Ray Rice and America’s Commitment to Non-Commitment
Dec 02, 2014 | 5065 views | 0 0 comments | 47 47 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Hosni Mubarak and former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice both had good weeks.

Charges were dropped on Egypt’s ousted president Mubarak, which means that despite the uprising in this usually stable Middle Eastern county, revolutions are hard to come by.

When Harvard professor Louis Hartz wrote The Liberal Tradition in America in 1955, he explained that Americans, despite their unhappiness, never really change the system of government or its institutions.

Last week showed us that despite a massive Arab spring in 2011, signs of their revolution are fading and Ray Rice has rebounded from the career-ending public relations nightmare that he brought to the NFL.

Americans get mad, and then they cool down. That video of Rice and his now-wife is heartbreaking. And now, he is reportedly being sought out by four NFL teams since he was reinstated. We never really change the system, do we?

Professional sports are where men and women make their living (and a lucrative one at that). The standards for behavior need to be real. Rice basically was sent to a high level “time out” bench that is often reserved for rowdy children in the age of modern parenting.

But even if we wanted to look the other way on Rice’s transgressions, he is not even missed by the Baltimore Ravens, who are just as good without him.

Critics said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was ineffective when this story first broke. People called for his resignation. There has to be a way that Goodell can take a hard line and not allow a domestic violence offender back into the league.

National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver ousted an owner from the league over racial remarks. Goodell has to get a handle on this.

Hartz wrote that Americans do not force fundamental change because we all own a piece of the pie – or at least think we will someday. The Egyptians do not have that problem, they know they likely won’t own a piece of that pie, but the professional football teams in the NFL, well, they love pie. And with that, Ray Rice is on his way back.

Send in a Fixer

The American university system is danger. In the next 20 years, many universities will either merge or close. Online courses and the diminished earning potential that comes with a four-year degree are discouraging applicants.

Our CUNY system is the type of education system that is built to last, but the major universities around the country may need to adjust. We can also add to this the ongoing concern of rogue behavior at universities.

The University of Virginia, for example, has experienced an ugly culture of sexual assault among its fraternities. It needs a problem solver.

Rudy Giuliani was an effective mayor and a not-so-great presidential candidate. In the wake of recent news unrest between police and civilians, the former mayor has opined perhaps a little much on this issue. But he does have a knack for fixing the unfixable.

The situation at UVA is at a point that school administrators are unsure how to take the next step. This is where a Rudy Giuliani-type of person would fit. The job of a university president involves both managing the academic direction and raising money.

Giuliani can raise money better than most people, and he may be a good bet to get a handle on this deplorable rape culture at the University of Virginia. It would also be great to see the university of Thomas Jefferson headed by a kid from Brooklyn, but that is least important.

Dwight Eisenhower was president of Columbia University, and it is not so hard to imagine a successful policy maker or politician heading an academic institution.

Women at the University of Virginia need to feel safe. They need to know that the school is on top of this problem. What is more, the American university system is the envy of the world, and there is a lot to lose with not handling something like this properly.

Giuliani wanted to be president of something, well, here it is. Campus sexual assault is a major crime, and it requires a major sheriff. The State of Missouri does not need Rudy Giuliani telling them how to handle crime, but the University of Virginia might.

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