Saturday, September 13, 2008

More Bad Behavior at Columbia U.

With a touch of Double Standard.

Obama and McCain v. Ivy LeagueSeptember 13, 2008; Page A12
Wall Street Journal

On their 9/11 day of campaign truce, Barack Obama and John McCain went to Columbia University and talked earnestly about public service. The Presidential candidates managed to perform a service as well, by calling out their host to welcome the Reserve Office Training Corps back on the Morningside Heights campus.

The suggestion was met with boos from the audience when offered by the Republican hopeful and retired Naval officer, and silence when crowd favorite Mr. Obama (Columbia '83) called the ban "a mistake." The contempt for military service, alas, runs deep at our so-called elite academic institutions.

Five of the eight Ivy League schools kicked out ROTC in the wake of the Vietnam War.

Today only Princeton, Dartmouth, Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania allow America's future military leaders to get their instruction on campus. In 2005, Columbia's university senate shot down a resolution to re-establish ROTC. Two years before, the student body voted for readmission by 2-1.

Columbia President Lee Bollinger, who led the fight against ROTC in 2005, says the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy constitutes "improper discrimination and humiliation" of homosexuals. Of course, that didn't stop him last year from inviting on campus Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose regime executes homosexuals for being homosexual. The young men and women at Columbia who want to choose service in the armed forces can hardly be faulted for feeling "improper discrimination and humiliation" on their campus. We'll now see if a bipartisan rebuke on ROTC is enough to shame Columbia and the other Ivies into changing their dishonorable act.

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Jen G said...

Kudos to Obama for calling them out on their banishment of ROTC.

Anonymous said...

Uh, what about McCain? He did it too. Only, when he did it, he got booed.

Jen G said...

Touche. Indeed, they both did that. I apologize for not giving credit to both. I made the very unfair assumption that the McCain supporters who run this blog would fail to recognize that Obama was acting in agreement with his opponent.
While I personally am not the ROTC type, I don't think that they should be discriminated - particularly at one of the most respected colleges in the country. I bet those kids don't even know what they were booing - actually, yes, I do. They were booing a Republican supporting the military, and shutting up when a Dem showed support. Shame on them. That is a classic example of people following blindly in the footsteps of a political party without considering issues independently of that party. It happens on both sides, I am sad to say. But, on a positive note (and maybe I am being too optimistic here), it seems that this election has prompted voters to actually stop and smell the roses. There are more undecided voters than there have ever been at this late stage in the game, which leads me to believe that people are actually asking themselves what they believe and what they want for the future of this nation.