I‘ve been meaning to say something about the brouhaha over Hillsdale College, its President Larry Arnn, and critiques (really, potshots) from Conor Freidersdorf of The Atlantic and a handful of current and former students of the college.
A couple of weeks ago, Freidersdorf launched thes opening salvo, which was a thinly-disguised attack on Hillsdale in the form of a thought-piece asking serious questions (it’s some grade A concern trolling). Then, he published responses from alumni and current students who, other than one, were uniformly against Dr. Arnn and his personal support of President Trump. These responses were a smorgasbord of attacks on Arnn (one students calls for “relieving Larry Arnn of his duties as president”), the usual Never Trump attacks on President Trump and Vice President Pence (Pence, we are told, has “rarely risen above craven sycophancy throughout the campaign and administration”), musings about Hillsdale selling its soul for mere financial gain, and personal grudges masquerading as high principle (“I have a laundry list of experiences with the administration that reflect…hypocrisy.”).
Luckily, Dr. Arnn has responded. And boy, did he respond well:
To those in the Hillsdale College community, and I know there are a few, who object to my endorsement of Donald Trump, I have said to them simply: I have no right to command you in politics, and you have no right to command me. So long as I make it plain that I am speaking in my personal capacity, as I do, then everything should be fine. Above all, I have said, we who are members of the college must cultivate our respect for one another, which lays the ground for the affection that is due to colleagues. It is a college, after all, and a good one. I have promised to do my part.
Please read his entire op-ed. It’s the very model of magnanimity. This is what a lofty republican soul looks like.