Senator John Edwards of North Carolina, a Democratic presidential hopeful, has complained that legacy preference "is a birthright out of 18th century British aristocracy, not 21st century American democracy." Well, if you're going to use that kind of language, the United States Senate in which Mr. Edwards resides, however restively, can be denounced as a birthright out of the House of Lords. It isn't very democratic that North Carolina, with a population of eight million, should have as many votes in the Senate as California, with its population of 34 million. So should we leave it that some legacies are O.K.?Birthright? Huh? Last I checked, senators were elected by popular vote, and there is nothing in the U.S. constitution (or any definition of democracy I've ever read) that it always does come down to "one man, one vote". It certainly has nothing to do with birthright.
I realize he's desperate to defend legacy admissions (I could just smell the cooked numbers in his earlier statement that "the average SAT score of legacies admitted is just two points below the school's overall average", and his creative redefinition of affirmative action as "illegal discrimination" raised more questions than Socrates) but this is ridiculous.