Letter to the Editor

Will should dig a little deeper

Saturday, December 4, 2004

To the editor:

In reporting that the academic community contains many individuals who identify themselves as liberal rather than conservative, George Will once again reveals the right-wing triumph of ideology over critical thought. Instead of attempting a thoughtful exploration of why this might be, he jumps to the standard mindless right-wing conclusion that it reflects bias and indicates hypocrisy.

Will should undertake a deeper exploration. Many academic faculty members possess doctorates. They have undertaken and continue to conduct original research and have been exposed to years of training in critical thinking. They practice critical thought and promote it among students. They are trained to cut through the nonsense of ideology and bias to explore evidence. They are versed in reasoning from this evidence to rational conclusions. They are also aware that many current conservatives are all too willing to reject sound science or clear evidence and replace it with their preconceived ideological demand as to what the evidence should be.

Will might better ask why it is that the more thoughtful and critically astute among the populace have identified themselves as liberal. Maybe it is because current conservatives lack any rational basis for most of their positions.

Will does not identify what the academic community defines as liberal and conservative. It could be that the term liberal to academics defines, exactly as it should, that middle-of-the road mix of positive values that are intrinsically American. Maybe the few conservative academics are missing something.

JANICE HAYS CHADHA, Cape Girardeau