I am honestly surprised at a seven to one ratio, I would think it much higher.
Every study I have seen indicates the percentage to be much higher, in the 90% and above range. That may be studies restricted to our more prestigous universities, although I would not be surprised of at least a 7 to 1 over all institutions of higher learning nationwide.
When you add in the pusillanimousness factor, the diversity of opinion a student in a university is going to encounter in the classroom is even less restricted.
It is somewhat ironic that tenure theoretically exists to insure freedom of expression and acts to the opposite effect.
Would I therefore want to change professors for politicians and vice versa? No, I like the give and take of the political process and freedom of expression allowed in the political arena compared to the more closed mindset of higher academia.
You would have to also consider how the academic would function is a world in which there is accountability.
I know this sounds negative, and I suppose it is. On the other side, I enjoyed a great many of my professors and thought them to be intelligent well meaning individuals who had a profession they chose and worked at as they believed. By the same token, I found that made college and law school easy to succeed at, in that you just had to regurgitate the political and sociological views of your professor and then avoid presenting a position contrary to their world views which would result in a lower grade. I would not hitch my wagon to many of them if they were forced to function out in the real world.
The real world, including politics, does not function within the academic model of analytical and theoretical models. Politics operates on Main Street on the concerns of those living there. Those concerns are basic; how am I going to pay my bills and are my children going to fed and clothed; along with basic moral values involving religion and right and wrong.
Drugs, robbery, rape and murder look a lot different on the street than they do in a classrom.
Perhaps it is best politics be kept basic in that it avoids the extremes of ideology.
I have grown over the years to accept those extremes in the university setting as well as extremes existing in institutions on the far right because I have come to understand that most folks do reside in the middle and have the common sense to do what it takes to make things work for themselves and their families.
We come in contact with the extremes as we live our lives and then in the political process, everyone gets to jump in together, contribute, argue, rant, rave and then democracy is the result.
So Brad, I'll leave academians in universities where they function fine, but I'll stick with politicians in the political arena notwithstanding all their warts.