The contretemps over Bob Hugin '76, elected by the clubby 36-member board of trustees itself for a long eight-year term as a charter trustee, focuses in large measure on his intemperate remarks as a student and as a 30-year-old graduate board member of Tiger Inn, referring to Sally Frank's gender discrimination lawsuit as "politically correct fascism." Then, he was anti-gay and anti-women in the clubs. Now running for the New Jersey Senate seat, he apologizes for his position way back in his grownup maturity when called out by his incumbent opponent Bob Menendez and says people can change their hardline and wrong-headed views.
Running for the Senate, Republicans nationwide have prominently displayed the character of chameleons, changing politically charged positions (health-care pre-conditions, anyone?) in a desperate expediency to lure voters as fast as these fish go dark and light. But tigers don't change their stripes. The inscrutable irony of his equating fascism with the Frank's lawsuit is that Hugin is Trump's man. Hugin would doubtless never condemn these congressional Republicans genuflecting and bowing to the new elite Radical Party led by Trump, calling him an American fascist. Though his president displays in words and actions all the earmarks of dictator Mussolini.
President Eisgruber hails Hugin in high esteem as one who brings unity to the Princeton community. Let's remember which closely knit group chose Eisgruber as president of Princeton, the trustees. He may not claim he is too beholden to their questionable views, but then again? Yet Eisgruber is one who stands up for his personal values. Now he is tested to stand up for true Princeton liberal values as he writes and speaks. Hugin does not reflect those inclusive values, words of late politically driven contrition notwithstanding.
It appears this former CEO of the Celgene biopharmaceutical titan was elected primarily as a charter trustee for his ability to raise money, pure and simple. The unity Eisgruber means is hitting up Republican alumni to give heavily to the Aspire campaign. The trustees are overloaded with those types, even weighed down with too many in the financial casino game. After Hugin loses or sneaks a Senate bid win, he would be more respected and humble to show his new-found emotional and intellectual maturity to resign as a Princeton trustee as too busy now, and volunteer for the MeToo movement, Common Cause, and People for the American Way. That would show what his liberal-arts education really means. Then reapply to be challenged by a full vote to be alumni trustee.