University of New England President James D. Herbert’s Feb. 11 Maine Sunday Telegram column imploring academia to redress the imbalance of liberal to conservative professors (11.5 to 1 nationally and 28 to 1 in New England) is a breath of fresh air.

In your print edition, the column’s secondary headline summarizes Herbert’s thesis thusly: “Higher education faces an ideology crisis.” Herbert cites Gallup polling that found only 33 percent of Republicans had confidence in colleges and universities (compared to 56 percent of Democrats), and a Pew poll in which 58 percent of Republicans believe colleges and universities have “a negative effect on the country.”

I’ll go a step further – I believe that the liberal intellectual academic elite, in its decadeslong assault on notions of American exceptionalism, patriotism and faith, poses a greater threat to our country than any foreign adversary.

One could argue that we should listen to what the intellectual class spews forth because they’re the “smart” group. But I agree with William F. Buckley, who said he’d rather be governed by “the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than (by) the faculty of Harvard.”

To put it another way, I’d rather be governed by guns and religion “clingers” than by Barack Obama, by “deplorables” than by Hillary Clinton or by “ignorant hillbillys (sic)” than by rogue FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page, who thus described rural voters in Loudoun County, Virginia.

Writing on “American Greatness” on Feb. 10, the blog’s editor and publisher, Chris Buskirk, put it bluntly to the unwashed masses in flyover country: “The Ruling Class Hates You.”

Such is the national division deriving from a half-century of the ideological imbalance on campus that Mr. Herbert bravely calls out. He has an uphill fight.

Charles Todorich

South Portland