Bloomberg Weighs In On ROTC Debate
Written by Bwog Staff
Earlier today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg appeared on The John Gambling Show to offer his opinion on, among other things, the controversy surrounding ROTC at Columbia. He seemed disappointed upon hearing that veteran Anthony Maschek was heckled at last week’s town hall. After an audible sigh, he waxed philosophic on college kids, explaining that “a lot of students do things without thinking. Later on, they’ll look back and say, ‘Why did I ever say that?'”
The mayor was also sympathetic toward Maschek, telling listeners, “the bottom line is this a guy who deserves a lot of respect. These kids had the right to do what they did because he went overseas and put their life on the line.” Bloomberg sees ROTC is a legitimate choice for students which could only be opposed by the discriminatory practices of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” His final opinion on the matter: “I think Columbia should—and this is my opinion, I can’t tell Columbia what to do—they should open a ROTC program and give the kids the alternative. These kids who are protesting, my advice to them: don’t join! That’s OK. You don’t have to join, but if others want to, let them do it.”
Bloomberg’s pragmatic approach to the controversy is unlikely to convince the opponents of ROTC at Columbia, who seem chiefly concerned with philosophical implications of ROTC at Columbia that the mayor does not mention. Instead, his voice adds to the chorus of those who see the return of ROTC as a logical consequence of the repeal of DADT. And this is not the first time that he’s weighed in Columbian controversy. In 2006, Bloomberg criticized Bollinger for his handling of the Minuteman protest.