Letter to the Editor: Moderate, not Conservative

To the editor:

I am writing to object to The Crimson’s repeatedly labeling me "conservative" in articles mentioning my candidacy for the Board of Overseers in alliance with Ron K. Unz ’83, Ralph Nader, Lee C. Cheng ’93, and Stephen D. Hsu.

You have never asked me whether I call myself a conservative. I do not. I never have. I have never been a Republican. I have long called myself a politically independent moderate.

Of course, you are entitled to call me whatever you infer from my writings. And it would be fair to say that they show me to be more conservative on many issues than Harvard's current leadership and most academics and mainstream journalists.

But it would also be fair to say that my views on issues including the freedom of speech, civil liberties for college students (and many others), long-term imprisonment of minor drug offenders, and the estate tax are probably more liberal—as that word was generally understood at least through the turn of the century—than those of Harvard's leadership.


More importantly, I estimate my views are also more liberal than those of the vast majority of the American people. That is true on issues including racial preferences, gay rights, religious liberty, the death penalty, abortion, taxes, early education, voting rights, war powers, and many other issues.

Stuart S. Taylor, Jr., a 1977 graduate of Harvard Law School, is running for the Harvard Board of Overseers. He is a member of group of alumni running on a platform of reducing tuition. He is a coauthor of Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It.


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