In his Oct. 1 commentary, Cass Sunstein laments the imbalance between the numbers of Democrats and Republicans on private-college faculties ("Political gap in college-faculty ranks is dramatic, and disturbing"). While I endorse his recommendations that diverse views be presented fairly and with respect and that speakers be invited who represent competing views, his analysis unfortunately overlooks the role of ideology. Not every Republican espouses an ideology, but too often the party does.
It is hard to imagine why a college or university that takes science seriously would want to seek out a professor who subscribes to the ideology that climate change is a sham and/or applauds President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. Or for a college or university that takes human rights seriously to welcome a professor who approves this administration's travel bans and draconian reductions in the number of legal immigrants allowed into the U.S. Or for a college or university that values racial equity to hire a faculty member who endorses practices — such as restrictive voter IDs or purges of voter registration lists — that unduly target racial minorities.
Yes, a diversity of political opinions is good for a college, but such a diversity ought not be achieved at the expense of its academic integrity. Relying on the best information available and supporting the dignity of every human being are commitments it should not compromise. In short, some educational values are even more important than populating faculties with an equal number of Republicans and Democrats.
DARRELL JODOCK, St. Peter, Minn.
The writer is Professor Emeritus at Gustavus Adolphus College.
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Why are there more Democratic college professors than Republican? Republicans grow up to become investment bankers.
C.S. WALLACE, Eden Prairie
ELLISON VS. WARDLOW
AG candidates' websites raise a few questions
We are fortunate to live in a country where most people follow our laws. Having respect for our laws is especially important when you represent our state as the attorney general.
Regardless of what the attorney general personally believes, our laws should be defended. Candidate Keith Ellison states on his website that he will oppose some of our laws: "As your Attorney General, I will always defend the right of Minnesota women to make their own health care choices with their doctors. I will oppose any new laws that would undermine this right, and will defend Minnesota and federal law that protects this essential health coverage."
I'm not sure why Ellison wants to be attorney general, since he has made it clear that he would not defend all of our laws. He seems more interested in being a dictator who decides what laws he thinks are best for us.
RUSS RONEY, Rogers
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A Sept. 30 article was headlined "Wardlow says he'd set politics aside" if he is elected Minnesota attorney general.
If you go to Wardlow's website (dougwardlowag.com) and click on "Policies," or just scroll down on the home page, you will see seven photo images, each with a brief caption listing his policies.
The caption for one image, for example, is "Protect Minnesota Families," and the accompanying image shows a mother, father and daughter smiling. The caption for another of the seven policies is "Stop Financial Scammers" with the image of a man's hand stuffing money into a coat. There is nothing on the website that further explains what these policies are, or how they will be implemented.
Despite Wardlow's statement that he will set politics aside, I find two of the policies very political and worrisome. One of them is captioned "Minnesota First," which accompanies a photo of a political gathering and a large red sign reading "Make Minnesota Red." The second one is captioned "Crackdown on Sanctuary Cities," and the photo shows the skyline of downtown Minneapolis.
JOHN WILSON, Minneapolis
CRITIQUING THE CRITIC
Sting and Shaggy at the Armory get a big thumbs-up here
Regarding the Oct. 2 review "Sting lightens up with Shaggy," I'm guessing music reviewer Chris Riemenschneider has some experience writing reviews, but did he only hear snippets of the concert? This was my first concert at the amazing Armory. I'm a mother, grandmother and greatgrandmother of three. According to my Fitbit, my clapping and arm swinging generated more than 5,200 "steps. "I found the show to be very entertaining. In fact, I was planning on leaving early to avoid the exit rush but could not leave such a great performance and stayed until the second encore was over.
Riemenschneider wrote that the "sound level was too low." To me, it was just right, I wasn't deaf and hoarse at the end of the concert. To me, Sting was Sting, and Shaggy captured our attention and kept the show alive and moving. Shaggy didn't "get the shaft," as Riemenschneider pointed out. He bridged the gap between two generations and did a hell of a great job bringing everything together. This show was more than an "experimental hybrid of urban sounds." The music was about old and new, young and old, two different genres, two worlds blending together, and two concepts working together. In my opinion, Sting and Shaggy are sending a deeper message than what the writer was hearing.
I'd like to see future music reviews with a two-person take on the performances and not just one- sided. Let's read about the depth of the musicians and the songs they sing so we have a well-rounded and informed review. I'm only one person, like the writer, but I did not hear anyone complaining around me, nor did I see anyone leaving early. This was a great concert and venue. Thumbs up!
SUE JONES, Maple Grove
Give Flake credit, but is political integrity limited to lame ducks?
U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., says: "There's no value to reaching across the aisle. There's no currency for that anymore. There's no incentive." What he means by "no currency" and "no incentive" is that there is nothing in it for a senator or representative personally to compel them to try to compromise or work with the other side or objectively look at the facts. In fact, doing so would bring about the exact opposite result — political suicide and termination of the flow of money from the donor class.
I guess it's naive, especially in Trumpworld, to think that decency, honor, values or truth would find a place in the mix. Is there no profile in courage in Congress who would risk their re-election chances or forfeit the big money from the Koch brothers or Mercers or, heaven forbid, the wrath of the White House, and make a moral decision to do the right thing and uphold their oath to the Constitution, notwithstanding what it might mean for their political future? Flake said that he would not have asked for an FBI investigation if he were running for re-election. Did he have to do it now? No, and I commend him for doing so. The fact that he would not have done it if he were running for re-election speaks to the moral dearth that we tolerate and participate in.
RUTH CONLEY, Andover