The 1972 Presidential Election
note:In the summer of 1972, after the national nominating conventions of both major parties had completed their work, we became convinced of the desirability of surveying the electoral leanings of academics, and initiated the second survey described in the introduction to this volume. In particular, we were interested in the possible effects or spinoffs of the intense politicization and divisiveness which universities had experienced over the preceding half decade or so. Many academics who had been identified in the past as liberals and Democrats found themselves in alliance with conservatives to prevent actions they considered a threat to the integrity of the university and scholarship.
Opinion was divided about protests and demonstrations against the Vietnam War, some of which resulted in the seizure of buildings and similar confrontations, and about all the attendant arguments concerning the use of police, the proper role and responsibilities of the university, and the like. Demands for "affirmative action" or for quotas in hiring of blacks and women for professional positions and in admitting students were seen by some as appropriate university actions on behalf of equality and by others as assaults on meritocracy. Charges of racism within the academy and insistence upon vigorous steps to eradicate it were applauded by proponents of affirmative action as essential to full freedom for blacks, and rejected by opponents as inviting "smear tactics" and thus posing a threat to academic freedom. These and related conflicts over the last five years or so have produced sharp separations among faculty that divide opinion in a way which is very different from the conventional liberal-conservative axis.
Such intracampus controversies seem linked to a broader ideological division in the American intellectual community. It is far less meaning-____________________