The Need for Ideological Diversity in American Cultural Institutions

David Bernstein:

13. Rather, I am concerned about institutional legitimacy. When you have a country divided into two tribes, and one tribe increasingly dominates most major cultural institutions, regardless of why, those institutions will gradually lose legitimacy within the other tribe.

14. Imagine instead of liberals and conservatives, the U.S. was divided between Catholics and Protestants. Each group did about equally well in elections, but the Catholics dominated the media, the arts, the universities, and so on. Would this be socially healthy, or a recipe for future civil conflict? If a demagogue–a former Catholic, no less–arose among the Protestants talking about the fake Catholic news and insisting that the Catholic establishment was going to, and eventually did plot to prevent his election, would you expect all the Protestants to believe the establishment from which they are excluded, or would a significant fraction be inclined to believe “one of their own?”

15. For the reasons stated above (and I repeat) our major cultural institutions should try to assimilate right-leaning people into their staffs and leadership. How they would do so, on what terms, and how they would overcome the objections of their own tribe are beyond the scope of this post. But the first order of business is to recognize the problem, and try to overcome it. (And, by the way, not by hiring from among the 2% or so of the population that is strongly libertarian leaning like I am, which would not do much to resolve the underlying problem.)