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It took some hard work and arm twisting, but Wes Siler, the former head of the Burke Society at the University of Virginia, managed to secure approval for a course on conservatism .

As I wrote some months ago in “ The Civic Failure of Higher Education ,” the ideological homogeneity of American universities has contributed to the uncivil atmosphere of contemporary political debate. Because American universities fail to entertain conservative ideas, liberal students graduate with a smug confidence that their beliefs are the only ones that “intelligent people” hold, while conservative student often acquire a combative disposition born of the need to constantly fight for survival.

Good for the University of Virginia. Breaking down the informal but severe culture of political censorship is a necessary step forward. Only then can college campuses train student to become intelligent participants in the political realities of contemporary American society.

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