Thursday, February 12, 2004

Conservatives Are Just Dim

From the February 11th OpinionJournal Best of the Web Today:
Conservos Are Dim, Says Talking Chair
The Duke Conservative Union took out an ad in the Chronicle, the Durham, N.C., university's student newspaper, deploring the ideological imbalance of the Duke faculty, which, like most university faculties, is overwhelmingly liberal and left-wing. The Chronicle reports this reaction from Robert Brandon, the "chair of the philosophy department":

"We try to hire the best, smartest people available," Brandon said of his philosophy hires. "If, as John Stuart Mill said, stupid people are generally conservative, then there are lots of conservatives we will never hire.

"Mill's analysis may go some way towards explaining the power of the Republican party in our society and the relative scarcity of Republicans in academia. Players in the NBA tend to be taller than average. There is a good reason for this. Members of academia tend to be a bit smarter than average. There is a good reason for this too."

Even for a piece of furniture, Robert Brandon isn't as smart as it thinks it is. As we write this column, we are sitting on a much smarter chair. It hasn't said a word all afternoon. Clearly, unlike that fancy Duke chair, it understands the truth of the old adage "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool that to speak and remove all doubt."

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