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This winter, The New Yorker‘s Jane Mayer dug up a 2010 speech by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a Tea Party favorite, where he charged that during his days at Harvard Law School, the faculty included twelve Marxists “who believed in the Communists overthrowing the United States government.” While Mayer easily dismantled Cruz’s facts, he was just giving voice to the same basic charge of academic bias leveled by William F. Buckley in his classic 1951 book, God and Man at Yale, one widely shared on the political right.
There, academia is viewed as a liberal bastion. Furthermore, it is seen as a place of deep ideological bias against conservatives and even, as Cruz’s words suggest, of outright radicalism. Finally, it is seen as a brainwashing mill, intent on wiping away Little Johnny’s religion and values, and turning him into, gasp, a liberal.