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While most readers of the article “Boystown University” (11/14) are justly outraged by 1.) the unevolved-male-jerk behavior running rampant at Georgetown and 2.) its quiet encouragement by the Jesuit fathers who run the school, it comes as no surprise to one who made the mistake of graduating from that institution (A.B. 1975) and who has witnessed its deepening moral and political rot in the years since. Everything about the place, from the atmosphere to the curriculum to the faculty, oozes an odd fascination for the sort of reactionary ideas that went out of style with the French Revolution.

To illustrate, for the “honor” (translation: expense) of attending Georgetown I was treated to the rantings of revered professor George Carey, who told me with a straight face that John C. Calhoun, the intellectual champion of chattel slavery before the Civil War, is the only American to make a significant contribution to political theory. Later, I had the privilege of hearing Jeane Kirkpatrick, the high priest of counterrevolutionary terror in Central America, edify me on the fine points of the “great man” theory of history. I should’ve gotten a clue when I subsequently learned (though not in Georgetown’s Modern U.S. History course) that it was none other than Fr. Edmund J. Walsh, S.J., the founder of the renowned School of Foreign Service, who first alerted Joseph McCarthy to the scourge of communism and thus made possible one of the darker chapters of anti-democratic hysteria in this country’s history.

While these are admittedly arbitrary examples, it remains clear that a peculiar form of neo-Francoism dominates the intellectual and, inevitably, social life at Georgetown. What other conclusion to draw from a school that held a public meeting for Roberto D’Aubuisson, the organizer of the death squads in El Salvador and the murderer of Archbishop Romero, while resisting and harassing pro-choice and pro-gay rights student groups for more than a quarter-century? Or whose intellectual influence on its young charges results in a movement to ram crucifixes down everyone’s throat and a fund drive to build a statue to St. Ignatius Loyola (hey, can’t beat that 16th century for a moral and political guide to the 21st!)? Considering all this, is it any wonder that Micah Sachs’ crude, pathetic machismo would triumph and be applauded all around, at that august institution?

While Kate James’ fight to bring GU a little closer to the 20th century—three years before the advent of the 21st—was a vain one, I wish her well as she carries her dignity and values to other, and decidedly higher, domains. Georgetown will always be Georgetown. But the rest of the world moves on anyway.

Dupont Circle

via the Internet