Friday, September 06, 2002

Andy writes:

College culture has an enormous impact on most people, and on politics. It's a given that the profs are liberal, and conservatives spend umpteen hours and pages complaining about it. But the make-up, interests and backgrounds of the enrolled students probably have a bigger impact.

Many adults form their lifelong views in college. Rejecting those views later in life requires admitting that one was wrong and disagreeing with perceived views of friends. It's rare for someone to reverse himself, as any litigator knows. No wonder liberals fight so hard to control education.

That Wash. U. is enrolling no one from Priory this year (and only about 2 per year in the 1990s) is more important information that the political views of the professors there. Speculating why is also interesting, and Liza gives some possible reasons. But the culture is determined regardless of the "why".

Many educated Americans have a completely distorted view of the Middle East because of distorted college cultures. I didn't realize that until I went to law school. Enrollment at Princeton was underrepresented by orthodox Jewish students, compared to NYC and Israel (and my law school). Many American commentators mistakenly insist that the Middle East is a secular rather than religious issue based on misleading college cultures.

Today's evidence of campus bias:

Only 4% of Harvard profs are registered Republicans or Libertarians. U Calif Berkeley has banned the US flag at its upcoming 9/11 memorial.

The entire world is underrepresented by orthodox Jewish students, compared to NYC and Israel. Orthodox judaism is an obscure and dying religion. Even in Israel, orthodox jews are a small (but influential) minority.

I don't know why Andy thinks that St. Louis high school students should goto Washington Univ. The Princeton Review reports that Missouri college students are the unhappiest in the country, and also says this about Wash. U. students:

only about 10 percent come from Missouri, and 57 percent hail from at least 500 miles away. "You have people from all views and walks of life," summarizes one student, "NRA members from the Midwest and rich Jewish girls from Long Island and gay male activists." Most of the causes touted at Wash U are liberal ones, leading a freshman to comment that "conservatives are a distinct minority on this campus."

Andy writes:

Your claim (about Orthodox jews) is badly incorrect, and I suggest you remove it from your blogspot. You cite nothing to support your view, which presumably results from your lack of exposure to Orthodox Judaism, even though you've been through a prestigious college and graduate school.

A few minutes of surfing on the internet shows the reality: Orthodox Jewish citizens of Israel are roughly equal in numbers to its secular Jewish citizens. Yet at some American colleges, like Princeton, there is nowhere near that equal distribution -- hence the misperception by many American intellectuals.

That site claims that there are 2.2M Orthodox jews in the world. I think that is high. In Israel, Orthodox jews are exempt from the military draft, and it is
still only 9% of the population. By comparison, there are 32M members of the Assemblies Of God, a Pentacostalist sect. I still say the Orthodox jewish population is very small.

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