Notre Dame: “Fighting for the Global Economy?!?!?”

As you may know, I’m an alumnus of the University of Notre Dame.  Last year, for the first time, I refused to donate to the university, in response to their ad campaign which aired during the NBC broadcasts of their home football games.  The theme of the ads was “Fighting for Immigrants’ Rights.”  I wrote the university to explain my decision.

So it was with great interest that I watched the first game of the season on Saturday, not just to see if there’s any improvement in our abysmal football team, but also to see if that ad campaign would be run again this year.  It wasn’t, but was replaced by one equally as onerous. 

Today, I received the following E-mail from the director of the alumni association:

 Dear Pete,

If you watched the Notre Dame v. San Diego State game Saturday, you might have seen the “What Are You Fighting For?” ad featuring Pablo Nava ’08. This ad is the first in a series that will air during home games this football season.

Pablo’s story and stories like his make a compelling case for the impact Notre Dame has on the world. They are examples of how committed we are to finding solutions to complex issues like substandard housing for the poor. And they illustrate the impact of your support on our faculty and students; none of their world-changing efforts would be possible without you. Thank you.

You can watch this ad on our site:

I hope you enjoy it.


And the following was my response to this E-mail:

Yes, I did see the roll-out of Notre Dame’s new ad campaign during the San Diego State game and, frankly, I was dismayed.  It seems that Notre Dame has devolved into a stooge of global corporations, its moral compass anesthetized by the drug of their mega-donations.  Last year it was “fighting for immigrants’ rights.”  This year it’s “fighting for the global economy.”  Both are pages taken directly from the global corporation play-book:  using immigration and overpopulation to prop up sales and keep our labor force in a state of over-supply, and now aiding and abetting the Global Trade Welfare State (otherwise known as globalization), the shake-down of Americans that has literally bankrupted our nation. 
There was a time when Notre Dame would look beyond the slick packaging and question the motivations of global corporations.  I’d like to believe that Notre Dame has simply been duped by the marketing of their compassionate, do-gooder image but I suspect that’s not the case. 
Until Notre Dame turns aside from this anti-American bent, the money I would have otherwise donated will instead be used to support organizations “fighting for Americans.”

I share this exchange with you to illustrate how passionately I believe in my theory and its consequences for America.  By not donating to the university, I’m ineligible for purchasing tickets to the football games.  Believe me:  no one was a more ardent fan than I, and no one enjoyed attending football games more than I did.  But I’m afraid it’s not the same university it once was.  I began noticing the change years ago.  The urban sprawl of the campus was unbelievable.  It seemed to transform from an institution of higher learning to a memorial to wealthy alumni.  New building after building sprouted, all of them sporting the name of the wealthy benefactors who funded their construction.  There are grand new buildings devoted to every minute aspect of academia that you can imagine.  The campus has tripled or quadrupled in size, yet admits no more students than it did fifty years ago.  Its appetite for money seems insatiable. 

It’s not as though there’s a shortage of issues to work on right here in America.  When I was a student, the president of the university, the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, was on Nixon’s civil rights commission.  Today they could choose to fight for health care, or for the homeless, or for a living wage, or for carbon emissions reductions, or for sensible energy policy.  The list could go on and on.  But no.  These things don’t appeal to corporate sponsors.  Better to support their never-ending campaign for more H-1B visas to bloat the labor supply and depress wages by “fighting for immigrants’ rights.”  Better to promote the shake-down of Americans, designed to empty their savings accounts into the corporate coffers, and call it “fighting for the global economy.” 

I could easily just overlook their support for rampant population growth and the global dismantling of America’s economy, go ahead and donate, purchase my tickets and enjoy the games.  No one would be the wiser.  But when you believe in something, you have to stand on principle.  This is how you make a difference.  You cut off donations to institutions that promote further destructive growth and wrap themselves in an altruistic cloak.  If your church asks for donations to build a new church to serve a growing population, you turn them down.  When your local school district puts a bond initiative on the ballot to build a new school to serve the growing population, you vote no.  And so on.  You stop being an enabler of the insanity and you draw a line in the sand. 

Hey, Notre Dame, here’s an idea for what to do with your money:  how about spending it on research into the reasons why our macroeconomic models are failing and why our nation stands at the brink of economic collapse?  But I suppose it’d be tough to make a slick commercial about such a boring subject. 










5 Responses to Notre Dame: “Fighting for the Global Economy?!?!?”

  1. I’ve been reading along for a while now. I just wanted to drop you a comment to say keep up the good work.

  2. Once more a compelling argument Pete. Growth is not the answer, it is in fact the problem. It is also the most powerful drug in our society. America isn’t hooked on foreign oil, we are hooked on growth that requires foreign oil.

    Our nation has grown since inception. Trying to point out that population reaches an optimum level is daunting task, but we must continue trying.

  3. Pete Murphy says:

    It’s especially disturbing to see our institutions of higher learning recruited as agents of the pro-population growth corporations, interested in nothing more than proppping up sales volume at the expense of the planet.

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