In an age when universities are more obsessed with safe spaces and safe sex than they are with free speech, it should not be surprising that Cornell University will be offering a fall course that makes no excuses for sounding like an extended speech for a Democratic fundraiser.
According to the Cornell Review, Professor Peter Katzenstein is preparing to teach a module labeled “America Confronts the World.”
Katzenstein presents Trump as the ultimate xenophobic president who appeared after eight years of liberal bliss under the progressive paragon Barack Obama.
Unfortunately, in his course description, Katzenstein can’t get the right spelling of his favored president’s first name:
“Donald Trump and Barak [sic] Obama give us two visions of America and of the world: xenophobic nationalism and pragmatic cosmopolitanism.”
Having stated from the beginning what students are in for, Katzenstein aims to demonstrate that “America and the world are thus constituted by great diversity,” a diversity, the course suggests, that Obama implicitly understood and managed while Trump is flagrantly ignoring.
“The first half of the course seeks to understand that diversity in American politics and foreign policy viewed through the prisms of region, ideology, region, race, class and religion. The second half inquires into the U.S. and American engagement of different world regions and civilizations: Europe, Russia, North America, Latin America, China, Japan, India and the Middle East.”
Katzenstein argues that Obama’s “soft power” approach to world affairs — where a president draws a line in the sand and then watches while his opponents proceed to cross it — leads to “American-infused globalization” while “hard power,” which is constituted by the using the American military to enforce U.S. values around the world produces “U.S.-centered anti-Americanism” that is “reverberating around the world.”
With no intended irony, Katzenstein suggests his course his going to be a seminal exercise in thinking outside of the box. “Advocates of one-size-fits-all solutions to America’s and the world’s variegated politics are in for great disappointments.”