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.