(Guest post by Greg Forster)
On Veterans Day two years ago I posted a sharp condemnation of my grad school for its contempt of the military, even in defiance of its own traditions. In the comments, I made a promise that I would be prepared to post something more cheerful for Veterans Day “when the Ivies quit spitting on the people who fight and die to preserve their right to spit on them.”
Yale is bringing back ROTC, along with Harvard and Columbia. Princeton refuses to budge. Brown is still considering its position. Cornell, Dartmouth and Penn had already brought it back before this year.
I’m not sure at what point my stated obligation to “post warm fuzzies about mom and apple pie” kicks in, and I’ll admit that I don’t think the series of events leading up to these developments generally augers well for civil/military relations. But that war is over and now is a time for reconciliation. Six of the eight Ivies now offer military training within their for-credit educational curricula. That is progress.
I never supported the war in Iraq. However I supported the U.S. and our soldiers. Why on earth these elitist organizations decided to ban the ROTC shows how shallow they are as individuals. One can disagree with the President and remain a Patriotic American. One can disagree with a war and still support the military. Sadly the elitists can’t figure this out.
This most definitely is progress. Considering the rampant political correctness at many of our elite colleges, one could almost say “miraculous.”
Not really, not in light of the aforementioned “series of events leading up to these developments.” The Ivies did not wake up one morning and realize the error of their ways. They still value culture-war victory for progressivism over military service; all that happened was a change of political winds that allowed them to have both without choosing. Long term we are still in deep yogurt on this issue.
OK, perhaps “miraculous” was an overreach. But I maintain that considering the pervasive cultural Marxist tendencies at these institutions, having a reviled enemy like the U.S. military on campus is a stunning turn of events.