By John F. Di Leo, Opinion Contributor
Northwestern University is in the news these days.
Normally, that makes them happy.
An allegedly prestigious, globally-renowned research university certainly ought to make the news all the time – with revelations of scientific discoveries, medical breakthroughs, or career announcements about proud alumni.
Not today, however.
Northwestern is in the news because of a rash of reports – some uncorroborated, some perhaps exaggerated or understated, some likely perfectly accurate – of various types of hazing and otherwise toxic cultures in their athletic programs.
A baseball coach was fired for allegedly discouraging students from reporting injuries.
A volleyball student’s sensible reticence to Covid vaccines resulted in retaliation from the program and denial of game participation.
The football coach was fired for tolerating allegedly ritualized hazing over the years.
Lawsuits stack up as the days go by, burying little Evanston in bad press and legal filings.
When it rains, it pours.
The latest at this writing is that Northwestern has hired former Attorney General Loretta Lynch to lead an internal inquiry on the matter.
It is perhaps too soon for an honest commentator to delve too deeply into these allegations. We have all learned to distrust higher education in recent years, as modern American universities tend to emulate the Salem Witch Trials in their rules of evidence and judicial process, at least, if not their penalty phase.
So, we don’t know for sure, at this moment, if the real environment was worse than described, if it’s been overblown, or if we should even care at all.
The school is, after all, first and foremost, a school. It is supposed to be a place where students learn history and mathematics, physics and chemistry, business and law.
Is it any wonder that in reviewing the broad record of the American academe over the past century, the massive growth in popularity and economic impact of college sports has been concurrent with a decline in the quality of the education those same schools produce?
“Win the game.”
“Get it broadcast on the radio and TV.”
“Get a professional contract after graduation.”
“Get endorsement deals.”
“Spin your stadium career into commercials and television.”
And concurrently, in pursuit of such goals, downplay the importance and enforcement of admission expectations, codes of conduct, academic standards, classroom attendance, the pursuit of objective truth.
“Win the game. Get on TV. Go pro.” As the non-athletic students who concentrate on their studies see merit scholarships dwindle while athletic assistance climbs.
But if we look at the big picture, really objectively, we see that this current story is about more than just college sports, and years of disregarding standard codes of ethics. There’s more going on here.
One might think that the way to avoid being attacked by the mob is to ally with the mob early.
We have seen it over the past 20 years, as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) have grown in their toxic takeover of American business.
Public companies appoint DEI vice presidents and ESG directors to their boards. Even private companies that should know better donate millions of dollars at a crack to the local shakedown artists of Black Lives Matter, Antifa, the LGBTQ radicals and the green activists.
Businesses think they have protected themselves by hitching their wagons to the countercultural, anti-American Left – only to be more surprised than anyone when such organizations and their policies destroy them anyway.
The DEI fool in Anheuser Busch marketing, who tied their brand to a trans-activist, and destroyed their own line, Bud Light.
The marketing whiz who hitched Target’s wagon to a proudly satanic designer, perhaps putting the final nail in the coffin of their one-time middle-class family clientele.
The green extremist termites on the boards of our automakers, who further their own employers’ demise by terminating the manufacture of cars that work, and committing instead to the manufacture of electric cars that everyone knows can never possibly be successfully powered.
These companies think they are protecting themselves from a hostile pop culture, by inviting these enemies into the tent. Instead, they only accelerate their own demise, committing an unforgivable crime against their investors, as they knowingly sabotage their own companies’ value in the marketplace.
So our problem is not just one in academia, or in the business world, or in the pop culture. Higher education is just learning the same lesson that the business world is learning, though they are perhaps slower on the uptake than those of us in the private sector.
Colleges are finding that advocating leftist policy – filling English departments with Bolsheviks and rewriting history, government and sociology courses to transform a nonfiction course of studies into one entirely of fantasy – does not protect them a bit from the woke mob after all.
Nobody could be more hospitable to leftism than Northwestern. (A brief aside: When this writer attended Northwestern University as a proud conservative patriot, I was a minority even then, some 40 years ago now. And it has only gotten worse over the years.)
But there is no dispensation, no immunity granted to Northwestern, just because they have been reliable servants of the Marxist dialectic for generations.
When the Left chooses to turn on them, they are “just another member of the establishment” to the Left.
The Left will happily drop their puppets, their patrons, their financiers, and even their friends, at a moment’s notice.
There is no history for the left; there is only today.
The appointment of Loretta Lynch, specifically, is also worthy of note.
Why her? Why, of all the 300-some million people in America, hire this particular forgotten irritant to lead the investigation?
This is a mediocre lawyer, appointed to U.S. Attorney by Bill Clinton, then again appointed to high office – the highest – by Barack Obama.
She did their bidding as an employee of the Justice Department, then parlayed that record into a lucrative career in the private sector. She is perhaps best remembered for a key moment as Attorney General, in the midst of an investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her unprecedented violations of federal record keeping regulations, when then-AG Lynch had a private meeting with Bill Clinton at an airport, “in which we just discussed our grandchildren” and then decided not to prosecute her old chief’s wife for tens of thousands of felonies.
And this pillar of ethics is now empowered to judge the conduct of the athletic program of Northwestern University.
There is a lesson here.
Why is it so dangerous to elect Democrats to high office in America? Because once they hold high office, they empower their fellow travelers – for life.
These armies then use this credential, understandably, as “former high-ranking government officials,” to populate the rest of the country’s offices of importance.
Elect a Democrat to the presidency, and you ensure that dozens of universities will appoint his cabinet members as their chancellors and deans.
You ensure that dozens of public companies will appoint his agency directors as their CEOs.
You ensure that, long after his administration is universally dismissed as having been a failure, the architects of that failure run more and more of the country anyway, for decades to come.
Back in the 1980s, carefully managing the hiring practices of the Reagan administration, the conservative movement finally began to truly understand that “personnel is policy.” Too often in the years since, our side has forgotten this critical law of politics.
The Left, however, has never forgotten, as they take advantage of their power, training and empowering their army of parasites.
It is their modus operandi.
Copyright 2023 John F Di Leo
John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based trade compliance trainer and transportation manager, writer, and actor. A one-time county chairman of the Milwaukee County Republican Party, he has been writing regularly for Illinois Review since 2009. Follow John F. Di Leo on Facebook, Twitter, Gettr or TruthSocial.
A collection of John’s Illinois Review articles about vote fraud, The Tales of Little Pavel, and his 2021 political satires about current events, Evening Soup with Basement Joe, Volumes One and Two, are available, in either paperback or eBook, only on Amazon.
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