I was going to write about this depressing and disgusting episode from the anti-Trump derangement parade yesterday, but I thought I could keep my head from exploding if I waited a bit. No such luck.
As some of you know, I come from a Harvard family. My Dad went there on the GI Bill; my mother was working as the Dean’s secretary when she and my Dad met. I attended the College, and so did my sister. Long after we had left, my mother was still working in the administration, ultimately as Asst. Dean of Housing. I was raised about 15 minutes from Harvard Square. I ushered at the football games when I was in high school. Many of my best and oldest friends are Harvard grads; I loved the place. It was a terrific place to go to school. This story, however, makes me deeply ashamed, and demonstrates, not for the first time in recent decades, how poorly the university’s leadership has upheld the core values of America’s oldest institution of learning, opting instead for partisan politics and divisiveness.
Since the 19th century, Harvard has invited alumni in reunion years—that is, ever five years—to write personal updates about their lives, and have it published free of charge by the University and mailed to all class members.The crimson covered paperback is called the Red Book. I have read more of them than I can count, between my father and myself. Here’s one of my father’s:
Most, but not all, grads make an effort not to sound too pompous or to try to impress everyone with their impressive jobs, their brilliant kids and their latest vacations in Geneva. Political rants are rare and unwelcome; attacking another class member is unheard of. (It is my experience that the really famous class members typically don’t write anything at all, even if they are writers.) Since reunions are about fellowship and rekindling friendships by igniting old memories before they burn out forever, using a Red Book entry to denigrate another class member is a breach of taste, manners, and the Golden Rule. Ted Kaczynski, the Unibomber, was a 1962 Harvard graduate, but he was not attacked by classmates in the 2002 Red Book for that class, the first following his imprisonment.
Nevertheless, Class of 2oo3 graduate Jared Kushner was savaged with personal attacks in the Red Book for his 15th reunion. After all, his crime was worse than the Unibomber’s: he agreed to work for his father in law, the President of the United States! Class organizers of an anti-Kushner effort set up a private “Shame on You, Jared Kushner’’ Facebook page about six months ago and urged the class of 2003 to use the Red Book as a platform of for ad hominem attacks and hate. [ The Boston Globe, hilariously, comments, “Part of the goal is to let Kushner know that his service in the Trump White House will have lasting consequences, resulting in his potential ostracization from a valuable social network of his peers.” This is mythological. Harvard’s famed “network” is mostly imaginary, and somehow I don’t think any grad who has published a newspaper, married a billionaire’s daughter and who works in the White House’s inner circle will be shaking in fear because these petty jerks decided to hijack the class reunion to insult him. Indeed, any Harvard grad of minimal humanity and ethical orientation will take down the names of those who attacked Kushner. I wouldn’t hire one of these despicable people to walk my dog.]
You can read typical entries here.
There is absolutely no excuse or justification for this conduct. These smug, hyper-partisans are setting out to embarrass Kushner for public service, because they disagree with the politics of his boss. What values did Harvard teach these creeps? How did they possibly conclude that turning a year book into a gang-bullying exercise was fair, constructive or right? I am so far from being a Kushner fan that I wouldn’t cross the street to shake hands with him, but he graduated from college, and has as much right to enjoy his reunion without fear of being insulted and attacked as any one of his tormenters. The Golden Rule applies. But this is the resistance and Progressive World, 2018: there is no Golden Rule. Just mean, nasty, self-righteous people who seek revenge because their plans for national domination haven’t worked out like they assumed they would.
So even in the previously amber glow of a college reunion, the bitter divisiveness intentionally nurtured by the Left poisons everything that was once civilized and unifying in our culture. There is no shame to Kushner for this—imagine: he is being denigrated because of his family!—the ultimate shame belongs with Harvard, for allowing its reunion to be politicized. Now every controversial member of future graduating classes will have reason to fear if they will be made a victim.
Kushner is reportedly not attending the reunion. Wow. I usually skip mine, but if I were him, I’d make a special effort to go, and go in style.
His smug virtue-signaling, intolerant, un-American bullies are genuinely awful people. He should adopt his father-in-law’s tactic of goading them into displaying their ugliness for all to see. Harvard deserves that.