Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Quiet Week

Andrew returns from Dallas tomorrow night. I look forward to his return.

It has been a restful and quiet week. Things have been made easier for me owing to the fact that I have caught a ride to and from work each day this week with Andrew’s father. Riding with him has been quicker and more convenient than taking the bus downtown, the normal mode of transportation Andrew and I use for our daily commute.

We have a surprise for Andrew upon his return. We decided to get tickets for The National Theatre Of Great Britain production of “My Fair Lady”, currently touring the United States. It has been in Minneapolis for the past couple of weeks, and we picked up tickets for this coming weekend. As a general rule, Andrew dislikes musicals, but he will just have to grit his teeth and sit through “My Fair Lady” with us. I doubt that he will mind, and he may even enjoy it.

We also will be going to the Guthrie Theater this weekend to see Wendy Wasserstein’s final play, which recently opened here.

Andrew and I attended two stage performances last weekend—“The Fantasticks” and “Henry V”—and he and I will be doing the same thing this coming weekend. This is almost too much theater within a short period of time, especially since we also have attended performances of “Sweeney Todd” and “August: Osage County” within the last month. However, since all these events are marked by limited runs, we have to go within the allotted time periods or miss them entirely.

There is not much else on the calendar between now and Easter: a recital by pianist Lang Lang and a performance of the full-length ballet “Giselle” are the only things on the schedule.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Salmon, Chicken And Meat Loaf

Andrew left for Dallas on business this morning. Andrew will be in Dallas until Friday night, so I am staying with his parents while he is away.

I like staying with Andrew’s parents on those rare occasions Andrew must travel on business.

I don’t get lonely when I stay with Andrew’s parents. His parents are good company, and they are very good to me.

I also don’t go hungry when I stay with Andrew’s parents. I know, in advance, that I will get a wonderful dinner every night.

Andrew’s mother also insists upon packing a lunch for me every night to take to work the next morning. She packs quite a good lunch. She always packs a couple of sandwiches for me, and a container of cole slaw or tomato-cucumber salad or pepper salad or something similar. She also packs fruit (an apple, a pear, a peach) and a few homemade cookies. She is not convinced that there is a perfectly fine cafeteria in my office building.

I don’t think Andrew’s parents or I will do much of anything this week.

Andrew’s father and I are sort of overloaded on college basketball right now, and I don’t think we plan to watch any basketball games on television this week. We’ve had more than our fill for now.

Neither of us has been able to get into the college basketball season this year.

None of our teams is having an especially distinguished season. Further, we made a mistake, I think, in attending five Minnesota home games within a four-week period. This involved too many games for us over too short a period. It more than satisfied our interest for the year.

It also made us glad that we did not get season tickets. We talked about getting season tickets last summer, and we decided against it. We thought that eighteen home games would be nothing so much as a chore, and we were right. Five games were more than enough for us. I don’t think we could have survived eighteen games.

Last year, Andrew and I attended the Big Twelve Conference Mens’ Basketball Tournament, and we had a fantastic time. It was one of the greatest conference tournaments of all time, as it turned out. My Dad had invited us—but only because last year’s tournament was held in Oklahoma City—and we totally lucked out.

Last year was a one-time-only event, not to be repeated. This year Andrew and I will not be attending any year-end tournaments, and I don’t think we will miss anything.

Tonight we have been reading, mostly, and that’s probably all we will do all week. The television has not been turned on once all night—in addition to having had our fill of college basketball, we have also become satiated by the never-ending flow of political news stories—and we have not even been listening to music.

It has been totally quiet, and totally magical. Aside from a little conversation, the only noise has been the sound of the dog yawning, and the sound of the dog walking across the room to get a drink of water and returning, and the sound of the dog chewing on his toys, and the occasional sound of the dog growling at his toys as he eagerly and playfully bites into them.

He received a dinner of grilled chicken tonight, because the rest of us had grilled salmon, and he does not like seafood. He enjoyed his dinner.

We also had a garden salad, seasoned rice, steamed carrots and steamed green beans. For dessert, we had poached peaches and homemade peanut butter cookies. The dog got some cookies, too, because peanut butter cookies are his favorite.

I will get more peanut butter cookies for lunch tomorrow, because my lunch is already packed. In addition to the cookies, tomorrow’s lunch consists of a container of garden salad, a salmon-and-cucumber sandwich on an English muffin, a chicken-and-green-pepper sandwich on an onion roll, and a container of poached peaches.

Tomorrow night, I am informed, we will be having meat loaf for dinner. The dog loves meat loaf, so he will be happy. I love it, too, so I will be happy as well.

I doubt that Andrew is eating half so well in Dallas.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Irony Of It All

Andrew and I decided to go to Oklahoma over Easter.

Since Andrew and I both get Good Friday off, that is the only three-day weekend between now and Memorial Day, and Andrew said it made no sense to go on any other weekend. If we were to go to Oklahoma on a regular weekend, we would have little more than a day to spend with my family, given all the traveling involved.

It is not especially convenient to travel between the Twin Cities and Oklahoma City. There is only one non-stop flight each day between MSP and Oklahoma City. Travelers have the choice of that single non-stop flight, or routing themselves through Chicago, Dallas or Denver, turning a 90-minute journey into a day-long excursion.

Since Andrew’s brothers will be coming home for Easter, I hate to drag Andrew away from his family. I dragged Andrew away from his family at Christmas, and I will be dragging him away from his family again at Easter.

Andrew says he doesn’t mind.

There are so many changes coming up, almost too many changes, that I cannot digest them all.

In July, Andrew’s middle brother will move back to Minneapolis from Denver.

In August, Andrew and I will move to Boston.

In September, my sister will move to Nashville, Tennessee.

In November or December, Andrew’s older brother and his family plan to begin preparing for a move to Minneapolis from New York.

The only ones not moving or planning to move, it seems, are Andrew’s parents—and that’s because, according to Andrew, their dog will not permit them to move. Otherwise, Andrew jokes, his parents would have placed a “For Sale” sign on their front lawn in the summer of 2006—as soon as Andrew and I graduated and moved to Minneapolis—and moved to an undisclosed location, just so that they could achieve some peace and quiet, far away from Andrew and me.

Of course, Andrew and I are moving to Boston because of law school. Without going into all the factors behind the decision, everyone—my father, my mother, Andrew’s father, Andrew’s mother, Andrew—always asserted that I must go to the best law school possible, irrespective of location.

Myself, I would actually be happy attending law school here in Minneapolis—there are four law schools in the Twin Cities—because I plan to spend my life in Minneapolis. Given that, I am not so intent upon attending a “prestige” institution, but everyone else has convinced me that I should attend the best law school that will admit me. I have grown to accept that argument, although I do not believe that either Andrew or I will be happy in Boston. We will be happy, being together in Boston, but we will not be happy in Boston.

I hate to take Andrew away from his family. Andrew spent seven years on the Eastern Seaboard, away from his family, during his undergraduate years and during law school. After law school, Andrew never thought he would have to be away from his family ever again.

Now I will be taking Andrew away from his family again, and at the very time that his brothers begin to return home.

Sometimes it is ironic how things turn out.

My sister is moving to Nashville to enroll at university.

Andrew’s middle brother never planned to spend his life in Denver. Denver was never “home” to him. For him, Denver was just a place to park for a few years. He has decided that Denver is not a suitable city in which to spend too long a time, let alone a lifetime, and he is ready to move back to his hometown.

He received an employment offer in the Twin Cities, and he has accepted the offer, effective the first week of September. He plans to leave Denver around July 1. He will be taking two months off between jobs (and he wants to use part of this time to travel, and he wants Andrew and me to join him).

He will keep his condominium in Denver, because the real estate market in Denver is exceptionally weak, one of the two or three weakest markets in the country, according to Federal Reserve Board surveys of economic activity. He does not plan to rent out his condominium, both because he does not want anyone else living there and because he does not want to be a long-distance landlord. He is going to keep his condo, and use it once or twice a year for skiing vacations until the real estate market rebounds.

Andrew’s brother will stay with his parents from July 1 until such time as Andrew and I move to Boston, at which point he will move into our current apartment. This is perfectly fine with our landlady. In fact, she is delighted. She knows him—she taught at the boys’ school both he and Andrew attended—and she is delighted to continue to have a tenant, and a tenant she knows and likes.

Andrew’s older brother wants to be settled in Minneapolis before his son begins school. Although that is two to three years in the future, he and his wife are ready to leave New York sooner than that.

They are ready for many reasons: the real estate market in New York is still robust, and they will have no trouble selling their coop; the quality of life in New York is not what it is in Minneapolis, and this is beginning to wear on Andrew’s sister-in-law; they want to have another child, and this will be easier in Minneapolis than New York, what with other family members available here to lend a hand; and the international situation is likely to deteriorate in coming years, leaving New York more and more vulnerable.

So a lot of things are in the works.

The last several months have been exhausting for me, because I have had to make several difficult, even painful, decisions.

I am relieved that the decisions have been made, but I am not 100% certain that the decisions have been the best decisions. I think that they are, but one never knows, ultimately.

One thing I do know: Andrew and I have three years of hard time coming up in Boston. We’ll get through those three years the best we can.

Until last night, when I decided, on a whim, that I wanted to go visit my family in Oklahoma, Andrew and I had planned to spend a weekend in Boston, familiarizing ourselves with the city. We were thinking of going next weekend, or the following weekend, to scope out the town. Now that we will be going to Oklahoma for Easter, however, I think Andrew and I have tabled our tentative plans to spend a weekend in Boston. We shall stay in town until Easter weekend.

Our landlady decided tonight that she and Andrew and I all need a “theater day”. She is a devoted patron of theater, and she sees literally every single theater production in the Twin Cities. For her, a “theater day” is a day devoted to a matinee performance and an evening performance. It’s too bad there are no morning performances, because she would fit one of those in, too.

Accordingly, on Saturday, we three will be having a “theater day”. On Saturday afternoon, we will go to Bloomington to see a performance of “The Fantasticks” at Bloomington Civic Theater. On Saturday evening, we will go downtown to see a performance of Shakespeare’s “Henry V” at Theater In The Round.

It should be fun.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Plugging Along

Andrew and I are in the middle of mid-winter doldrums.

Even though it is the third week of February, the weather here is as cold as early January. The temperature is below zero right this very minute.

Both Andrew and I are tired of the bitter cold. It was at this very time last year that we had our worst snowfall of the winter. This year, at least, the snow has not been bad at all thus far. Of course, winter here is far from over, and it is not advisable to make declarations about such things too early.

Although I like my job very much, I look forward all day to our evenings at home together.

The evenings are the best part of the day. We get to make dinner, and listen to music, and talk, and read.

We always make a “decent” dinner, the word Andrew always uses to describe a good dinner. We always have some kind of meat or fish, and some kind of potato or rice or pasta dish, and several vegetables. We generally have some kind of salad, whether fruit or vegetable. We generally have some kind of dessert.

Tonight we had baked steak, escalloped potatoes, corn, lima beans and fried red tomatoes, preceded by a garden salad with lots of vegetables as well as pasta pieces and even tuna. For dessert, we had slices of fresh pineapple.

A quiet evening is how I like to end the day. Our evenings are very mellow and filled with grace.

I like not having a television. I decided long ago that not having a television is one of the keys to our happiness.

Television stifles conversation, and companionship. It also stifles serious reading.

Today’s television is also coarse. Every time I look at television, I see something offensive, if not vile. Television disturbs me more and more.

Television used not to bother me at all, but it does now. Other than sports, I can no longer stand to watch anything on television, not even news programs.

Andrew and I do not have anything on the schedule for the rest of the week, or for the weekend. This is good, because we saw three things in New York, and we are sort of satiated now.

I think we just want to stay home and relax for the next several days.

I told Andrew tonight that I want to go back to Oklahoma soon. Even though we were in Oklahoma only two months ago, for Christmas, I want to go back again, even if only for a regular two-day weekend. Andrew and I are trying to figure out right now when we can manage to go.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Gone Fishin'

Back late Monday night.

Andrew's blog has the details.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Words Of Wisdom

Last evening Andrew and I read the text of a lengthy interview with John O’Sullivan, the distinguished British journalist and author who long served as an editor of The London Times.

O’Sullivan was questioned about how the three great figures of the final quarter of the 20th Century—President Ronald Reagan, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II—would have handled the current international situation. O’Sullivan covered all three figures for many years, interviewing them repeatedly (in the case of Reagan and Thatcher, before, during and after their terms of office) and writing about them at great length in newspapers, journals and books.

O’Sullivan’s most telling remarks are set forth below.


All three [figures] were strong, sharp and clearly-defined personalities. They were clearly-defined both as personalities and as representatives—embodiments, even—of the faiths and philosophies they espoused.

That led them to be attacked as too extreme

Too Conservative in Mrs. Thatcher's case—well, that's self-explanatory.

Too Catholic in the Pope's case—yes, I know it sounds like a joke but this objection to him was a serious one. A Polish Pope was seen by most churchmen as too rigid, too orthodox, and too anti-Communist at a time when the Church was developing its own appeasing Ostpolitik towards the Soviets.

And too American in the case of Reagan—which meant that he was fundamentally an optimist about both America and the West, and so either ignorant or in denial about such "realities" as limits to growth.


Sharply-defined figures are controversial. They very rarely come to power in times of tranquility. Only a grave crisis persuades people to turn to them. Consider how Churchill was outmaneuvered repeatedly by the emollient Stanley Baldwin in the inter-war years.

Well, it took the grave crises of the late 1970s—and the mood of despair and "malaise" that they engendered—to persuade people to turn to Reagan, Thatcher and the Pope.


[Reagan, Thatcher and John Paul II] would realize that in the jihadists we are dealing yet again with what Burke called an "armed doctrine." We have to resist and defeat their armed attacks on us by police, intelligence and military methods, and also to win the religious and philosophical battles in the mosque and the lecture hall.

Let me deal first with the "armed" half of the armed doctrine as it has emerged in practice.

Well, we know that the late Pope was opposed to the invasion of Iraq and that Lady Thatcher has given support to President Bush and Prime Minister Blair over it. Neither position should surprise us.

John Paul II always believed that force should be the absolute last resort even in response to manifest injustice. One of his contributions to political ideas was the concept of "cultural resistance", or ignoring the communist authorities rather than confronting them, which inspired Solidarity and other non-violent revolutions in Eastern Europe. After all, communism was brought down not by war but by ideas, military and economic competition, and a willingness to resist.

Lady Thatcher saw the Afghanistan invasion as very similar to her own waging of the Falklands War—namely, as a legitimate and perhaps necessary response to unprovoked aggression. Her support for the Iraq invasion is on slightly different grounds. It reflects her view that former prime ministers should not second-guess national leaders on war and peace when British troops are in the field. Her other thoughts, I suspect, would be very similar to the considerations that I suggest below would influence Reagan.

Reagan, then: I believe he would have seen an invasion of Afghanistan as a necessary response to an attack on America organized by a terrorist group given sanctuary by the Taliban—just like Thatcher's attitude to the Falklands. He would also have liked the way the war was fought—by a combination of U.S. Special Forces and local allies—in line with "The Reagan Doctrine."

His likely view on Iraq is less clear. Remember that Reagan was cautious and economical in his use of American military force. Many conservatives complained about this at the time. He also saw Iran as both a potential threat to the Middle East and as a potential ally. My guess is that he would have sought every diplomatic avenue to obtain the virtual surrender of Saddam Hussein or at least his neutering as a threat to the Middle East. That diplomacy might have been highly unconventional, involving both Turkey and Iran. If diplomacy failed, Reagan would then have had to face the possibility of the same invasion as George W. Bush. My final guess is that he would have approved the invasion, but only when he had satisfied himself that our forces were sufficient and that we had a clear game plan for what to do after victory. Remember that he doubled the forces in the Grenada invasion because he attributed the failure of Carter's attempt to rescue the Tehran hostages to the fact that there weren't enough helicopters on the spot.

But this is guesswork. Reagan was a surprising politician and he might have surprised us on Iraq—Thatcher, too, if she was still in charge. She was, for instance, in favor of continuing the First Gulf War to overthrow Saddam Hussein then, when it would have been far easier.


Reagan, Thatcher and the Pope all believed that communism had to be ideologically countered—"The Evil Empire," "Be Not Afraid," etc.—and they proved to be right. Their ideological assaults undermined the morale of the communists and encouraged their subject peoples. Doing the same thing in relation to the radical Islamists—exposing their fallacies, separating them from the ordinary moderate Muslims, undermining their own conviction—will be far more difficult because we know less about the ideas in question.

But the present Pope has begun this subtle task in his Regensburg speech. There he appealed to Muslims to re-examine their theology and to ask themselves whether a good God would wish His truth to be advanced by violence. He has received a civil and thoughtful response from some moderate Muslims.


Prime Ministers and Presidents should probably not get involved in strictly religious arguments unless absolutely necessary. They speak with no authority on such matters. They have to avoid saying anything controversial so as not to offend millions of people. So they spout benevolent-sounding platitudes that offend people anyway, because religion is about truth rather than about sentimental benevolence. Mr. Bush's constant refrain that "Islam is a religion of peace" is a good example. It offends many Muslims who know that Islam is more than that and it worries non-Muslims because it seems to gloss over the violence that some Muslims justify on religious grounds.

Sometimes, of course, politicians have to say things with a bearing on religion. Very likely Mr. Bush had to warn prudently against any temptation to violence against Muslims in the aftermath of September 11. But he should have coupled that warning with a demand that Muslim American leaders issue unqualified condemnations of terrorist violence and make clear their political loyalty to America. Such a demand would have soothed the nervousness of most Americans and given Muslim Americans an incentive to reflect on the distinction between political allegiance and religious commitment—and maybe by those reflections influenced Muslim thought worldwide.

When a political leader calls for respect for law and national custom, he is doing his job; when he delves into theology to make his case, he is trespassing dangerously.


If we allow ourselves to be defeated on the home front, as in Vietnam, and abandon our Iraqi allies to the kind of murder and oppression that we did in 1975, then the post-Iraqi debate will drag on as long as the post-Vietnam debate has done. And in the words of Bernard Lewis (I quote from memory), “America would have shown itself to be harmless as an enemy and untrustworthy as a friend”.


But we should not allow Iraq to be the sole test of statesmanship. I laid down three criteria for President Bush in 2001:

(1) Would he restrain the regulatory state?

(2) Would he obstruct the rise of an Anti-American United Europe?

(3) Would he shape a new inclusive American patriotism to prevent the sharpening balkanization of multicultural America?

These are all of greater long-term importance than Iraq.

Alas, Bush has done badly on all three tests. He is obviously a brave and decisive president. He has shown great courage in his Iraq policy. But he does not seem to have the strategic vision that [Reagan, Thatcher and John Paul II] all displayed in several ways.


It is hard to argue with O’Sullivan’s words or thoughts.

And it is hard to identify any public figures in the West, inside or outside the U.S., prepared to offer the leadership and vision and strength the world needs.

Clinton, McCain and Obama are, each of them, very minor figures. In their own ways, each is little more than a comic, perhaps even deplorable, figure—and there is no one good lying in wait, coming up from behind, to follow.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Basketball And Bell

Andrew and I are very much looking forward to the weekend, because this has been a very busy week at work for both of us.

Tonight I think we will do some serious food shopping for the coming week, and turn in early.

Tomorrow is a big day.

Tomorrow afternoon Andrew and I will take Andrew’s father to Williams Arena to see Minnesota play Iowa. This will probably be our last basketball game of the season. Over the last month, we have already seen the Golden Gophers take on Northwestern, Indiana, Michigan State and Wisconsin, and tomorrow will be our fifth game within a short period of time. I think this is enough for us for one season—but we may change our minds before the season is over.

Tomorrow night we will all go to Saint Paul to hear Joshua Bell and Jeremy Denk in recital at The Ordway Center. The recital is sponsored by The Schubert Club.

The Bell-Denk recital is sold out, as are most concerts sponsored by The Schubert Club. Next month’s recital with Lang Lang is already sold out, too.

To me, a native of Oklahoma, it is somewhat surprising how much musical activity there is in the Twin Cities, and how often concerts sell out.

Not only does The Schubert Club sell out most of its concerts, but the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra sells out a large portion of its concerts as well.

The Minneapolis-Saint Paul area holds the distinction of being the only metropolitan area in the United States with two full-time professional orchestras.

On most weekends, both orchestras play three concerts, often on the same nights, and yet ticket sales are robust.

The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra plays at The Ordway Center, which seats 1900 persons, and more often than not its concerts sell out well in advance. The Minnesota Orchestra plays at Orchestra Hall, which seats 2500 persons, and it plays to 70 per cent capacity, on average, in its hall.

This signifies that there are a lot of music lovers in the Twin Cities, and that these music lovers loyally support the local ensembles and local music events.

This is remarkable, given that the Twin Cities is a theater mecca, too. The Guthrie Theater, with three stages, performs year-round, and the work of the Guthrie is supplemented with several other professional theater companies that also perform year-round, as well as numerous semi-professional and amateur companies. Attendance at local theater events is superb, almost to the point of disbelief.

Minneapolis-Saint Paul is not an enormously populous area. It is dwarfed in population by many other U.S. metropolitan areas, and yet it offers entertainment and cultural opportunities available, as a general rule, only in cities with three times the population.

In only two disciplines does Minneapolis-Saint Paul come up short: ballet and opera. Ballet has simply never taken root here—apparently numerous dance companies have come and gone over the last forty years—while Minnesota Opera is a small, regional company, presenting only five works each season. Andrew’s mother says that this is because Minneapolis is a music town, a theater town and a museum town, but that Minneapolis is not an opera town or a dance town, and that it probably never will be.

Andrew and I do not have anything planned for Sunday. After church, we will probably go over to Andrew’s parents’ house and eat and play with the dog and hang out—not a bad way to spend a quiet Sunday afternoon and evening.

The following weekend, Presidents’ Day Weekend, we will all be in New York.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

CORRECTION--"Left Pipeline: Why Conservatives Don't Get Doctorates"

I made an inexcusable and unforgivable error yesterday in discussing “Left Pipeline: Why Conservatives Don’t Get Doctorates”, the November 14, 2007, study by Matthew Woessner, Assistant Professor Of Public Policy at Penn State University, Harrisburg, and April Kelly-Woessner, Associate Professor of Political Science at Elizabethtown College.

In my original entry, I had aggregated statistics for students on the Left and on the Right, which naturally resulted in inaccurate figures.

I have now corrected the entry.

Apologies to all for the error.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

"Left Pipeline: Why Conservatives Don't Get Doctorates"

Back in November, Andrew and I read a November 14, 2007, academic study, “Left Pipeline: Why Conservatives Don’t Get Doctorates”, with great interest. The paper was jointly authored by Matthew Woessner, Assistant Professor Of Public Policy at Penn State University, Harrisburg, and April Kelly-Woessner, Associate Professor of Political Science at Elizabethtown College.

A Professor at the University Of Minnesota had given a copy of the paper to Andrew’s father a day or two after the paper was released, and Andrew’s father immediately gave the paper to Andrew and me to read.

The paper is not to be cited without permission of the authors. Last week, Andrew received permission from Professor Kelly-Woessner, via email, to discuss the paper on one of our blogs.

The study asserts that the under-representation of conservatives in higher education may largely be the result of self-selection. The study notes that conservative students proceed to professional schools in overwhelming numbers, while Leftist students more often choose the route of graduate school.

The study presents evidence that these differing educational paths are based upon the values and political beliefs of the students. In essence, conservative students place a higher value upon raising families and making money than their Leftist counterparts. This discrepancy in values shows itself early in college—it shows itself through students’ choices of majors. Conservative students chose majors in fields leading to professional fields at a much higher rate than Leftist students.

The discrepancy is wide, wider than most persons who have been out of school for many years often realize. Only 18 per cent of students who identify with the Left go to professional schools, and only nine per cent of students who identify with the Far Left go to professional schools. By contrast, 33 per cent of students who identify with the Right go to professional schools, and 37 per cent of students who identify with the Far Right go to professional schools. At the far ends of the political spectrum, this discrepancy is extremely pronounced: students from the Far Right go to professional schools at more than four times the rate of students from the Far Left.

This is an astonishing divergence, and intuitive to anyone, like Andrew and me, who recently matriculated. This study merely confirmed, for us, what we ourselves had experienced during our own undergrad years: conservative students proceeded to professional schools in overwhelming numbers, while Leftist students did not.

The study does not contest that conservatives are under-represented in the academy—in fact, the authors acknowledge that there is a serious imbalance, that this imbalance is problematic, and that this imbalance may be the result of bias (which the authors in no way attempt to prove or disprove)—and the study concludes that, owing to self-selection, conservatives have chosen to bypass the academy entirely.

This, too, is intuitive to anyone who recently matriculated through American colleges and universities. Conservative students do not view the academy as an “open” forum; they view the academy as a closed, Leftist enclave, tenaciously beholden to the dogmas of the late 1960’s. Conservative students do not view the academy as a welcome place for scholarship. They also do not view the academy as a viable place for rewarding, decades-long careers.

Is there any means to attract conservatives back into the academy and, given current conditions, is there even a point I doing so?

The authors of the study reach no firm conclusions, other than to recommend, strongly, that politics be removed from the classroom. The authors acknowledge, with reluctance, that the ideological imbalance that permeates much of academia may be intractable.

One of the reasons I chose law school over graduate school is because the academy has been unable to break away from the dogmas of the 1960’s for almost forty years. Would I be happy devoting forty years of my own life to working in such an oppressive, if not ridiculous, environment? For me, that would not be possible.

It would be interesting if some enterprising individuals were to conduct a comprehensive study tracing the pay scales of university professors over the last forty years, comparing university pay scales to the pay scales of persons holding J.D. and M.B.A. degrees over this same period.

I suspect that this study would confirm that, forty years ago, university professors had roughly the same earning power as persons holding J.D. and M.B.A. degrees. Today, persons holding J.D. and M.B.A. degrees command salaries far higher than university personnel.

This suggests two things: that professional school education is far more demanding and rigorous than graduate school education; and that the skills acquired in professional school are more highly-valued in the marketplace than the skills acquired in graduate school.

Is this not an implicit recognition by the free market that the work produced by the academy has become starkly devalued? I think it is.

As always, workers are paid what they are worth—and the work coming out of the academy today is not worth much.