A Econ Journal Watch study found that, in 2016, out of 7,243 professors surveyed from the top 40 leading universities, Democrat professors outnumbered Republican professors 3,623 to 314, or about 12 to one. This study proved what is common knowledge: universities are overwhelmingly liberal.
Likewise, it comes to no surprise that many conservatives feel as though their voices are being drowned out by professors on campus. While many conservatives may view this as an everlasting problem and many liberals may see this as a social victory, it's clear that overwhelmingly liberal universities challenge such conservative students in a way it does not challenge liberal students. And these challenges will eventually spark future political defeats for liberal politics.
Let the records show that Louisiana State University is no ideological exception: liberals dominate the population of the faculty and staff. At this current moment, and for the foreseeable future, conservatives at the University are going to have to face the reality that they are most likely diametrically opposed to the professor who holds their GPA in their hands. This may seem intimidating to younger students, but let's look at other factors.
If politics is practically a long, drawn out game of poker, then liberal professors are showing conservative students not only their hand, but also demonstrating how they play the game. Meanwhile, conservative students get to sit back, study their political opponents and keep their cards close to the vest.
Liberal professors will generally fall into one of three categories: those who engage in a dialogue with conservative students, those who shut out conservative students and those who divest their political opinions. The non-political professors are irrelevant to this discussion, so they will be omitted, as politics do not play into their students’ experience.
The University has many liberal professors who engage in a political dialogue with their conservative students, professors who have never shut them out. I am proud to say that I have never had an instructor at the Manship School of Mass Communication who has ignored my perspective. However, I have experienced this conservative ice-out in other areas of my education.
Of the professors who shut conservative students out completely, understand first that conservative opinions are not objectively wrong, nor are the liberal opinions circulating the classroom discussion objectively right. They just happen to fall in line with the professor’s view.
At this point, a conservative student is challenged with understanding the political language and desires of the liberal professor in order to maintain a good class participation grade. If such a challenge is adequately met, it can result in the conservative student becoming a prodigal diplomat, more capable than their peers in reaching a mutual conclusion in a disagreement or in swaying others to their own opinion.
Professors who engage in a political dialogue with their students demonstrate the complex political methods and motives of the liberal side of the political aisle, usually in a pretty seamless method. At such a moment, the conservative student should be challenged to examine the inner clockwork of the liberal agenda and find the weakest points to exploit in a debate.
The professors themselves are unlikely to get similar insight into the conservative platform; conservative students should take advantage of the inside knowledge of the political rivals’ framework they are being forced to learn. Such knowledge will be useful in a political career.
As previously said, a conservative student will be challenged in a way many liberal students will not be. Such challenges will only lead to stronger conservative leadership in the future and a potentially weaker liberal base. This is the silver lining to the overrepresentation of liberals on campus.
Rather than complain and don the new label “I survived college without becoming a liberal,” conservatives should take advantage of the forced exposure, learn the mindset of the liberal population and then crush them in future elections.
Brett Landry is a 21-year-old political communications major from Bayou Petit Caillou, Louisiana.