A student of Sandel's explains that, "His aim was to expose to the students the extent to which these abstract philosophical questions really are relevant in our daily lives." Abstract ideas like justice deserve to be applied to how Harvard's expansion in Allston and its track record over the past 10+ years.
Obama's greatest speeches, in my opinion, are the ones that talk about uniting Americans and all humans. In one speech he said:
"We've always been at our best when we've had leadership that called upon us to look past our differences, to come together. Leadership that rallies us to a common purpose, a higher purpose... when we recognize the common stake we have in each other... together we cannot fail."Harvard's plans in Allston embody a narrow and outdated notion what a campus and community can be. Harvard draws a line on a map and shows little interest in life on the "wrong side" of that line. "We are just building our campus" and "We are doing what the zoning code require us to do" they say.
Friedman concludes his column quoting Sandel:
Harvard is been in Allston for 105 years. What would it do differently if it considered itself a citizen of Allston?
“It must also be about a new patriotism — about what it means to be a citizen... Obama’s campaign tapped a dormant civic idealism, a hunger among Americans to serve a cause greater than themselves, a yearning to be citizens again.”