Letter to the Editor: Union alumnus on Bolton


To Union People:

As a former editor of Concordiensis and a proud Union alumnus, I write this letter after reading the scathing editorial comment regarding Ambassador Bolton’s recent lecture at Union.

I am appalled, angry, disappointed and embarrassed.

Over the years members of the Alumni Office have assured me that Union was not one of those radicalized campuses.

I should have suspected otherwise when I attempted to gift a quarter million dollars to fund a lectureship in Conservative Political and Economic Thought. I encountered significant resistance from the college administration.

Still wanting to reward Union for the excellent education provided me, I granted the gift for the use of Jewish Studies.

Professor Berk recently informed me he wished to use my gift to bring an outside speaker to the college to lecture on The Middle East. I suggested Ambassador John Bolton, a renowned expert on the topic. His usual lecture fee was $25,000 but as a result of our friendship and my personal request that he honor my Alma Mater, he graciously reduced his fee to $10,000.

I was excited to have arranged for such a distinguished expert on Middle Eastern Affairs to speak at Union. At age 76 and with significant health problems, I struggled to make the trip from San Francisco to attend the event which I had sponsored.

I was quite happy with his lecture about the impact of Iran’s nuclear proliferation on Israel, the Middle East and the world. There were protestors outside the chapel who had every right to be there. They were well-behaved and not disruptive.

I left Union feeling joyful about my contribution. Now I feel dismayed and disgusted.

A university is a place where all views should be heard and considered. I was not happy when Ahmadinejad was invited to speak at Columbia (one of my graduate institutions), but I understood why he was allowed to speak there. I was also not happy when student and faculty protests derailed the scheduled speech of Netanyahu at University of California (another of my graduate institutions and where I am a faculty member).

Bolton was called a “war monger” in the Concordiensis. He was also the victim of personal destructive attacks — a favorite liberal tactic.

For those of you who do not remember history, I remind you that Winston Churchill was also called “war monger” when he attempted to warn the world about the true mission of another fanatic ideology that was building a war machine while “talking” with those who pursued peace. Can you not see the parallel here?

Several lecture attendees complimented Bolton after his talk and thanked him for coming to Union.

Why was there not a fair and balanced editorial comment?

Liberalism was once a movement that freed us from tyranny. Now Liberalism has become its own tyranny! It appears that at Union “free speech” means “their speech.”

It saddens me to realize that Union, like many other campuses, has become radicalized and that there is no longer a level playing field.



  1. For you to say “Union is not a fair playing field” would imply that there is a playing field. There are just about 0 discussions about anything on campus, as students have become incredibly apathetic. If you were to interview the campus, I’m confident that you would find a relatively even Democrat/Republican divide. Don’t classify Union as something when you no longer go here. Pigeonholing the campus from an outside perspective is incredibly stupid.

    • I agree. Mr. Goldschlager, you should do your homework before harassing Union community members with your emails. The liberty and conservative movements are well-represented on this campus. I wasn’t particularly pleased with the news article that ran last week about the protest, however there are plenty of conservative articles in the opinions section. I take offense to your assertion that Union has been radicalized. This is Schenectady, not Berkeley. Stay in California.

      • First of all, thank you, Mr. Goldschlager for helping bring Ambassador Bolton on campus. I personally enjoyed Ambassador Bolton’s speech very much, and think the hundreds of students who were present at the lecture did too.

        On the Opinions page of the Concordy, this well-articulated and much-more-relevant article by Mr. Goldschlager was given less priority than the one on Kanye West’s article, whereas last week the extra-liberal articles take all the front pages. That does not seem like a “level” playing field to me.

        That said, I don’t think students are to be blamed for the intolerance of free speech on campus. It is not uncommon for faculty to try push their own liberal agenda on students, both inside and out of the classroom. They are also often the ones that try to ban opinions from the other side to even appear on campus. I love most part of my Union education, but did not appreciate the academic atmosphere when it comes to politics.

        • Not sure what you’re talking about with the Opinions priority. This article is listed first on the opinions page. Also, this article is not particularly well-articulated. It seems that Mr. Goldschlager was not going to satisfied unless Bolton was presented in a Republican light; the only light which views him favorably. Outside of the right-wing, he is not liked. In general, Bolton was an interesting speaker to bring, but complaining about a “radicalized” liberal campus is almost laughable. This campus is overtly Conservative, although faculty may not be.

  2. It is appalling to read through the comments underneath this op-ed. To accuse an alum of “harassing” the Union community through his emails and writing is a dramatic way of describing your displeasure in reading an article about a speaker you probably did not agree with. The lack of respect from students above is really disheartening. Thank you Dr. Goldschlager for investing your money on the current student body by bringing in a former white house staffer, that served as a President’s Chief of Staff. His talk was an opportunity for the Union student body to hear about current events from a leading national voice. Shame on you Union, for not seeing the strong points Dr. Goldschlager is making. Don’t get hung up on who he brought, because frankly, you were given a gift. See Dr. Goldschlager’s argument for what it is, free speech verse their speech.

  3. He certainly did not harass Union. I do not agree with Bolton, but bringing him to speak is interesting. This does not mean that I have to respect him, nor do I have to respect Dr. Goldschalger’s opinion. The talk was certainly interesting, but calling Union a “radicalized campus” is laughably stupid.

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