As students begin to flock to college campuses for the fall, we are reminded of the sad truth that on many campuses, conservatives are considered backwards, bigoted, anti-intellectual fools who are against the progress of mankind. It is no secret that academia is full of liberal minded Phd holders. I have written on this subject before, but I think it is worth re-visiting.
I have no problem with liberal professors on campus. I think that universities ought to have an intellectually diverse faculty so that students can be exposed to opposing views, and ultimately decide for themselves where their loyalties lie. Perhaps someday this will be a reality at schools, but I won’t hold my breath because it has been this way for a long time. Even in the 1920s, academia saw the conservative presidencies of Harding and Coolidge as dark spots in history that followed the “enlightening” terms of Woodrow Wilson. Wilson may have been responsible for thousands of American deaths by entering us into World War 1, but at least it was with the good intentions of “making the world safe for democracy”. Bush may have used the same excuse to go into Iraq, but I doubt academics will ever give him the same “good intentions” credits they give Wilson. In comparison, the presidencies of Harding and Coolidge ushered in a new era of rising living standards for the average American. It wasn’t called the Roaring Twenties for nothing.
This brings me to my central point: despite being scoffed at by “smart people”, true small government conservative policies work. Free markets are responsible for our prosperity and constitutionally limited government (not simply majoritarian politics) is responsible for securing our liberties. The types of policies peddled by the “smart people” are what cause the problems in our society. A few examples:
We have poor people, so lets create government programs that traps the poor in poverty and treats them like children instead of human beings.
People should own houses so lets use a series of government policies to encourage banks to give loans to people who can’t afford them (what can possibly go wrong?).
The economy has crashed due to our poor policies, so lets spend trillions of dollars we don’t have and hope growth magically happens (if that doesn’t work, maybe we should put sawdust in the economy’s engine).
Our health care system is broken because government distorts the market, so lets use more government to try and administer a national health plan.
These examples could go on and on, but that is a good taste. Maybe someday academia will wise up and realize that perhaps societies are too complex for them to micromanage and engineer.