Skip to comments.Liberal college students intolerant of McCain's diversity (HUMOR if it Weren't the Truth)
Posted on 05/20/2006 2:26:25 PM PDT by SandRat
NEW YORK -- Arizona Sen. John McCain received a cantankerous reception during his appearance at the New School commencement Friday, where dozens of faculty members and students turned their backs and raised signs in protest and a distinguished student speaker pointedly mocked him as he sat silently nearby.
The historically liberal university has been roiled in controversy in recent weeks over the selection of McCain, a conservative Republican and likely 2008 presidential candidate, to deliver the commencement address.
Some 1,200 students and faculty signed petitions asking the university president, former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey, to rescind the invitation. Petitioners said McCain's support for the Iraq war and opposition to gay rights and legal abortion do not keep with the prevailing views on campus.
Kerrey, a Democrat who served in the Senate with McCain and, like McCain, is a decorated Vietnam War veteran, addressed the controversy almost immediately after the 2,700 graduates and thousands of other parents and friends filed into Madison Square Garden for the ceremony.
"Sen. McCain, you have much to teach us," Kerrey said to a smattering of boos and hisses. He urged students to exercise the open-mindedness he said was at the heart of the university's progressive history.
But Kerrey's remarks were immediately overshadowed by those of Jean Sara Rohe, one of two distinguished seniors invited by the university's deans to address the graduates.
Beginning by singing a wistful folk tune calling for world peace, Rohe announced she had thrown out her prepared remarks to address the McCain controversy directly.
"The senator does not reflect the ideals upon which this university was founded," Rohe proclaimed to loud cheers, with McCain sitting just a few feet away.
She added that she knew what McCain would be saying to the graduates since he had promised to deliver the same speech he gave at Rev. Jerry Falwell's Liberty University last weekend and Columbia University on Tuesday.
"He will tell us we are young and too naive to have valid opinions," Rohe said. "I am young and though I don't possess the wisdom that time affords us, I do know that pre-emptive war is dangerous. And I know that despite all the havoc that my country has wrought overseas in my name, Osama bin Laden still has not been found, nor have those weapons of mass destruction."
Indeed, it was McCain's decision to address Liberty that set off the protests at the New School during the past several weeks.
Known for his maverick streak, McCain as a 2000 presidential candidate famously called Falwell one of the "agents of intolerance" hurting the Republican party. But recently, as McCain has begun laying the groundwork for another White House bid, he has sought to shore up his conservative credentials.
McCain later thanked Rohe for her "Cliff's notes" version of his speech, and then, as expected, delivered remarks that were nearly identical to his earlier appearances.
He reaffirmed his support for the Iraq war but urged debate and dissent. And he repeated the theme of youthful self-assuredness mocked just moments before by Rohe.
"When I was a young man, I was quite infatuated with self-expression, and rightly so because, if memory conveniently serves, I was so much more eloquent, well-informed and wiser than anyone else I knew," McCain said. He added that he would have been right at home in the opinionated world of blogs.
As he spoke, several dozen students and faculty turned their backs to him and lifted signs saying "Our commencement is not your platform."
A few students yelled catcalls at McCain, saying things like "full of it," and "We're graduating, not voting."
Kerrey later retook the stage to praise McCain and Rohe's speeches as "two acts of bravery," while suggesting the hecklers weren't nearly as courageous as those who took the stage.
"Will you stand and say what you believe when you know that heckling and loudness and boos will arise?" Kerrey asked.
McCain's top political adviser, John Weaver, said the protests were "not unexpected." But he dismissed suggestions that the specter of liberal New York college students heckling McCain would enhance the senator's standing among conservative voters.
"It's not uncommon on a liberal campus that free speech is a theory in the classroom only," Weaver said.
McCain, a "conservative Republican"? Huh?
Exactly my reaction. Guess he's trying to "play one on TV" to position himself for '08.
Similar stories covering the same event but with different titles, ...... and I soooooooooooooo enjoyed the title LIBERALS INTOLERANT -hehehehehehehehehehe
Ban him for being intolerant!
Liberals do not tolerate intolerance.
Well, when you try to be all things to all men; both sides end up hating you. The Conservatives can't stand McCain nor can the Liberals. So, tell me, how does anyone expect him to be a serious CONTENDER for the Presidency?
I remember hearing a story about a young man during the Civil War who refused to fight for the North or the South. Guess what; both sides shot at him.
This is just rudeness. People need to teach their children manners. Even if you don't agree with someone or thing, this is neither the time or the place to dissent, especially in such a discourteous fashion.
Liberals are only tolerant of people if they believe as they do. When faced with others that are "different", or go against what they consider the norm, they revert to form and act worse than small children.
Whether they agree with McCain or not, and most of the time I don't, he is still an elected representative and part of our government and deserves a modicum of respect. I have met the man and shook his hand. He is a pow, and for that alone, deserves much respect.
That must have been a real crowd pleaser!
They should do away with ANY politician at a graduation. In fact, do away with all the speeches...BORING..kids want that paper and then they want to party. I had Mario Cuomo speak at mine, BOORING...and you're stuck. Of course, I would never be as rude as these students...no manners...no clue.
Honestly, those libs already guzzled the kool-aid at that school, what exactly did McCain think would happen anyway....
Lack of judgement on his part for even accepting.
And yet another reason I won't vote for him as president, as if I needed another reason.
Ya gotta love the irony though, as summed up in todays NY Post editorial:
THE 'QUOTE FIRST AMENDMENT'
Just how can they run a college with people like that wandering about the campus.
We know where he probably is if alive (Pakistan/Afghan border). Would these liberal students rather we violate Pakistan's sovereignty and run roughshod over their borders? And I've read more than once accounts of where those WMDs were taken just before before the war. I guess a college student would be too busy studying to have caught that tidbit.
This is the New School, a leftoid place by design, it was a communist-socialist creation.
Its sort of like the antithesis of Bob Jones.
McCain needs to sue this media outlet for libel.
But it warms the cockles of my heart to hear of this freedom-hating jerk getting ridiculed in public, even at the hands of a fellow lefty.
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