Bravo Bloomberg! Harvard Speech Was Spot On
by Anthony Stasi
Jun 04, 2014 | 15849 views | 0 0 comments | 966 966 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The speech delivered last week by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg to the graduating class at Harvard University was once of the most important and timely commencement speeches given in a long time.

For 24 minutes, Bloomberg explained how the recent trend of political correctness on college campuses has worked to defeat the very purpose of the academic process.

By calling out institutions like Rutgers, Swarthmore, and Brown, the former mayor explained that disinviting guests and shouting down speakers is an act of intolerance – one of the very things progressivism stands against.

Starting his speech discussing the mosque near the World Trade Center and the McCarthyism of the 1950s, he then linked those themes of intolerance to modern academia, and its sometimes hostile reactions to conservative thought.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the speech was when Bloomberg mentioned that 96 percent of all political donations in the 2012 election from university faculty members went to Barack Obama.

The audience applauded that fact only to hear Bloomberg question whether students across the country were being properly exposed to opposing viewpoints in higher education. Slam.

He happily added that he, too, endorsed President Obama, but that 96 percent might signal the opposite of what the university experience intends to produce. Linking religious intolerance to academic freedom was a good way to expose how some forms of ideology, especially on college campuses, have a tendency to become similar to religious thought, thus making disagreements seem heretical.

Time to end the DH

Now that Major League Baseball has committed itself to inter-league play (meaning that American and National League teams play each other) all year long, it is officially time to end the designated hitter as a legitimate position in a team’s line-up.

The idea of allowing one-dimensional players who only hit or only pitch was a ridiculous notion to begin with, and now it is time to end it.

Since 1973, the American League has substituted hitters for poor-swinging pitchers as a means to create more excitement in the game. Any time a sport moves toward making itself more exciting, it loses part of its soul.

Just look at that senseless one-game mini playoff that now takes place in baseball to determine the winner of the Wild Card spot. It is targeted for the fan that does not appreciate the game in the first place.

The designated hitter, however, has a new purpose in baseball. It also serves as a resting place for older hitters who do not have to take the field. The players’ union would be the first to oppose removing the designated hitter.

If the players’ union opposes it, it is probably the truest sign that it is a good idea. Remember, this is the organization that opposed drug testing.

Getting rid of the designated hitter in major league baseball has advantages, including moving the game along quicker as pitching changes can happen offensively. It would also force managers to pay more attention to their bench.

People will argue that pitchers are automatic outs, and the designated hitter makes the game more interesting. Not really. The game is more interesting when a manager has to leave a good pitcher on the mound or put a more reliable hitter up in his place.

As to why major league pitchers are so bad at hitting, well that is a problem for teams to figure out. It is not the responsibility of the league to mollify a weak line-up by tampering with the game.

Inter-league play should never have happened in the middle 1990s, but it is here now. There is a whole generation of fans that do not know what the World Series means without it.

As long as inter-league is with us, the rules need to be the same on all ends. A new commissioner is coming to baseball soon, and this should be one of the first orders of business.

There is a place for using the designated hitter in baseball, and that place is in high school, college, and minor league baseball. Why is it okay at those levels? It gives teams a chance to showcase more talent at one time.

The designated hitter has never been a mandate, and managers can forgo use of it (although they never do). At the lower levels, it is a good way to give more players more chances at bat. At the major league level, it makes less sense than ever.

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