To Brown’s Ross Cheit, Republicans can’t simply participate in society.

Over the course of a day, readers of Twitter brush off many such tweets, but in this case, the writer is Ross Cheit, a political science professor at Brown University who was, until recently, the chairman of the state Ethics Commission:

I imagine that anything that a GOP operative has in their possession can also be obtained some other way, if that’s your question.

Anyway, I don’t recall ever seeing a story where a partisan is credited like that. Still seems very strange.

Cheit is referring to a Providence Journal article in which Katherine Gregg credits Steve Frias, “a lawyer, state GOP delegate to the Republican National Committee and  historian,” for the contribution of his political-historical research to her summary of balloting history in Rhode Island.

Pause to allow the significance of Cheit’s comment to sink in.  Gathering historical information takes work.  Frias does that work out of his own interest and offers it as a contribution to public discourse and information, and journalists frequently make use of it.  His political priors are transparent and well known, and to my knowledge, in decades of reviewing his research, not one journalist (or Democrat, for that matter) has found (or even claimed) that the historical information he provides is not accurate.

Meanwhile, Cheit is a political science professor at an Ivy League University.  If any role in our society should be filled by somebody who appreciates the work of gathering information and has full perspective on people’s political engagement versus their personal and professional interests, that role is it.  Yet, here, he ignorantly attempts to discredit Frias and chastises one of the state’s top political journalists for utilizing his work and giving him credit, while she’s careful to inform readers about his political bias.  Worse, Cheit is implying that ordinary people going about their lives can’t become engaged in the political process, themselves, without being written off in their other work… at least if they’re Republicans.

Take particular note that Cheit does not suggest the history Gregg provides is colored by Frias’s political leanings.  He simply doesn’t like that a Republican should be treated as a legitimate participant in the process of information gathering.

Finding that a Brown professor is basically a Democrat ideologue wouldn’t be as disturbing if we could assume that he was offset by an equally ideological Republican on the Brown political science faculty.  Unfortunately, his own attitude suggests that we can make no such assumption.  Sharing a department with somebody like that would surely provide Cheit with the perspective he so obviously lacks.

The absence of such perspective is yet more evidence that Brown University is less about education and more about maintaining an ideologically pure aristocracy.  Be warned when you see its name listed as a credential, particularly in political science.


Featured image by Rudolf von Alt on WikiArt.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rhett Hardwick
Rhett Hardwick
1 year ago

The last few Presidential elections have caused me to lose several friends on the Brown faculty. I do not despise them for their political views, but the opposite cannot be said.

Show your support for Anchor Rising with a 25-cent-per-day subscription.