Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, September 17, 2018
Harvard and Yale are the finishing schools for the American aristocracy. Unfortunately, this aristocracy is as different from the people it governs as was any foreign ruling class from history. Two new surveys of the incoming Class of 2022 show conservative whites are all but unrepresented. It is a further blow to those who believe, mistakenly, that younger American elites are reacting against the political correctness and racial egalitarianism preached by the nation’s most prestigious institutions.
At both schools, a solid majority of incoming students describe themselves as liberal, and only a tiny minority say they’re conservative. At Harvard, 37.2 percent describe themselves as “somewhat liberal,” 27.1 percent as “very liberal,” and 23.5 percent as “moderate.” Only 10.2 percent are “somewhat conservative,” and 2 percent are “very conservative.” Jared Taylor’s alma mater of Yale University is even more liberal, with 44 percent “somewhat liberal,” 30 percent “very liberal,” 16 percent “centerist” [sic], 9 percent “somewhat conservative,” and only 1 percent “very conservative.” The Yale Daily News, in an article discussing the Class of 2022 survey, quotes conservative student and incoming freshman Carson Macik as saying some conversations with fellow students “have quickly devolved into them yelling at me, and I just wanted to escape.”
At Harvard, an astonishing 68.9 percent of incoming students have a “strongly unfavorable” opinion of President Trump, with 15.9 percent having a “somewhat unfavorable” view. Only 5.2 percent have a “somewhat favorable” view and a minuscule 1.8 percent have a “strongly favorable” view. At Yale, just over 64 percent of students “strongly oppose” the president, 21 percent “oppose,” just over 4 percent “support” him, and only 1 percent “strongly” supports President Trump.
On racial issues, the picture is similarly dark. At Harvard, a majority supports affirmative action, with 35.8 percent having a “somewhat favorable” view and 22.8 percent with a “strongly favorable” view. Only 13.8 percent have a “somewhat unfavorable” view and five percent a “strongly unfavorable” view. However, it’s worth noting these percentages exceed the stated support for conservatism.
Similarly, 39.9 percent of incoming Harvard students strongly support sanctuary cities, 16.8 percent do “somewhat,” and only 4.9 and 4.1 percent are “somewhat” or “strongly” unfavorable toward them. A remarkable 79.4 percent are “strongly unfavorable” regarding the “separation of immigrant children from parents at the border,” with 9.1 percent “somewhat” unfavorable, less than two percent “somewhat” favorable, and one percent “strongly” favorable. A majority also strongly supports the #MeToo movement.
At Yale, 59 percent of respondents said it is fair to use race as a factor in college admissions. Slightly more than 20 percent were unsure and 18 percent said it was unfair. This opposition to affirmative action, while a minority opinion, exceeds support for conservatism or President Trump at the university. Interestingly, there was a strong racial divide. Only 45 percent of East Asian and South Asian respondents thought it was fair to use race in college admissions, while 27 percent opposed it and 28 percent said they were unsure. In contrast, over 70 percent of black, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, American Indian, and Pacific Islanders thought race should be a factor in college admissions, with only 10 percent saying it is unfair and 18 percent saying they aren’t sure.
A plurality of incoming freshmen at Yale said they were “unsure” if institutional racism existed at the university, with 20 percent saying there is none and only a third saying there is. Fifty-two percent of respondents “strongly” support attempts by Yale President Peter Salovey to lobby for greater “immigrant rights,” 32 percent say they support it, and only two percent and one percent “oppose” or “strongly oppose” it. In other words, opposition to immigration liberalization is largely nonexistent among Yale students.
At Harvard, a plurality of those polled were white (46 percent), 18.1 percent were Asian, 6.5 percent were Hispanic, 10.7 percent were black, 3.8 percent were South Asian, and under one percent were American Indian or Alaskan Native, with 0.1 percent composed of Pacific Islanders. A sizable 14.3 percent reported being multiracial. Not surprisingly, a plurality of students (42.2 percent) came from the Northeast and 71.7 percent planned to live there after college. In no other region did even a sizable minority report wanting to stay in their home region, with the closest being Westerners at 12 percent. In other words, Harvard is, as it ever was, a school for those who want to join the Eastern establishment and never look back.
Christians are a minority among Harvard students. A plurality (22.3 percent) are agnostic, with 16.2 percent claiming the label “atheist” and 14.6 percent “other.” At the alma mater of Cotton Mather, less than 16 percent of those attending call themselves Protestant, with a larger share of Catholics at 20.2 percent. Among all the religious groups, only Mormons lean right politically (with two-thirds claiming to be conservative), but they comprise less than one percent of the school. Not one Muslim or Hindu polled reported being conservative. A sizable 21.8 percent of those polled have received mental health counseling.
At Yale, the Class of 2022 is 46 percent white, 18 percent East Asian/Asian-American, 14 percent Hispanic, nine percent black, six percent South Asian/Indian, four percent Middle Eastern/Arab-American, one percent American Indian, and less than one percent Pacific Islander. Yale is boasting about the diversity of its Class of 2022, reporting “a record 47 percent of the class made up by U.S. citizens or permanent residents who identify themselves as members of a minority ethnic or racial group, according to public University figures.” The school was as areligious as Harvard, with 23 percent identifying as agnostic and 16 percent as atheist. Sixteen percent were Protestant, 15 percent Catholic, 10 percent Jewish, three percent Muslim, 3 percent Hindu, 2 percent Buddhist, and 6 percent “other.”
At Yale, around 75 percent of students said they were straight, almost five percent were homosexual, and over nine percent were bisexual or transsexual. Eight percent reported asexual, “ace spectrum,” or questioning. As the website College Fix noted, this means students on the LGBT spectrum outnumber conservatives at Yale. At Harvard, 81.7 percent were heterosexual, 5.3 percent were homosexual, 7.7 percent bisexual, 3.6 percent questioning, 0.7 percent “queer,” and one percent “other.” Just over sixty percent of incoming Harvard freshmen are virgins, with the majority of non-virgins having one sexual partner. A slightly higher percentage of 63 percent of incoming Yalies were virgins.
Yale and Harvard students also tend to come from the same kinds of communities. A majority of 61 percent of incoming Harvard students come from the suburbs, with 28.6 percent from urban areas and only 10.4 percent from rural areas. Almost identical figures hold true for Yalies, with about 61 percent coming from the suburbs, about 29 percent coming from cities, and only 10 percent from rural areas.
Despite some relatively small differences, both Harvard and Yale’s incoming classes are composed of largely the same kind of people. There is almost no representation of conservatives or people from rural areas. Opposition to immigration liberalization or strong support for President Donald Trump is practically nonexistent, down to the level of only one percent. What’s more, these are figures for incoming freshmen, meaning the leftward drift that commonly affects college students has not yet begun. These students are likely as conservative as they will ever be.
In 2010, Angelo Codevilla accurately described America’s ruling class as having been “formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as taste and habits.” Furthermore, aspiring elites were provided with “a social canon of judgments about good and evil, complete with secular sacred history, sins (against minorities and the environment), and saints.” However, to some extent this has it backwards. Admission to institutions such as Harvard and Yale is often perceived as a kind of key to upper-class status both socially and economically, with admission serving as the accomplishment in itself. As Ron Unz pointed out in his 2012 American Conservative article “The Myth of American Meritocracy,” a record of liberal political activism can sometimes be a more significant admissions advantage than a sterling academic record. It’s not just that these educational institutions are imposing a progressive ideology on tomorrow’s leaders, it’s that those who already want to be America’s future leaders understand they must profess this ideology to get into these institutions. Indeed, a study from Princeton University Press found “conservative” high school activities such as Junior ROTC or the 4-H Club actually disadvantaged students during the admissions process.
The studies from Harvard and Yale seem to support this contention, as they reflect an almost complete absence of political conservatism from a student population that has not even begun higher education. The need to profess a progressive ideology to achieve elite status could also provide an explanation why Asian students, who are actually victimized by affirmative action, generally lean left. The same Harvard survey in 2016 found Asians in the Class of 2020 were more likely to be politically liberal than Hispanics and almost as liberal as blacks. More generally, it is an unspoken rule of American life that the economically or socially ambitious should be either liberal or silent, as conservative political or religious views are a career disadvantage in the age of internet outrage mobs and scalp-hunting journalists. While the “finishing schools” for the old European aristocracies taught elites manners and social graces that they could use to defeat their rivals at court, Harvard and Yale teach today’s aspiring Masters of the Universe the intricacies of Critical Theory and tricks of progressive rhetoric they will need to avoid ending their career with a politically incorrect faux pas. From a purely economic perspective, this is far more valuable knowledge than a grounding in Latin or the Western canon.
For identitarians, or indeed any center-right white person, the situation is grim. Tomorrow’s leaders are not only being educated in anti-white multicultural ideology, elites are identified and selected precisely because they are fluent in its lingo and can navigate its complexities. It’s possible that employers will eventually stop valuing college degrees as highly as they do now and so “pop” the higher education “bubble,” as PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel has speculated. Yet even if such a process takes place, it will likely not affect top-tier colleges such as Harvard and Yale for some time. For the foreseeable future, we are saddled with an elite trained in and selected for a commitment to liberalism.
However, there is one small sign of hope. Precisely because elite institutions have become so ideologically monolithic and repressive, there is an entire generation of smart European-Americans that understands they are being cut out of elite status simply because of their political views and/or their race. This may lead them to look for radical alternatives and build new institutions. It is painful for smart young men to be excluded from a path to prominence in the most prestigious institutions in their society. However, it is precisely from the ranks of smart, frustrated young men that revolutionaries are born, and it is revolutionaries that the Western world needs today. After we win, we might even be able to make Harvard and Yale Great Again.