Let's All Be Concerned Alumni
Judge Samuel Alito's membership in the group, Concerned Alumni of Princeton, has created a Democratic Roar (albeit a "last roar") according to Dana Milbank at WaPo, and the leftyblogs are full of sturm und drang.
Over at Think Progress, for example, there are at least three posts (and counting) on the topic. (h/t memeorandum)
But is there anything wrong with Alito's membership in CAP -- even if we ignore the obvious, that Dem interns probably have spent the last month poring through CAP materials to find the half dozen incindiary phrases therein? Was it wrong for someone seeing his alma mater slipping into absurdity to be concerned?
Let's find out by looking at today's Princeton course catalog. There, we'll find:
HISTORY 408: Selected Topics in 20th Century Latin America: Gender & Sexuality in Modern Latin American History.Yeah, yeah, Ricky Rickardo, machismo and the whole Latin lover, women as sex toys thing. But is it really worth a course? Will it really provide the students with a meaningful and applicable "body" of knowledge?
HISORY 431: Comparative Environmental History -- The course focuses on such themes as, for example, environmental determinism, ethno-ecology, biological imperialism, deforestation and desertification, the history of famine and food, and the impact of war, technology, population growth, market forces and globalization on ecosystem earth.Do you suppose the students will learn that, thanks to the weath and regulation that comes with industrialization, our planet is getting cleaner and more forested? (Note, I'm only providing one link per department because it goes to a list of all courses there.)
Now, on the next two, check how conservatism is linked to fascism, but not to a just society:
POLITICS 304 Conservative Political Thought -- Topics include the classical and medieval roots of modern conservatism, the development of conservatism in Europe and America, fascism and the radical right, and the tensions between libertarianism and traditionalism in contemporary conservative thought.I saved the low-hanging fruit for last. Strain as I might, I can find no viable purpose for this class:
POLITICS 307 The Just Society -- An introduction to alternative theories of social justice and examination of the implications of those theories in areas of contemporary social and political controversy. Readings and lectures focus on utilitarian, libertarian, liberal egalitarian, communitarian, and feminist conceptions of what it means to live in a just society.
Women's Studies 362: Transgender Theory -- What can transpeople's accounts teach feminist and queer theory about embodiment and gender? Conversely, what sorts of framings has queer theory offered Trans studies and what might it continue to provide? Is transsexual to transgender as homosexual is to queer? If, as some have suggested, transgender studies has ushered in a post-queer era, what is it, exactly, in queer theory that has been surpassed?I rest my case. Princeton and all of higher education need organizations like CAP if there's going to be any lid placed on the foolish directions academia is taking our universities and our children.
h/t to Michael Savage, who raised this issue last night.