While Multiculturalism grows, Intellectual Diversity fades.
Multiculturalism is growing in the west.
Almost 20% of both Canadian populations and the United States were non-Caucasian. Over one million refugees from Africa and the Middle East migrated to Europe in 2015 alone.
While cultural diversity built the western world and continuously grows, another type of diversity is slowly receding. especially among young people. Intellectual Diversity is fading away, and we need to do something about it.
Intellectual diversity is defined as “a foundation of a learning environment that exposes students to a variety of political, ideological, and other perspectives, “and for the past two centuries, this type of diversity, specifically political, is declining faster than the number of operating Blockbuster stores. Especially in the west, different points of view politically have been overwhelmingly liberal.
In Canada, the three mainstream parties, the Liberals, Conservatives, and NDP, all mostly agree on the same policies.
Green energy investments, universal healthcare, and right to abortion (Conservatives have both Pro-Choice and Pro life members) are common views of members of all parties. Based on the EkosPolitics Poll in 2013, 51% of Canadians lean left, 23% are independent, and only 26% lean right.
The millennial generation, people under the age of 25, lean overwhelmingly liberal with numbers high as 67%. Only 15% of millennials align with left wing policies, which clearly shows the lack of intellectual diversity in Canadian politics, and the gap is not even close.
Canada isn’t the only country that lean overwhelmingly left. The United States has become by far one of the most liberal institutions in the world. 9/10 of the most populated cities in America have a Democrat mayor, and the most populous state in the US, California was a blue state in seven consecutive elections. The last time California voted Republican was for Bush 41, who rode off Reagan’s momentum. This trend is also consistent in Illinois and New York’s voting track record. Only Texas and Florida have voted Republican after the Reagan years among the top five most populated states in the US.
One of the most important statistic to look at when discussing intellectual diversity is the demography of one of the most world renowned institutions in the world: American Universities. It is without a doubt that American schools are the main attraction of many students looking to study abroad and the gold standard of education. According to topuniversities.com, 32 American schools rank in the top 100 universities in the world. These post secondary institutions are crucial in shaping the minds of young people, which makes it a shame that it lacks a lot of intellectual diversity.
This Harvard study shows the political affiliation of professors in top five Bachelor Degree granting fields, the results showcases the bias in 182 different colleges and universities in the US.
Conservatism is lacking in many college campuses. According to Harvard Politics, 60% of college students supported Obama during the 2012 election. Cambridge, Massachusetts, known for world class universities such as Harvard and MIT, have a large student population with around 12000 students who are eligible to vote, accounting for 18% of eligible voters in the district. Around 56% of the 65000 registered voters are registered Democrats, while only 4.41% of those are registered Republicans.
Millennials in general associate more with liberal ideologies, and this election map provides the best example for this. The figure below shows how millennials voted in the election, and as you can tell, it was a bigger blowout than game three of the 1988 NBA Finals.
By now, it should be no secret that the US and Canada, two countries celebrated for their cultural diversity, are lacking the intellectual diversity that is essential to a healthy democracy. Liberalism is dominating mainstream beliefs and the next generation are only focused on one point of view.
Who’s to blame for this? The two driving factors are the limitations on free speech, and the most powerful and influential institution on earth: American mainstream media.
The sacred first amendment in the American constitution and the freedom of expression in the Canadian Charter of Rights are slowly losing their value with restrictions, especially in Universities.
The University Michigan, a school with a population of 40 000, introduced the “Inclusive Language Campaign”, banning words that could be considered offensive. Professor Jordan Peterson of the University of Toronto received severe backlash for not using “gender neutral pronouns” during class, which sparked controversy about the creation of Bill C16, which could criminalize him for his actions as “hate speech”.
On President Trump’s inauguration, people protested his presidency all over the world in the Women’s March organized by Linda Sarsour, a feminist who called for a jihad against her Commander in Chief and a strong advocate for Sharia Law.
The women’s march broke the record for the largest single day protest in US history, drawing around 500 000 participants in DC alone and five million worldwide, despite the fact that President Trump is literally “#NOTMYPRESIDENT” in Canada, France and Germany.
Antifa, an anti-fascist network, has devoted to combat fascism, like Britain in World War II, on the seas and oceans, with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, on the beaches, the landing grounds, the fields and in the streets and the hills.
However, unlike Churchill, they mean silencing any Libertarian or Conservative speaker in college campuses, rioting and destroying small businesses, injuring cops and protesting the wealthiest nations in the world who protect their unalienable rights to act as delinquents and degenerates.
American media has a lot of influence in the global community, with CNN and NBC holding a combined worth of around $35 billion and Hollywood films earn up to two billion dollars just from ticket sales.
However, the industry leans incredibly left.
Ben Shapiro’s book, “Primetime Propaganda”, interviewed Fred Pierce, the former President of ABC, said “It’s very difficult for people who are politically conservative to break into television, “I can’t argue that point.” Those who don’t lean left, he says, “don’t promote it. It stays underground.”
The most outspoken, famous and influential actors in Hollywood and musicians lean left. George Clooney has participated in multiple fundraisers for the Clinton Campaign, while Jay Z, Beyonce, Ariana Grande, Kim Kardashian Lebron James and other figures have either publically endorsed
Clinton or showed their disapproval of the G.O.P.
Late Night shows have increased in popularity and many hosts have been part of Trump’s smear Campaign. John Oliver, Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers’ shows have led the charge in discrediting the new president’s campaign and administration.
The Daily Show, once hosted by Jon Stewart, a comedian known for being fair in terms of criticism on political issues despite being a Democrat, was replaced with Trevor Noah, who spends his four day 25 minutes programming smearing the Republican Party and their presidential nominee for the past year and half while ignoring the DNC rigging their nomination, Hillary Clinton taking in thousands of foreign donations, illegal use of a private email server, benghazi and many more scandals.
In 2017, Colbert, Oliver, Bee, Noah and Meyers are whom people look to for insightful opinions on politics and economics, despite the fact that they’ve never created a job, ran a business, served in the military and only advanced their careers through rhetoric and humour. Yet, this ragtag group of comedians are the go to source for millions of people for commentary.
The lack of Conservative Representation in media has confined mostly the millennial generation to only one viewpoint. The stats show that the next generational are overwhelmingly liberal, and more conservative representation in media could balance the spectrum.
The internet has allowed more young people to have different worldviews. Articles and pundits who necessarily wouldn’t be able to appear on mainstream media can express their platform to their audience.
The west preaches diversity when it comes to culture, religion, race and creed, but they are clearly missing the mark on the most important one. Intellectual diversity has the same importance compared to other forms of difference. Intellectual Diversity is the most important type of diversity. Without it, free speech has no meaning.
With files from The New Union.
Editor’s Note: Analysis by Steven Hu is meant to be a critical examination and any perceived bias is not related to The New Union.