As noted in the previous essay, it could be the case that either conservatives have good reasons to not want to be professors or professors have good reasons not to be conservatives. In this essay, I will offer some possible solutions to these problems in the hopes of encouraging more conservatives to enter the ivory towers.
If conservatives find academics unattractive because they can make far more income outside of the academy, then there are two general ways to motivate them into becoming professors. One approach is to argue that capable conservatives should “take one for the team.” That is, they should make the sacrifice of pursuing the far-less lucrative careers outside the academy for one within. While this would be a loss for the brave conservative professors, their sacrifices would benefit the community of conservatives. The challenge is, of course, persuading people who endorse self-interest as a core value to willingly act in a way that seems contrary to their self-interest.
Another approach, which would probably be more appealing, is for conservatives to offer financial support and rewards for conservatives who become and remain professors. This is already done to some degree but expanding the support and rewards would presumably help increase the number of conservative professors. One challenge is to ensure that the support and rewards go to actual conservatives—so there would be a need to police ideological purity to keep out clever liberals (or even secret Marxists) who might seek to exploit these opportunities to their own advantage. A possible downside to this approach is that such professors will probably be accused of bias resulting from their being paid to be conservative professors—but I will leave a solution to this problem to any conservatives who might be troubled by it.
One practical worry about supporting conservative students become conservative professors is that their experiences in graduate school and as faculty might turn them away from conservatism. For example, they might find the rhetorical attacks on experts and science to be off-putting. As another example, they might find the all-too-common hostility of Republicans to higher education problematic as they try to work within the area being attacked so vehemently by their fellows. This leads to the second problem, that of getting professors to want to be conservatives.
One option for conservatives is to modify their anti-expert and anti-science rhetoric. Rather than engaging in broad attacks on experts or science, they could confine their attacks to specific experts and scientific views. Those not being directly attacked might thus find conservatism more appealing. The Republican party could also change its general attitude towards higher education towards a more positive approach. They could, for example, return to providing solid funding for research and education. If professors believed that Republicans would act in their interest and in the interest of their students, they would be more inclined to support them. Conservative faculty would probably also be more likely to stay conservative.
Taking such steps could be problematic for the Republican party. After all, the anti-science stance regarding climate change and their broad anti-expert stance have proven to be very useful politically. Giving these up would come at a price. Providing support for public higher education would also put Republicans at odds with their views about what spending should be cut to allow tax breaks and their strategy of for-profit higher-education. As such, Republicans would need to weigh the cost of winning over professors against the advantages they gain by the policies that tend to alienate professors.
There are those who claim that it is the Democrats and liberals who are more anti-science and anti-intellectual than the Republicans. If this were true, then the Republicans are doing a terrible job of convincing scientists and intellectuals to support them. If they could convince professors that they are the real supporters of the sciences and the Democrats are the real threat, then they should be able to win converts in the academy. The challenge is, of course, proving this claim and getting professors to accept this proof.