In her article "Professor Is a Label That Leans to the Left," NY Times's Patricia Cohen suggests that the perennial query of why professors are so liberal is the wrong question to ask. Rather, she believes, we "should ask why so many liberals — and so few conservatives — want to be professors." After proposing this question, the journalist proceeds to suggest all kinds of weird reasons for this phenomenon that are too boring and primitive for me to discuss here. She writes for the New York Times, so how much insight can we expect?
It is true that there are very few conservatives in the academic world. The existing conservatives are usually marginalized and ridiculed by the rest of the academic community. The reason why this happens is simple: in order to be a professor you often (although not always, due to pervasive corruption) need to have a brain. Having a brain and believing the conservative swill about the inferiority of women and gays, creationism as a valid academic subject, the saintly nature of free markets, the war between civilizations, and so on, are obviously two completely incompatible things.
How can a professor vote for Bush who says things like "What is our children learning"? How can an academic vote for Palin who, when asked what magazines she reads, says "All of them"? How can a person whose job is to disseminate knowledge support a political movement dedicated to the eradication of knowledge and intelligence?
In order to rise to prominence as a conservative politician, one needs to dedicate one's life to demonstrating a profound and complete rejection of everything that might be deemed intellectual. A while ago, the noted journalist Paul Krugman observed that the Republicans "have become the party of stupid." All you have to do in order to see the truth behind Krugman's statement is turn on the evening news or open a newspaper. People whose poor language skills should have made it impossible for them to graduate from high school have come to symbolize the Republican party for everybody all over the world. Of course, there are intelligent, well-spoken conservatives in this country. It's hard for them, however, to make themselves heard or noticed behind the barrage of loudmouthed, angry stupidity coming from mainstream Republicans every single day.
The job of an academic is to disseminate knowledge and generate ideas. Thinking is what we do for a living. The only way to vote Republican is to amputate one's thinking capacity for good. So obviously, a Republican professor is an impossible contradiction. The only thing that is really surprising in this phenomenon is that it still manages to surprise any one.