Eastern Connecticut State University student Jayson Veley, 20, courageously recorded some partisan remarks made during a creative writing class by his professor, Brent Terry, which hit the Internet and quickly generated a furor reaching as far as the floor of the State House. Terry, in the belief he was lecturing before a friendly young (captive) audience who seek “financial equality,” suggested that colleges “will start closing up” if progressives do not return in force to the U.S. Senate during the next election. Once the audio file went viral, the university performed all the usual theater moves whenever contingencies such as this arise: the administration signaled its disappointment, the professor issued an apology, and the quaking spires of the Cathedral seemed to settle again.
Certainly, contemporary reports of progressive instructor bias are myriad. What is most interesting about the ECSU case is the angle from which the progressive media came to Terry’s defense: when they weren’t making fun of Jayson Veley’s hair, they focused intently on how Terry was not a full professor, but a part-time adjunct who presumably doesn’t make much money or have much long-term job security. This isn’t just about wallowing in victimhood to gain sympathy. Recall how Terry predicted that colleges would shut down—on the surface, he feigns concern about the fate of his students, speaking to them as their advocate, but beneath he defends his own wallet. In other words, it’s about the money. Shocking, I know.
Every human acts in his own economic self-interest—even progressives—and it’s a good thing (begging the forgiveness of Martha Stewart for appropriating her signature phrase, of course). What’s not so good is that progressives claim to be exempt from this reality. What’s worse is that progressives wield their