Stop disparaging professors. They work for a better America

An essay of mine has appeared in the Houston Chronicle. Here are the first paragraphs and a link:

The professors are coming!

As conservative polemicist David Horowitz would have it, American college teachers long ago became “dangerous academics” who, according to Turning Point USA’s Professor Watchlist, “advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.” They have become prima facie enemies, to the minds of many Americans, caricatures, easily dismissed today as ideological buffoons.

This wasn’t always the case. Even a century ago, people still flocked to Chautauquas where professors spoke and argued, where deep implications of issues of the day were explored under the guidance of people who had dedicated their lives to study and reflection — and to teaching and action in the public sphere. So important were these professional ideals that they were incorporated, at the founding of the American Association of University Professors, into protection of this new concept of professorial engagement, “academic freedom.”