I feel obligated to chime in on this, since as far as I know, I'm the only TAPPED contributor who attended the sinister kiln in which Swarthmorofascism is fired. Although it's been a few years now since I graduated, back in my day (the late 1980s), the place was a hotbed of compulsive studying and Quaker-bred politeness. Like all good fascists, we championed the campaign of Swarthmore grad and noted radical Michael Dukakis, who was legendary for having written the lengthiest seminar paper in school history. His loss was greeted with much wailing and rending of garments. But in truth, most of the students were too neurotic about their studies to join up with the brownshirts. The emblematic moment for me came at a showing of Star Wars. When Obi-Wan asks Luke to come with him to help fight the Empire, Luke responds, "I can't get involved! I have too much work to do!" The assembled students rose from their seats and cheered.

While I was there, the school paper did a long article on what it was like to be conservative at Swarthmore, profiling the half-dozen or so freedom-lovers they could find. After being outed, they were looked upon sort of like unfrozen cavemen, odd remnants of another time whose primitive views were sort of quaint, in a childlike way. But you wouldn't want to turn over the reins of your government to them.

--Paul Waldman

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