I read with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation the unexpected announcement earlier this month that President Rebecca Chopp is departing Swarthmore to become the chancellor of the University of Denver.
Anticipation because as a grateful graduate of Swarthmore, I can’t help but view the hiring of a new president as an opportunity for the school to rededicate itself to the true mission of liberal education, which is to prepare students for the rights and responsibilities of freedom by furnishing and refining their minds. Trepidation because I fear that Swarthmore’s next president will lead the college further down the path of politicized research and curriculum that has become the hallmark of our finest colleges and universities.
It is your responsibility to form a search committee and oversee the process by which the college chooses its next president. You would not be serving on the board if you were not men and woman of substantial accomplishments and if you did not love Swarthmore. But I worry that your fond memories of the liberal education you received will thwart your understanding of what liberal education has become. And I fear that you will give inordinate weight to the assessment of today’s professors and administrators in judging Swarthmore’s current condition.
Today’s educators cannot be counted on to provide an accurate evaluation. In February, I saw a dramatic illustration of their obliviousness while attending a Swarthmore symposium on the future of the liberal arts. It was as if I had entered a time warp.
Beverly Hills has banned fracking. Which makes it "the first municipality in California to prohibit the controversial technique for extracting natural gas and oil from underground rock deposits," according to Reuters.
There appears to be a new Obamacare strategy on the left: to tell people their Obamacare horror stories are made up. First, Harry Reid said, "Despite all that good news, there's plenty of horror stories being told. All of them are untrue, but they're being told all over America."
The American left loves Western European democracies for their cultural sensibilities and for their policies on everything from crime to health care. One policy area where you won’t hear American liberals cite the European example, though, is abortion.
Writing for Salon, Curtis Morrison, a self-titled "liberal activist," admits to bugging Mitch McConnell's office. He claims to have been inspired by Julian Assange and claims, "If given another chance to record him, I’d do it again."
As Clive Crook notes on Bloomberg, that while Paul Krugman does not suffer fools gladly, he does not necessarily believe that everyone “who disagrees with him [is] either a fool or a knave ... Many of those who disagree with him are sociopaths.”
There is a genre of books about politics written by ideologues on both sides of the divide. Their aim is to inform their fellow partisans about the misinformation, misdeeds, and malign intentions of the people on the other side, offering talking points to rally the troops for the next confrontation. The authors are often prominent media figures—Glenn Beck, for example.
College basketball player Kevin Ware's compound fracture in Sunday's Elite Eight game has gained widespread media attention. And now a Kentucky group is trying to capitalize off the Louisville player's injury.
On its website, boldprogressive.org, the group Progressive Change Campaign Committee has posted this:
Ross Douthat has gotten himself in trouble for writing about demographics and the latest Pew report on the decline of America’s birth rate. Douthat has the temerity to suggest that having babies is important for public welfare, that Americans aren’t having enough of them, and that the root cause of our birth dearth is a deep cultural transformation: