Paul’s Perambulations

December 2, 2009

Political Correctness, and Liberals and Conservatives (so-called)

Filed under: General,Politics — admin @ 12:11 am

I consider myself to be liberal in that I believe in freedom of thought and expression. Political Correctness hampers the thought process through the enforcement of linguistic conventions. I contributed the following post to the discussion that followed Political Correctness Revisited – NYTimes.com by Stanley Fish (November 30, 2009). The author was concerned that there are a disproportionate number of “liberals” in the liberal arts of universities and that they aren’t liberal anyhow and misuse tenure to push their own agenda. Other commentators offered explanations for why there would be relatively few conservatives in the liberal arts and relatively few liberals in business. Unfortunately, there are some so-called liberals that are not liberal in their thought process or dealings with others. There is ample evidence of this same fault among conservatives, also unfortunately. Many words such as “liberal” and “conservative” have become so politicized as to be essentially meaningless in any other context. Is “liberal” a particular political position, and if so, please define it?  Or is it simply open-mindedness to listen and consider all ideas, new or old.

My post:

Most academics are liberals, most CEOs and Chairmen of the Board are conservatives. Is this an imbalance that we need to remedy? In any case, we know where the money (and the power) resides in this country.

 Personally, inside class I am traditional. Outside of class I am untraditional, and I have injected significant ideas and controversies into my academic community. I feel strongly that this has been a positive contribution to the institution. I am grateful for tenure as it relates to academic freedom. For many years I was the sole support for a family of five, and I believe that my employment otherwise could have been jeopardized by some of my peaceful out-of-classroom activities.

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