My Science Blogs feed recently had a post, 'Is the Academy Liberal?' and my gut reaction was, "No! Just look at the tenure process or the faculty salary and distribution by gender." Tenure is often about knowing the right people and publishing in the right journals (something that I think has had a real influence on the success of the Open Access movement), and I have often heard the Academy referred to as the old boys club. But that was not what this post was about - it was about the political views of the Academy, which is overwhelmingly liberal/Democrat (no surprise there). One commenter to the post goes on to say, "I think these associations reflect the fact that the adherents of some disciplines tend to be more ideological than others for historical, pedagogical, and other reasons."
When I read this post I stopped for a moment to ponder the difference between my initial reaction from reading the title and the content of the post. If most of the Academy is liberal, and particularly if it is due to their inherent idealism, why is the Academy so locked down with very conservative and biased methods for letting people into the Club? To me, it seems a contradiction that borders on hypocrisy. How can this widespread contradiction exist?