Strategies for conservative academics
I couldn’t help but leave a comment on Inside Higher Ed regarding the article “A Call to Conservatives” by Robert Maranto and Matthew Woessner. The authors display a refreshingly positive attitude and suggest a reasonable survival strategy for conservatives in academia, but I can’t help feeling that it amounts to deception (and that it’s somewhat akin to the Straussian emulation of religious or traditionalist conservatism).
They call for conservatives to “‘infiltrate'” academia (the scare-quotes are theirs) by hiding their views until they are well-established. I can’t imagine a secret conservative’s colleagues being impressed by such infiltration, once it’s been revealed. They also suggest that conservatives should strive to enter fields that are “relatively tolerant of dissent.” This suggests that most people are set in their views by the time they declare their major in undergrad, and that they would choose a field susceptible to infiltration rather than something they are genuinely interested in. Still, I appreciate the good intentions of the authors and their willingness to write about the problem.