ROTC: A thaw in the Ivy League

With the end of DADT, will the nation’s military and academic elites reconcile?

After a four-decade absence, will the ROTC finally return to the nation’s elite college campuses? asked Tamar Lewin in The New York Times. The armed forces’ Reserve Officer Training Corps has been barred from many colleges since the days of fiery protests against the Vietnam War. But campuses continued stiff-arming the military long after that war ended, justifying their exclusion of the ROTC in recent years on the grounds that the military discriminated against gays and lesbians. After last month’s repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell’’ policy, however, the presidents of Harvard, Yale, and Columbia all expressed “interest in bringing back the ROTC.” The stage seems set for a rapprochement between the nation’s military and academic elites.

Don’t bet on it, said Kyle Smith in the New York Post. Whether or not the ROTC formally returns to elite universities, academia is deeply hostile to the military. For years, academics and students claimed their disdain was based on “the gay-bashing ways” of the Pentagon. Curiously, “they didn’t notice or care that DADT was a federal law passed by Congress, and none of them banned the president who signed it, Bill Clinton.” Now that DADT is gone, we’ll see no change in the anti-military attitude on these coddled campuses. “Ivy Leaguers are not going to turn down glamour jobs on Wall Street and Hollywood and Silicon Valley in favor of a gig in Fort Dysentery, Afghanistan.’’ Fine—who needs the spoiled brats? said Jed Babbin in The American Spectator online. It’s almost pointless to look for military leaders on campuses where “the unreconstructed hippies of the 1960s dominate the faculty and teach a political ideology that disdains America.’’

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