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Not Wanted at Harvard?

March 7, 2013

The abridged version of this article was published as a Letter to the Editor in Harvard’s Crimson.

 

I am disappointed that The Crimson has not apologized for but instead continues to defend its juvenile editorial warning conservatives not to enroll at Harvard. Although The Crimson claims that the article’s purpose was to highlight the hypocrisy among alumni who wish to “score political points by maligning Harvard,” the article does not actually make this argument. The Crimson never mentions politicians and constituents who attack alumni for attending Harvard—from both sides of the aisle. A good version of the article would have presented a robust and honest discussion of H-bomb dropping in American politics.

 

But this is not what The Crimson argued. Instead, The Crimson explicitly warns conservatives to stay away from Cambridge on the grounds that students who are critical of Harvard should “neither apply, enroll, nor graduate from this fine institution.” The article’s logic is embarrassing, and the belittling and disparagement of conservative students is repugnant.

 

The editorial’s suggestion that students who are critical of the university should go elsewhere rests on two false assumptions: first, that solely conservative students disagree with the university; and second, that dissent is inherently problematic. There are countless examples of Harvard’s liberal students and alumni expressing discontent with the University. By its own logic, shouldn’t The Crimson’s message also apply to Al Gore, who has recently supported Divest Harvard? And surely the editors recognize that criticism can play a valuable role in righting wrongs. Certainly they wouldn’t condemn alumni who disagreed and criticized Harvard for its past exclusion of women and minorities? But by the Crimson’s logic, such criticism would constitute “episodes of treachery.” As a Hispanic female, it is difficult to imagine that I might not be studying at Harvard today, were not for vocal critics of past Harvard policies.

 

Perhaps the most arrogant and disrespectful claim in the article is the characterization of conservatives as “anti-intellectual.” The name-calling itself reveals the real anti-intellectualism at Harvard. It is not typically found among its conservatives, whose ideas and arguments are sharpened by constant scrutiny and criticism. Rather, it is found in the intolerance toward conservatives on campus and in the failure to engage the arguments and principles that guide conservative beliefs in serious debate.

 

In this respect, this editorial is not an outlier, but only the most brazen recent example of the preference for mindless bullying over authentic discussion. Many of Harvard’s students recognize the value—and necessity—of intellectual diversity, but it is discouraging to see that the editorial board of our campus’s newspaper does not.

 

Although The Crimson failed to acknowledge the vibrant community of conservatives that exists within Harvard, conservatives’ efforts and achievements merit recognition. As The Crimson has made clear, Harvard can be a “potentially scary place” for conservatives. But that has only made the conservative movement here stronger. Last semester, over twenty faculty and academic staff, ten student groups, and over one hundred student attendees began a new tradition: Harvard’s Conservative Reception. Yes, we are outnumbered, but that does not mean that we don’t belong at Harvard.

 

In a few weeks, students from across the globe will find out whether they have been accepted into Harvard’s Class of 2017. I urge The Crimson to reconsider its welcome message. Conservatives remain an integral part of Harvard, and they are encouraged to apply and enroll.

 

Luciana E. Milano ’14 is a government concentrator living in Pforzheimer House. She is Vice President of Speakers and Political Discorse for the Harvard Republican Club.

 

Harvard Republican Club Hosts Harvard’s First Annual Conservative Reception

April 18, 2012

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Rand Paul: Cut $500 Billion from the Budget

January 30, 2011

Kentucky’s new Republican Senator, Rand Paul, lays out his plan to cut the federal budget by $500 billion.

Watch him below on Neil Cavuto’s show.

Standing Together

January 26, 2011

From the beginning of our Union until present day, each President has given the heavily publicized and often polarizing State of the Union address.  Each President’s address reflects the issues of the time: the agenda for the year to come, the passion of the President, and often-fiery political rhetoric.

This year marks President Obama’s third State of the Union address.  Much of the address should remain similar to years past, and many expect the President to focus his speech on jobs and the economy.  However, this year will introduce significantly different features than years past.  Not only will the President be speaking to a congress with divided chambers, but members will also do something that would have seemed simply incomprehensible even two years ago:  sit with members of the opposing party.

For as long as is recorded, the different parties in congress have seated themselves in opposing sides of the chamber.  The Republicans occupy one side, and the Democrats occupy the other.  This division marks the stark polarization that has plagued our political scene in recent years.  Violent and divisive rhetoric threatens our political landscape, and the recent shootings in Arizona remind us that the words we use to convey our thoughts are more important than ever.  While rhetoric is probably not the cause for the shooting, the way that pundits and representatives speak needs to change.  And let us remind ourselves that Republicans such as Sarah Palin are not the only figures to blame for our political landscape.  Not only did Keith Olberman refer to Fox News as  “worse than Al Qaeida”, he also commented on his twitter account that “Fox News is 100% bullsh**” and  “Rush Limbaugh is 100% Pigeonsh**”.  While far-right conservatives share some of the blame for today’s polarized political climate, far-left liberals are also to blame.  Now is the time for both sides to admit mistakes, reconcile differences, and move forward- and it appears they might.

Over the last week, numerous spokespeople on both sides of the aisle have come together to denounce divisive and violent political rhetoric and call for more unity and bi-partisanship in congress.  In fact, both Democrats and Republicans will intermingle at the upcoming State of the Union address, with the unlikely duo of Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) at the helm.  While these Senators, along with many others, disagree on many issues, the love they share for their country will bring them together for this one night.   With luck, this small act of unity will lead to a more collaborative and bi-partisan style of government.  With the State of our Union in the balance, it remains important today more than ever that both Conservatives and Liberals alike to condemn violent rhetoric and realize that we are all working toward a brighter and greater future for our country.

NH GOP Elects New Chairman; 2012 Straw Poll

January 24, 2011
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On the wake of former Governor John Sununu’s incredible tenure as NH GOP Chairman, the two Republicans running for the state party’s top post had large shoes to fill. With massive supermajorities in the state House and Senate, Sununu turned around the GOP’s fortunes in the Granite State.

At yesterday’s party meeting, tea party backed Jack Kimball, who had also run for Governor in 2010, ended up narrowly defeating Juliana Bergeron, who had been backed by Sununu. Elsewhere, in contested elections for chairman in Washington state and Arizona, tea party candidates also emerged victorious.

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney gained 35% of the delegates in New Hampshire’s first straw poll (of course, straw polls must be taken with a grain of salt, especially one this early). Ron Paul came in second with 11%, with all other candidates scoring in the single digits.

For 2012, my eyes will be on two people in particular: Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Hutchison, Conrad, and Lieberman

January 24, 2011
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In the last week, three Senate veterans announced their retirement after the 2012 elections – Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.

Of these three, Conrad’s will cause the most stir – a Democrat hailing from a traditionally conservative/populist state, Conrad’s retirement makes North Dakota a prime target for the GOP. The Democratic bench is extremely thin there, so expect a crowded GOP primary. The winner there will likely serve in the Senate for decades to come.

Texas and Connecticut are also likely to have heated primaries – Hutchison’s seat already has several prominent Republican contenders, and Democrats angling for Lieberman’s seat have begun declaring their candidacies.

Assuming that John Ensign (R-NV) steps aside (given his general unpopularity) for Congressman Dean Heller (R- NV 1), right now the GOP is looking at 2 likely Senate pickups in 2012 – Nebraska and North Dakota. They need 4 to win outright control of the Senate.

Also, good luck to newly elected RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. He faces a difficult task in combating President Obama’s talented fundraising machine, which will raise in excess of one billion dollars in 2012, given the power of incumbency and a united Democratic base.

Condolences to the Tuscon Community

January 8, 2011

Our hearts go out to Rep. Gabrielle Gifford, U.S. District Court Judge John Roll, and the many other victims and families of today’s Tucson shooting. Such acts of cruelty have no place in a free society. As President Obama announced in a statement this afternoon, “It is a tragedy for Arizona and a tragedy for our country.”

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