This is the first year that the Gallup poll has included political affiliation in its survey, so there is less historic data than one might desire. However, taken together, the two surveys point out differences in attitudes that can be either a problem for higher education to confront or an opportunity to steer the conversation.
Disclosing that I am a college professor conjures up its own set of stereotypes. While it is true that there has been an upward trend of liberal college professors on our nation’s campuses, especially in the social sciences, it is important not to paint all with the same brush. Just as there are different types of conservatives (e.g., fiscal, social, etc.) the same could be said for liberals. Pigeonholing anyone without truly getting to know him or her, based merely upon profession, outward appearance, or car choice, is not constructive to our civil discourse. The same also applies to passing judgment based upon someone’s choice of candidate in the last presidential election.