Monday, October 5, 2009

Hard to be Worse Than Amherst

The universities are in favor of diversity in everything- except ideas.-Justice Scalia

Its no secret that I have found the people with the most open minds, by in large, are people I have met on the stoop.

In my experience, in the so- called halls of higher learning, as far as diversity of political opinion goes, the full spectrum of opinion included only these two positions: the far left & the extreme left. I'm serious. That's it. Sure they stage debates. But the debate topics go something like this: "Fidel Castro: Is His Greatness Limited To Cuba Or Does It Extend To All Of Latin America?"

It all flows from the faculty. Try finding a registered Republican with tenure at your typical university. Governor Patterson will ace an eye chart test and Yankee fans will admit that Derek Jeter has no range at shortstop before colleges start employing conservative professors.

And these professors do not hesitate to pass big cups of lefty dogma Kool-Aid to their far to eager to please students.

Justice Scalia knows all about the closing of the college mind.

A couple of years back, Justice Scalia gave a speech at Amherst College. Its the school where he sent his daughter Meg. What a great score for Amherst, right? For a university to get a sitting Supreme Court Justice to appear and give a speech on campus, what school would not welcome that?

Well, Amherst did not welcome him. Why do I say that? Most of the faculty boycotted his speech! What bird brains. These professors didn't like Scalia's opinions (although I am sure most of them haven't read any) so they decided to boycott his speech.

What losers. How can you call yourself a teacher of higher learning when you close your mind to opinions you do not agree with? A professor who boycotts someone because of their ideas is like a medical surgeon who freaks out at the sight of blood. Both are in the wrong profession.

Any professor worth his salt would hear Scalia's speech, and challenge him with questions afterward.

I mentioned that Amherst was where Scalia's daughter Meg graduated. Meg, to her credit, did not take kindly to the cowardly professors at Amherst. Below is the letter she wrote to the school. All I can say is that there is more than one great writer in the Scalia family.

Meg Scalia's Letter

When I first heard that a group of professors was boycotting Justice Scalia's speech, I was disappointed and embarrassed by my college. I don't know when it became acceptable to refuse to listen to another's viewpoints. Isn't this the very type of behavior that open-minded liberals abhor? No matter how vehemently we disagree with another person, it is never a waste of time or effort to listen to him. I am proud of Amherst students for realizing this and picking up where their professors faltered.

Especially shocking is that many of the professors who chose to "stay away" teach courses in the law, jurisprudence and social thought department. Shouldn't they, of all people, want to hear a talk given by a member (yes, any member) of the Supreme Court? However, I respect those people who confronted him. They showed bravery and conviction. I see this as a testament to the student body of Amherst College. Their intellectual curiosity has surpassed that of some of their professors.

The professors explained their absence by saying they refused to offer a "tacit endorsement of this man's presence on campus." They continued, saying they "will neither ask questions nor debate Justice Scalia" because he does not subscribe to the "liberal ideals of constructive disagreement." They acknowledged that "there are many who would argue that such a course is contrary to the democratic exchange of ideas." There are also many who would argue that this is the adult version of covering your ears and yelling, "I'm not listening! I'm not listening!"

Let us consider the professors' accusations against Scalia. Are the "democratic exchange of ideas, the respect for differences of opinion and the need to maintain some distinction between private preferences and public debate" concepts that are lost on Justice Scalia? In answer to that question, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Meg Scalia and I graduated from Amherst College in 2002.

My father, who is one of the most conservative figures in government, chose to send me to Amherst to be taught by some of the greatest minds in the country. I took classes with four of the protesting professors. Would a man who is opposed to the "liberal ideals of constructive disagreement and debate" send his daughter to a school well known for its liberal leanings? Absolutely not. My parents encouraged me to go to Amherst, where I would be challenged academically, and where my conservative views would also be challenged. It is a shame that when my father came to our campus he was unable to enjoy an intellectual debate with the very people he respected enough to teach his own daughter.

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