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.