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Another View: College students again subjected to left-wing propaganda at graduation
Union Leader ^ | 5/22/03 | SHAWN MACOMBER

Posted on 05/22/2003 4:06:57 AM PDT by kattracks

THE LATEST BUMP in the long road of human evolution is a troubling one. Every year fewer and fewer Americans are born with internal tackiness detectors that used to be standard issue, as anyone who has been to a college graduation during the last five years can attest.

I first remember noticing this DNA variation when then-Vice President Al Gore gave a commencement speech to the class of 1999 at the University of New Hampshire. Gore started off with a short congratulations, and then dove headlong into a thinly veiled campaign speech about handgun violence and how the nanny can state solve that, provided we put the right Mammy in the kitchen. Can you guess who he believed best fit in that apron?

Thank God for guns, because if I had not been able to watch those nifty Secret Service guys running back and forth on the top of buildings with sniper rifles, I would have fallen dead asleep.

Across the nation, college graduates and their families have been subjected to the most worn, boring, self-pitying diatribes imaginable. This year has been no exception.

Failed MSNBC host Phil Donahue gave North Carolina State graduates a list of reasons why being labeled liberal is fantastic (this must be at least somewhat akin to giving the Pope a list of reasons why he should call himself Catholic), and Ted Turner took a break from romanticizing Palestinian suicide bombers and reediting CNN doomsday tapes to tell Vermont Law School grads that U.S. foreign policy is all wrong.

At the UNH Honors Convocation, speaker John Seavey worried that the dinner party toast of “To your health!” was sending the wrong bourgeois, individualist message. The collectivist “To our health!” is much better, comrade. Seavey echoed Howard Dean’s call for socialized health care and explained that the lesson of SARS is that our fate is one with the world. Personally, I thought the lesson of SARS was vigorous border controls to help avert disaster. Either way, it seems a bit off topic.

Political activist Paul Loeb thought the best way to toast the accomplishments of Plymouth State College grads was to launch a long-winded, simplistic tirade against the President of the United States. (Self-described “political activists,” for the uninitiated, are usually people 30 or older who smoke unfiltered cigarettes and revel in psuedo-philosophical and political discussions with people 15 and under.)

When the crowd heckled him to get on with it already, Loeb chastised them for not be willing to deal with “hard issues.” A Plymouth official later praised the speech, because education is about “hearing other people’s point of view.”

Well, I’ll give them that ostensibly that is what education should be about. Realistically, the idea seems a bit farcical in most university classrooms these days. The issue here is not what education should be about, but graduation. Did Loeb sign up to be a commencement speaker or a one man debating society? He told the crowd he was a patriot because he was initiating this tough conversation, yet, out of a crowd of a thousand, he was the only one with a microphone.

Still, evil dissent crushers such as Vice President Dick Cheney, Sen. Rick Santorum and Laura Bush all managed to give commencement speeches devoid of politics. Instead they told amusing anecdotes, gave advice on success in life, congratulated students and sat down.

This seems the most appropriate course of action when standing in front of thousands of people on a day meant to celebrate their lives, not yours. Every time a crowd gathers it is not for “democratic, patriotic debate” or a political rally. Is there any concern for the comfort and feelings of the thousands who have to sit through these speeches so they can applaud for three seconds the four years of hard work their loved ones have recently completed?

Of course, the temptation of a captive audience, no matter what the impetus, is obviously too great to be resisted by the obscenely tacky. Maybe there is something to this genetic engineering stuff after all.

— Shawn Macomber is a freelance writer living in Portsmouth. He can be reached through his Web site,

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: commencements
Maybe these political "commencement speechs" are a sort of final exam? An indication of whether or not four years of indoctrination has been absorbed, judged by the reception the speakers receive?
1 posted on 05/22/2003 4:07:00 AM PDT by kattracks
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To: kattracks
A Plymouth official later praised the speech, because education is about ?hearing other people?s point of view.?

Anyone think this official would have taken the same stance had Sean Hannity, Rush or another leading conservative were to offer a coimmencement speech endorsing conservative political views?

2 posted on 05/22/2003 4:51:54 AM PDT by randita
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To: kattracks
simply put, it's an abuse of power.
3 posted on 05/22/2003 6:07:53 AM PDT by Homer1
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