Pompous Jackasses

“Pompous Jackasses.” Those are the words Juan Williams used to describe the Rutgers University faculty. They could be apropos to describe the majority of professors at nearly any American college or university today.

Rutgers invited former Secretary of State and national security advisor Condoleezza Rice to give the commencement address this coming spring. Ostensibly because Dr. Rice served in President George W. Bush’s administration, and there allegedly misled the Congress and the country about the dangers of Saddam Hussein and Iraq having weapons of mass distraction, the left-wing faculty went apoplectic. They passed a resolution demanding the University rescind its invitation. So far the Rutgers administration has refused to do so.

Williams maintains, and he is probably correct, that Dr. Rice’s real sin in the eyes of leftists is that she is a black woman who is also a Republican and, on most issues, a conservative. The left cannot stand a black person, of either sex, who dares to stray from the liberal plantation. Juan Williams is himself progressive/liberal on most issues, but in that vein he is a promoter of freedom of expression and honest debate, unlike so many on the far left are today. Those people, and the greatest offenders are on college faculties, are for freedom of speech only if it agrees with their viewpoint. If it doesn’t, it should be suppressed. See Juan Williams opinion

Why are college faculty members so overwhelmingly left-wing? There’s an old cliché that those who can, do, while those who can’t, teach. I don’t really buy into that, especially for adjunct faculty members, whose competence in their day jobs is usually part of reason they are chosen to supplement the full-time faculty. My personal hypothesis is that the academic setting is a fantasy world, at least for full-time faculty members. It’s not a particularly hard existence, and pays rather well. Those who don’t have to make a payroll, or come to grips with the realities of the business world, and have time to dream up all kinds of Pollyanna-ish scenarios for a perfect world, tend to lean left. Naturally, that’s not every faculty member, but there are numerous reports that those who lean right tend to be ostracized by the majority.

Before I received Williams’ commentary on the Rice/Rutgers controversy, I had a discussion with a number of my friends and colleagues at which the consensus was that if Rice and had been President Obama’s Secretary of State, and he had listened to her, the present conundrum the United States finds itself in with regard to Ukraine may well have been avoided. Rice, prior to her service in both Bush administrations, was recognized as one of the pre-eminent experts on Russia and the former Soviet Union, which is why she was chosen to serve. She has a sense of reality when it comes to foreign affairs. True, she was mistaken about Iraq’s possession of nuclear, or other weapons of mass distraction, but so was the rest of the intelligence community, as well as the Congress. Had the weapons existed, the invasion and dismantling of them would certainly have been appropriate. As it turned out, the world is doubtless better off that Saddam Hussein gone. The biggest mistakes United States made in Afghanistan and Iraq was not the initial invasions, but that the jobs were never finished. Both wars should have been over, and our forces out, within two years at the very most. The protracted wars, however, were not Dr. Rice’s doing.

While I have a great deal of admiration for and empathy with the Ukrainians, I’m not real sure where the United States’ interests are in that regard. There are those who believe that Russia’s President Putin wants to restore the Russian Empire. Perhaps, but how does that really hurt us? The old Soviet Union was ideologically diametrically opposed to the capitalist West, and was aggressively trying to expand its influence worldwide. It had the emphatically stated goal of bringing the entire world under the communist system. Since the USSR imploded in 1991, Russia has not been our adversary. Furthermore there is no indication that Putin wants to restore that posture. One of the hallmarks of Russia, whether Tsarist, Soviet or otherwise, has been paranoia. Putin’s main concern, from what I have read, is to make sure that his country is safe and secure from foreign aggression. Whether he really has anything to fear in that regard is problematic, but the Russians have always thought so, and the West has on occasion given them reason to so fear.

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