Even in the ivory tower, there
was no respite from the election of 2004. As with everywhere else in the United States,
its signs, slogans, and sneers were all over. True to its non-partisan nature, however,
the College focused its pre-election events on voter registration; and it brought speakers
from many points on the political spectrum.
At the HUB, voter-registration
activities, including a visit from the League of Women Voters, occupied much of September.
Rick Shenkman, best-selling author of Presidential Ambition, came with a talk
called “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Voters” on September 30, which happened to be
the date of the first presidential debate. The burden of his song was that voters should
maintain a healthy skepticism when listening to campaign promises, because precious few
of them will make it to the legislative stage.
Another guest was Ambassador
Joseph Wilson, a foe of the Bush administration ever since it sent him to Africa to prove
the sale of fissionable nuclear materials from Niger to Iraq. When he could find no evidence
of such transactions, nor any fissionable material, he says the administration brushed
his conclusions aside and leaked to the press that his wife was a CIA agent.
Three political bloggers— writers
who maintain “Web logs” of timely commentary —appeared in Foy Hall in October, courtesy
of the Morning Call. One was of the leftish persuasion, one was sort-of-left,
one was of the rightish, and all commented on the importance of their new medium to the
political process. They all admitted their importance to the culture of non-information
as well. “I hate facts,” said Ana Marie Cox of Wonkette (www.wonkette.com). Her fellow
panelists were Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos (www.dailykos.com) and John Hinderaker of
Power Line (www.powerlineblog.com)
A week later Paul Begala and
Tucker Carlson from CNN’s Crossfire traded leftand- right viewpoints on Moravian’s
Johnston Hall stage. They were the Cohen Arts and Lectures speakers for the 21st year
of that series. On the drive back to Washington, D.C., Carlson’s limo reduced the deer
population of North America by one. Begala, traveling behind, gave Carlson a lift home,
proving that left and right occasionally can get along.
Moravian students, faculty,
and staff walked, telephoned, and leafleted for candidates, parties, and issues. Danielle
Liberatore ’05, one of two student members of the College Board of Trustees, made the
front page of the Morning Call while talking up President Bush to undecided voters; Rich
Wilkins ’05, a volunteer worker for the Democratic candidate for the 15th Congressional
district, set up the Wilson appearance on campus; and Patrick St. John ’05, son of Donald
St. John, professor of religion, ran for the 134th state Assembly district seat as the
Green Party’s candidate.