Answer: by doing good work.
A student writes:
I am writing this because you are one of the people I look up to the most who exist in the public sphere. I am currently a history student at [a southern university] and I am looking to get into their masters program with an objective of eventually obtaining a Ph.D.
Today I had a meeting with a professor who really laid things out for me and explained how the game is played, how much politics can be involved in such a pursuit. This brings me to the purpose of my comment. I know that you are a very successful historian and I would like to follow a similar path. My question is, can you give me any advice on where I could find a good Ph.D. program that contains like-minded (politically) people to yourself and I, because the professor told me that my politics would cause me problems in graduate school because I’m “so far out of the mainstream.” Any advice you could give would be much appreciated.
Your politics should not even be an issue, since your professors should be unaware of your stances. [If you absolutely cannot help yourself, you must also be unusually courteous, friendly, and pleasant, so people in the program will like you even when they happen to discover some portion of your political outlook.]
In graduate school you should not be trying to write the Austro-libertarian revisionist history of the U.S. You should be learning, and doing original research that advances the field in some way. That’s what I did at Columbia. My dissertation had zero to do with libertarianism. But it made a contribution to my field. It was eventually published by Columbia University Press. My dissertation director was Alan Brinkley, an establishment left-liberal. We worked together well not because we agreed with each other, but because we both had scholarly standards.
So that is the secret. Just do your work. Do good work. It is still respected, even now.
I then linked him to my post “Advice to Budding Historians.”