Conservatives are stoopid; LISNewzsters are smart :-)

[Note: this journal entry is occasioned in part by Ender's posting noted below, but also in part by Blake's daring to suggest that there actually is intelligent conservative opinion worth listening to.]

In a reply from Ender, Duke_of_URL (posting as an anonymous patron) in a thread on Christian publishing and culture, said he felt that Christians were more thievish than the rest of the population.

His generalization reminds me of the Duke U. philosophy professor (hmm, Duke_of_Url, Duke U., I wonder ...), who stated that stupid people were generally conservative, by way of explaining why there were so few conservatives in Duke's humanities departments:
"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."


  1. Brandon misrepresents Mill;
  2. Brandon commits a non-sequitur in the first paragraph;
  3. Brandon has the demographics wrong--conservatives are not more stupid than others (scroll down to the Lindgren quote; wait, here's a sample:

    If one breaks down the data by party affiliation and political orientation, the most highly educated group is conservative Republicans, who also score highest on the vocabulary and analogical reasoning tests. Liberal Democrats score only insignificantly lower than conservative Republicans. The least educated subgroups are moderate and conservative Democrats, who also score at the bottom (or very near the bottom) on vocabulary and analogy tests.
    [emphasis mine--ChuckB])

Now think about this for a moment: if LISNewzsters are drawn chiefly from liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans, then we come from the two smartest groups in the country!


Thanks for this in depth analysis and the links. I had read about his ridiculous justification for so little diversity on the faculty of Duke, but hadn't taken the time to track back to the actual Mill quote.

Chuck - Nice digging here.

I would add that Brandon fails to recognize the reality of ideological nepotism in academe. Some institutions worse than others.

Search committees have many tools from which to rummage. My experience has been at least a folder worth of publications, referral letters from colleagues, lengthy curriculum vitae, etc.. I'm sure you remember this from your experience in higher ed.

Considering this, how difficult can it be for these "best, smartest" people to find an ideological consociate? It was rarely difficult for me, and I'm a conservative.

Oops. I nearly forgot to mention the 2 hour lunch on interview day. After the $8 tuna salad and coffee, there were no unknown entities

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