Excerpt: On July 4, 2020, a few hundred of my then-colleagues at Princeton University signed an open letter endorsing a number of student demands made in the name of “anti-racism” and proposing such alarming policies as the creation of a faculty committee to police “racist behaviors.” Four days later, I published a lone dissent in which I acknowledged the signatories’ right to express their views. I also suggested—and a month later, Conor Friedersdorf came to a similar conclusion—that most of them probably didn’t believe all the things to which they were putting their name or maybe hadn’t even read the document.
Jump to October 7, 2023. In the days after Hamas invaded Israel and committed unspeakable acts of brutality, I was pleasantly surprised that Princeton faculty didn’t issue another such letter. Perhaps, I thought, they had learned that it was unwise to support groups like Princeton’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which had scheduled a pro-Hamas “teach-in” for the same time as a previously announced vigil for the Israelis whom Hamas had slaughtered and issued a screed blaming Israel for Hamas’s evil.
By Khoa Sands ‘26
The idea of decline has always held a certain allure to historians and politicians alike. The high prophet of this declinism was Oswald Spengler, whose 1918 book The Decline of the West has become a motivating treatise for the American New Right. For these modern-day doomsayers, the United States is predestined to ruin, beset by internal crises of spiritedness and domestic politics as well as external threats of rising challengers to the US-led world order. These concerns are not unfounded – a revanchist China will be the largest geopolitical crisis of the twenty-first century and any casual observer of American politics can attest to the sorry state of domestic politics in America today.
Matthew Wilson, Daily Princetonian
Excerpt: As I write this essay, the despicable poison of Jew-hatred has taken a firm hold at so many college campuses, Princeton included. Here at Princeton, activists proudly chant “Intifada” and demand the complete eradication of the world’s only Jewish state; elsewhere, from Cornell, Harvard, and the University of Pennsylvania to Ohio State and Cooper Union, frightening (and sometimes violent and illegal) exhibitions of anti-Jewish attitudes abound.
For the most part, university responses to these shameful displays have been tepid and restrained. these same universities, despite being so reticent to speak out now, have a prolonged public history of weighing in on a wide array of hotly contested and politically controversial topics. At Princeton, for instance, recent years have seen official statements issued deploring Supreme Court rulings on abortion and affirmative action, condemning a jury verdict, and attacking a professor for his political views. On Hamas’s terrorist attacks? No official statements.