November 27, 2016

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Criticizing Rick Santorum’s Visit to Cornell

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Re: “Cornell Republicans to Host Rick Santorum as Fall Speaker,” News, Nov. 14

To the Editor:

Appreciating the challenge of producing the immediate post-election issue of The Cornell Daily Sun I wanted to congratulate your staff on a fine job of grappling with both the emotional and strategic issues facing the Cornell and broader Ithaca communities at this time.

One article reported on the front page deserves critical comment, however. The invitation of Rick Santorum to visit and speak on behalf of the Cornell Republicans is presented as an uncontroversial, even thoughtful choice of a group who claims to want to return its attention to conservative philosophy after being distracted by the Trump campaign, which Santorum, unlike the Cornell Republicans, supported and endorsed.

Santorum is an extreme Islamaphobe, climate change denier, homophobe and sexist, who is opposed to the use of contraceptives even in marriage. His infamous comment to President Obama related to welfare provoked a media debate about whether his greater problem was his ignorance or his racism. Shame on the Cornell Republicans for choosing an anti-intellectual right-wing extremist to misrepresent conservatism. And to the greater campus community: let’s not allow decisions like this one to be normalized in the present dangerous national climate.

Prof. Barbara Regenspan, Colgate University