Roger L. Simon

Abolish the Ivy League Already

I attended two Ivy League schools (Dartmouth and Yale) some time ago, roughly the Early Paleolithic Age, and, best as I can remember, sort of liked them. But lately I’m beginning to think the whole elite school thing has turned into one big shuck, maybe it even was then—and not just because of the revelations of all the cheating surrounding admissions or that the institutions apparently discriminate against Asians as they did against Jews back in the day.

No, it’s more basic than that. These formerly august institutions have morphed into kindergartens for jejune, virtue-signaling wannabe Trotskys and Rosa Luxemburgs (a.k.a. social justice warriors) who can’t even let us watch a farshtunkene football game in peace.

In the middle of this year’s Harvard-Yale game, the great activistes spewed out onto the field to demand, what else, action on climate change—delaying the game for over an hour.

But all these Ivy League smarty-pants couldn’t come up with a slogan more original than “Hey hey, ho ho, fossil fuels have got to go.”

Who’d they learn that from, their grandparents?  Decades ago, during Vietnam, it was “Hey hey, ho ho, LBJ has got to go.”

And he did. Of course, if fossil fuels went, we’d all freeze to death, but never mind. It’s the thought that counts—assuming there really is some thought involved in these climate protests, which I doubt, even and especially those held by Harvard and Yale students and alumni at sporting events.

It’s all rote, a pseudo-religion—and maybe a good way to meet a partner of the opposite or same sex, depending on your preference. That’s the way it was during Vietnam too. (Mea very culpa!)

(It would be interesting to know how much litter was left on the field by these environmentalists. The Women’s March immediately after Trump’s election was notorious for leaving a giant mess.)

Of course that this was Harvard versus Yale—THE game as it is referred to, along with Army-Navy—meant it got plenty of national attention, as was no doubt intended.

But the larger question is: why is there still an Ivy League? What’s so special about these particular colleges? Texas A&M certainly has a better football team and you can learn how to farm.

We live in an era when many of us are getting fed up with elites (unless, of course, they are former ambassadors to Ukraine, in which case they are sacrosanct). Nevertheless, we still live in a country where people are supposed to be impressed if you went to Harvard or Yale, as did so many of our most distinguished leaders… like Hunter Biden. It should be remembered that Harvard’s most famous and successful graduate of recent times—Bill Gates—quit. Possibly the greatest American writer of the Twentieth Century—F. Scott Fitzgerald—was thrown out of Princeton. (If you prefer Hemingway, he never went to college.)

Maybe the Ivy League isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Maybe it’s an elitist habit we should all kick. Think of the benefits. You won’t feel bad if you didn’t get in and you won’t have to abide self-important eco-blowhards interrupting a football game. You’d still have to deal with Colin Kaepernick, but at least it’s an improvement.

But the man who really understood the Harvard-Yale game, when it was just a contest and not a lecture, was, needless to say, the great Harvard mathematician/songwriter Tom Lehrer. Take it away…

Roger L. Simon’s new novel is The GOAT. As Janis once sang, “Get it while you can.” In Kindle, paperback, hardcover or audiobook.