Andrei Sakharov was a genius nuclear physicist and probably the most famous Soviet dissident of the Brezhnev era. Brezhnev persecuted him in every possible way (without ever causing Sakharov any physical harm, obviously) but he couldn’t get the Soviet Academy of Sciences to expel Sakharov. The voting was secret, and the academics who denounced the dissident publicly knew it was all crap and voted against an expulsion.
Brezhnev demanded that the rules be changed and the voting become open. But academics had to vote to change the rules in a secret ballot. And once again, they voted against.
And here, today, the nuclear physicists, the surgeons, the professors of literature, everybody, they would cast a secret ballot to expel a dissident. Because they actually believe all the garbage that Brezhnev couldn’t make Sakharov believe.
Looking into the stupid, earnest faces of the believers is soul-crushing.