Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg accused the entire Ivy League of liberal political bias during a particularly fiery commencement address at Harvard University Thursday.
“It is just a modern form of McCarthyism,” Bloomberg said of university “censorship” of conservatives. “Think about the irony: In the 1950s, the right wing was attempting to repress left wing ideas. Today, on many college campuses, it is liberals trying to repress conservative ideas even as conservative faculty members are at risk of becoming an endangered species”
“And that is probably nowhere more true than it is here in the Ivy League,” declared Bloomberg.
Bloomberg cited campaign contributions from Ivy League faculty members during the 2012 presidential race in order to press his point. Bloomberg, an independent, endorsed President Barack Obama’s re-election. However, in his speech, he said he found it troubling that so many university employees were on the Democratic side of the race.
“In the 2012 presidential race, according to Federal Election Commission data, 96% of all campaign contributions from Ivy League faculty and employees went to Barack Obama,” he said. “There was more disagreement among the old Soviet politburo than there is among Ivy League donors.”
Bloomberg went on to suggest this data shows universities might not be offering students a diverse array of perspectives.
“Neither party has a monopoly of truth or God on its side. When 96% of Ivy League donors prefer one candidate to another, you really have to wonder whether students are being exposed to the diversity of views that a great university should offer,” Bloomberg continued, occasionally being interrupted by moderate applause. “A university cannot be great if its faculty is political homogeneous.”
Bloomberg made a little play on words to sum up his point.
“A liberal arts education must not be an education in the arts of liberalism,” he quipped.
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