What I didn't realize is that journalism that examined the dominance of liberal ideas on campus would be addressed with hostility.
A professor who confronted me declared that he was "personally offended" by my column. He railed that his political viewpoints never affected his teaching and suggested that if I wanted a faculty with Republicans I should have attended a university in the South. "If you like conservatism you can certainly attend the University of Texas and you can walk past the statue of Jefferson Davis everyday on your way to class," he wrote in an e-mail.
I was shocked by such a comment, which seemed an attempt to link Republicans with racist orthodoxy. When I wrote back expressing my offense, he neither apologized nor clarified his remarks.
Of course not; it seems to be the standard liberal rating that conservatives and Republicans are at base, automatically, racists and bigots. And questioning that somehow proves it.
Instead, he reiterated them on the record. Was such a brazen expression of partisanship representative of the faculty as a whole? I decided to speak with him in person in the hope of finding common ground.
He was eager to chat, and after five minutes our dialogue bloomed into a lively discussion. As we hammered away at the issue, one of his colleagues with whom he shared an office grew visibly agitated. Then, while I was in mid-sentence, she exploded.
"You think you're so [expletive] cute with your little column," she told me. "I read your piece and all you want is attention. You're just like Bill O'Reilly. You just want to get up on your [expletive] soapbox and have people look at you."
From the disgust with which she attacked me, you would have thought I had advocated Nazism. She quickly grew so emotional that she had to leave the room. But before she departed, she stood over me and screamed.
Can you imagine what it's like to be conservative in your beliefs and stuck in this woman's classes?