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May 2, 201603:41 PMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Out-of-touch UW professors gin up votes for Donald Trump

(page 1 of 2)

The UW–Madison faculty today is casting a vote of no confidence in the Board of Regents and UW System President Ray Cross.

The aggrieved professoriate, luxuriating in their imagined martyrdom, imagine themselves as a modern Luther at the cathedral door, the blacklisted Hollywood Ten standing with Bogie and Babe, Spartacus backed up against the sea.

“The actions of the Board of Regents and UW System President have damaged the reputation of UW–Madison as a great state university that encourages continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found,” they contend.

Devoid of the PC cant, the profs are beefing because tenure — the unique lifetime sinecure unknown in the rest of the economy — is being reformed.

Flipping the middle finger at the appointees of the elected governor is, at best, a pyrrhic gesture. Aside from the minority Democratic caucus, the profs little pity party will resonate with Wisconsin voters like women’s studies majors demanding more free stuff at a Bernie rally. Or waving a Mexican flag at a Trump protest riot. It only confirms the original indictment: that our university profs are out of touch.

If the people of Wisconsin supported Act 10 and its restrictions on teachers unions’ and other public employees’ bargaining rights — how many times have they elected Scott Walker now? — they will have even less sympathy for university professors who are even more cosseted in the public’s mind. How does the body shop welder, the HVAC contractor, or the insurance adjuster identify with lifetime job security, small class loads, and six-figure salaries? Throw in academia’s overwhelming liberal-progressive-socialist bias and you have a toxic cocktail.

Why Are Professors Liberal and Why Do Conservatives Care?” The 2013 study by sociologist Neil Gross concludes that the professoriate is more liberal than nearly any other profession; 50% of professors describe themselves as being “left or liberal … about three times more liberal on average” than the total adult population. Conversely, economic conservatives comprise just 4% of academia; only 23% are social conservatives.

For extra credit: Conservative undergrads on coping at a liberal university. (at WPRI)

Liberals disdain working people

Our you-know-who acquaintances never fully appreciated the American public’s fury over Barack Obama’s dismissive “clinging to their guns and religion” comment.

If the mainstream news media and the education industry is out of touch with much of America, so is the avant garde in the Democrat(ic) Party. That’s not to say that Hillary Clinton will not trounce a terribly flawed candidate named Donald Trump. But it does explain the incredible rise of Trump. Reactionary? You bet!

The Democratic elite has abandoned the party’s traditional commitments to the working class, agrees the NY Times review of the book Listen Liberal, by Thomas Frank. 

“Too busy attending TED talks and vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard, Frank argues, the Democratic elite has abandoned the party’s traditional commitments to the working class. In the process, they have helped to create the political despair and anger at the heart of today’s right-wing insurgencies. They may also have sown the seeds of their own demise.”

Consider these two liberal-progressive-socialist memes:

1) At a time when cities like Chicago, Baltimore, and Milwaukee are being called the world’s largest outdoor shooting ranges, the Daily Kos postulates that getting your CC permit and joining the NRA will make you a law-abiding person. I’ll take that. But it’s the other way around: only law-abiding persons bother to join the NRA and/or get their permits (background checks, you know). Sad to say: if every black male aged 18–25 got their permits and joined NRA there would be no need for gun control laws.

2) The Occupy Democrats organization (for such it is) portrays a professional model wearing brand new overalls sans T-shirt holding a prop firearm in front of a rustic shack (pictured nearby). My riposte:

•  His factory job was shipped to China but don’t blame Obama.

•  His new job doesn’t pay the bills but don’t blame Obama.

•  He can’t afford college (not that he wanted to) but don’t blame Obama.

•  Now the Democrats are after his guns. (Hillary, anyone?) Do you blame this guy for voting Republican?

(Continued)

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Comments, page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 Next »
May 2, 2016 04:23 pm
 Posted by  AnonyBob

Dave, my wife is an academic. We left WI two years ago. The academic world is following the downfall of the UW system closely, and downfall IS how it's viewed. She would never consider a job back in WI and the discussion boards of the profession are filled with warnings about the Gov and legislature's attitude toward higher education. One of the greatest strengths of WI, and its economic driver, has always been its university system, including the world class R1 research university at Madison. Why you gleefully dance on it and its faculty's grave is beyond comprehension. Budget cuts and stomping on tenure, no matter how good it feels to the resentful great unwashed, will hurt the state and its residents. I thought you were smarter than this. This is why Trump now owns your party.

May 2, 2016 06:01 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

White kids from Mequon have to "cope" at UW? Is that before Sunday brunch at Short Stack or after the Friday night beer pong match at the frat party?

May 2, 2016 06:12 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

It was your flavor-of-the-month candidate Ted Cruz who invoked the not-very-coded New York Values sneer, right? Might that be as objectionable as the God and guns remark?

Your second chunk continues the downward slide towards a full-throated Trump endorsement come November (watch for it, folks... Blaska would rather be dead than not vote red). We get it: You believe you're in touch with America because you shoot guns and ride motorcycles into the sticks. But a lot of America lives in cities, too, spending its money on wine instead of gun clubs and cab fares instead of fuel injection. Those folks are Americans, too. And they vote for their own self interests, just like you do. And they hate those who caricature them over their beliefs, almost as much as you hate them over your perception of their character. They got some of them New York Values, right regular guy Dave?

May 2, 2016 11:40 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Bob,

Change is hard, Reform is hard, especially when everything is handed to you and now some may have to make it actually on their talents and not just their inflated egos and self worth.

Tenure in any profession is a bad thing. It is also a bad thing in Politics, look at the politicians for life entrenched in this state and Washington on both sides.

May 3, 2016 07:39 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Dave:

Us rubes up here in the rural north really don't like city dwellers like you and walker and vos and fitz because none of you have ever walked a mile in our shoes, or used a chainsaw 10 hours a day, or run a cat or skidder in -20 below weather. We respect each other, what we do and why we live here. AND, we also respect our teachers,and don't feel envious of their pay ( a married teacher with 2 kids and a stay at home spouse qualifies for food stamps in our district). I don't know where Cramer got the info you cited, but I do know you cherry picked the quotes.

Disclaimer: I was born and live in far northern WI, have never been a teacher, and am a long-term county board member. And none of can understand how Tiffany got elected, as he sure doesn't represent the folks in his district.

May 3, 2016 07:41 am
 Posted by  madisonexpat

Hi AnonyBob,

Really? Guess how many brilliant graduates there are for every professor's post in American higher education. 50?
This is nearing the end of the Left's Long March thru our university system as has been done to Hollywood (recently discovered to be a hot bed of racism), teachers unions, service unions and the culture in general.
Indeed, when the winds of change are felt in an ivory tower as high as the UW, there is some real unrest outside the castle.

May 3, 2016 08:43 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

"The resentful great unwashed". Priceless! Beware the angry mob, anonybob.

May 3, 2016 08:53 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

What would happen to Wisconsin if it did not have a world-class research university within its borders? It would be like Montana or Idaho but without the scenery.

If Wisconsin unilaterally disarms (i.e. eliminates tenure), how does the Madison campus compete with all its peers who still have the tenure system in place?

Is this what you want? Does your partisan bias suspend rational thought?

May 3, 2016 09:13 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

blaska smart LOL,

I haven't read one piece from him that shows intelligence.

ride your scooter, carry a gun and talk sh..? blaska's new life.

oops, don't forget lying.

May 3, 2016 09:56 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Yeah, sure, the no-confidence vote will allow Republican politicians to stoke the resentments of many state residents toward cosseted professors at the UW. But why is it worth celebrating the opportunity to exploit the situation for partisan advantage rather than worry about the harm to the institution? Why is it a good thing to tear down the UW System, probably the greatest institution in the state? I truly don’t get this. Do you think the notions that the cuts to the UW System and the attacks on tenure are damaging to the institution are just scare tactics? Do you think professors are fungible, and if the current crop of professors move on we can just order up a batch of replacements and no one will notice? Why would you follow Steve Nass on this rather than Tommy Thompson? You really are allowing your resentments to overwhelm your judgment and it is baffling.

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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