Academia: An Organ of the Democratic Party

Jack Kerwick, What political donations reveal.

That academics constitute a herd, a thought-bubble, is a proposition that is readily established by way of various kinds of evidence.

If academia wasn’t a bastion of mental conformity, then one wouldn’t expect to see faculty contributions to Democratic politicians overwhelmingly outnumbering those to Republican candidates.

But this is exactly what we do, in fact, encounter.

For example, The College Fix informs us that at Harvard University, one of the most premiere institutions of higher learning in the world, less than one percent of faculty donations are given to Republicans.
“Since 2017, 0.1 percent of all funds contributed to 2020 presidential candidates by Harvard University faculty have gone to incumbent President Donald Trump…According to Federal Elections Committee data, Trump has raised only $538 from Harvard employees, while his longshot Republican primary challenger, former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, has raised $3000.”

In stark contrast,

“Since the beginning of 2017, Harvard employees have contributed over $220,000 to the presidential campaign of former Harvard professor and current U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the most any candidate has raised from the school’s faculty.”

Pete Buttigieg elicited from Harvard employees $111,000, and Bernie Sanders received $99,000.

Between the contributions to Democratic candidates and those to Republicans there is a difference of night and day. Republican Bill Weld, for example, who is also a Massachusetts governor, received but $3,000.

And Donald Trump? The current President of the United States garnered but $538 from Harvard employees.

It would be a gross mistake, however, to think that Harvard is unique with respect to its political uniformity. What’s true of Harvard is true of the academic world generally, and Ivy League institutions specifically.

Elizabeth Warren, tellingly, hasn’t been the favorite pick of the faculty of Harvard alone. Ivy League universities across the board have contributed more to Warren than they have to any and all other presidential candidates. The College Fix informs us:

“Former Harvard and Penn professor Elizabeth Warren has dominated her Democratic presidential primary rivals in fundraising from employees of Ivy League universities…Warren, a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, collected 36 percent of all contributions made to major presidential candidates between 2017 and 2020, according to data collected from the Federal Elections Committee.”

Think about this: over one-third of all the political contributions to presidential candidates made by the country’s most prestigious faculties went to Elizabeth Warren.

Of course, and unsurprisingly, Bernie Sanders fares relatively well among Ivy Leaguers himself. Sanders received 26.6 percent of all of the contributions to presidential candidates.

What this in turn means is that, combined, these two Democratic presidential candidates, Warren and Sanders, received approximately two-thirds of all of the donations from Ivy League employees.

Since 2016,

“Ivy League employees have donated just over $1.7 million to presidential candidates, with Harvard University contributing the most at $521,000. During that time, President Donald Trump, a Republican, collected only $11,748, or 0.7 percent of all Ivy League contributions.”

The breakdown is as follows:

Warren received $27,213 from Brown, $105,234 from Columbia, $48,333 from Cornell, $12,879 from Dartmouth, $220,096 from Harvard, $31,583 from Princeton, $83,008 from University of Pennsylvania, and $81,147 from Yale.

Bernie Sanders collected $32,217 from Brown, $85,187 from Columbia, $55,104 from Cornell, $20,742 from Dartmouth, $99,120 from Harvard, $52,145 from Princeton, $59,468 from Penn, and $51,100 from Yale.

Pete Buttigieg received $11,175 from Brown, $60,971 from Columbia, $27,365 from Cornell, $9,349 from Dartmouth, $111,878 from Harvard, $12,307 from Princeton, $32,227 Penn, and $31,418 from Yale.

Joe Biden collected $11,068 from Brown, $39,986 from Columbia, $10,539 from Cornell, $6,167 from Dartmouth, $43,846 from Harvard, $3,169 from Princeton, $52,838 from Penn, and, from Yale, $29,813.

As for Donald Trump? The President received from the entire Ivy League $11,748. This amounts to less than one percent of all Ivy League political donations.

Trump collected from the whole of the Ivy League less than what Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders received from any single Ivy League institution.

However, it isn’t only the Ivy League that is a political monolith. The whole academic world is as well.

A recent study by the National Association of Scholars shows that college faculty donate to Democratic over Republican candidates by a ratio of 95:1. The contributions were “almost exclusively to Democratic candidates and committees.”

The study focuses on 12,372 professors from around the country. It finds that among professors of sociology, English, and anthropology, the Democrat-to-Republican ratio sharpens that much more. Moreover, Assistant Professors are registered Democrats by a ratio of 10.5:1, while Associate Professors and Full Professors are so by ratios of 8.7:1 and 8.2:1, respectively.

The Washington Examiner makes the connection between these numbers and other disconcerting facts concerning the contemporary state of Higher Ed:

“The numbers are unsurprising to those following recent developments in higher education. A recent Harvard study found that only 35% of young Republicans feel comfortable sharing their political views on American campuses. In recent years, faculty at American colleges have also faced backlash and discipline for acting on their right-leaning beliefs.”

Indeed.

Academia is most decidedly not the free marketplace of ideas that it proclaims to be. Anyone who any longer denies this is either self-delusional or deceptive.

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