Ask not what you can do for your country

For some time it has seemed to me that, of all of the lawful institutions in our society (even including the mainstream news media), our colleges and universities are the most corrupt and generally deplorable. Consider, in no particular order, (1) the rampantly corrupt and corrupting athletic programs many of these institutions run, (2) the extent to which they intentionally engage in race-based discrimination in admissions and hiring, (3) the willingness of many state-funded universities to reject the sons and daughters of the taxpayers of their state when the credentials of those sons and daughters exceed those of the average admittee, (4) the erosion of academic standards through grade inflation, (5) the outrageous price tags that continues to escalate even as the school year shrinks, and (6) the suppression of real diversity through speech codes, intolerant professors, and political correctness in general.
Christina Hoff Sommers provides a case in point in this Washington Post article about the ban against ROTC at some of our elite colleges. While colleges hoodwink clueless Supreme Court Justices into upholding racial discrimination in the name of “diversity,” their lack of regard for true diversity is manifest from their treatment of students who wish to defend their country. Thus, as Sommers explains, “A student who is attending a college that has banned ROTC and who wants to become a military officer has to travel, sometimes long distances, to other schools that have accepted the program. In most cases, such students receive no credit for ROTC course work. Stanford ROTC students, for example, take courses in military science and national defense at Berkeley or Santa Clara, yet receive no credit for them at their home institution. Stanford’s registrar, Roger Printup, justifies this policy on the grounds that ‘the courses just don’t fit into a degree program here at Stanford.’ Which courses do fit in? Yoga, Hip-Hop, and ‘Girls on Film’ (a class that explores the image of teenage girls in the pop culture of the ’90s) are offered for credit.”
Sommers points out that the ban against ROTC “discourages some of the country’s best students from volunteering for military service. The nation, in turn, is deprived of their skills, talent and imagination.” That, of course, is the real reason for the ban — the desire to impair the military.
Fortunately, our institutions of higher learning care more about receiving federal funds than they do about leftist ideals. Federal law (the Solomon Amendment) prohibits colleges and universities from receiving federal funds if they fail to permit military recruiters or ROTC units on campus. Thus, Sommers concludes on an optimistic note:
“The Air Force recently used the Solomon Amendment to gain access to law school job fairs. Until last year, many law schools barred military recruiters from their campuses. But the Air Force sent them letters warning them that by blacklisting the military, they were violating the law and risked losing all government subsidies. Law professors were apoplectic. There were frantic meetings, rallies and threats of lawsuits. Protesters disrupted Air Force interviews with students. ‘It’s essentially blackmail,’ said a stunned Harvard Law professor, Heather Gerken. But law schools such as Harvard, Yale, Stanford and Georgetown have quietly complied. What worked for the law schools will work for liberal arts colleges. They should be presented with the choice of lifting the ban on ROTC or losing government support.”


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