November 18, 2005

Liberal Intolerance Towards Those Who Serve

I think that one of their own, on the receiving end of this intolerance, puts it best.

Service is an everyday thing; it means that an individual regularly sacrifices for the good of the whole. Sometimes that sacrifice is trivial (maybe I would like to wear bigger pearl earrings with those Class As, but I don't) and sometimes it is serious, such as complying with the regulations that govern political activity among Army Officers. In both situations, soldiers forgo a privilege in the name of a bigger purpose--serving their fellow citizens.

I never ask that my fellow liberals agree with me, just that they respect my sense of obligation and professional duty. But at Harvard, that's a tough sell. Here, the emphasis is on the individual--the "me", the "I," and the "mine." It is difficult to explain a group obligation to people who idolize the first person singular.

But the most difficult part of the recruiting period has been learning the limits of liberal tolerance. It has been uncomfortable to see that the lessons I learned from the traditional liberal platform appear not to apply to me.

I salute you, First Lieutenant Kate Thornton Buzick. May God bless you for your service to this country

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Well, now this is interesting drivel. All of Harvard is liberal? I'm sure all the Ivy league is, right? Begs one to wonder how Chief Justice Roberts and likely soon-to-be Justice Alito ever managed to make it through such places with their conservatism intact.

To simplistically categorize the many thousands of people attending Harvard as intolerant liberals likely smacks more of her own narrow perspective and overly sensitive character than it does any inherent intolerance at Harvard - how she'll actually find the "real" Army life is beyond me to fathom as life is so less black and white there, though I'd hazard to guess that she'll apply the same myopia she seems to suffer from while visiting Harvard and will easily find a comfort zone, and like-thinking, or non-thinking comrades to make her feel happy.

I don't care what campuses you go to, with the exception of the hardcore Christian ones, you'll find people who resent your presence there (having been an officer recruiter during my 22 years in the Navy I take this from personal experience, not just read blogs.) Some of that resentment comes from a wide range of disagreements, from whatever war we may be in at the time, to policies regarding how the military treats people's personal preferences with regard to sexuality. The latter consideration is more in keeping with a concern for human rights on the whole, which 1st LT Buzick may not share or appreciate, but which is indeed a legitimate reason to not welcome recruiters to a campus. So it's rarely a "liberal mindset", driven by a "Me", or "I" perspective that drives the concerns LT Buzick finds herself up against, indeed no, they often are every bit as concerned with our society as a whole and with a desire to enhance and promote human dignity as anything LT Buzick may ever find herself in the middle of. Bottom line, a few tens or hundreds of people making life difficult for a recruiter doesn't an entire institution make, and it's such simplistic thinking that all too often frames so many of the arguments that attend right vs. left, or left vs. right and you'd think by now we'd have learned to grow up - maybe one day.

|| Posted by James, November 26, 2005 05:17 PM ||

That depends upon how you define "all of Harvard."

If you define it as "every last individual", then of course not.

On the other hand, if you define it as an institutional ethos, then I suspect the answer would be "Yes", based upon the anecdotal evidence.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, November 26, 2005 07:16 PM ||
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