise up each new generation of leftists.

  • Shawn
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    I wish they would put links to the studies in the description

  • Pingers Bingers
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 February

    Basically, conservatives dominate actual fields involving actual knowledge that can be applied, libs dominate the crybaby fields that deal in science fiction and feelings.