Progressives Capture Another Institution: Launch Addresses
What comes to mind in June? Weddings. Vacations (and how to pay record gas prices if you’re driving). Graduations.
The era was when many major university commencement speeches were about America and its values and what graduates could expect in the future. In recent years, they have become a political cornerstone of the progressive ideas forced upon them in their courses and textbooks.
This year was no different. While the occasional token conservative or Republican is invited, most speakers are liberal in their political beliefs and promote militant causes.
Here are a few examples from a long list.
Augustana College: Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
Bard College: Deb Haaland, Home Secretary.
Brandeis University: Deval Patrick, Former Governor of Massachusetts.
Clark University: Mary Frances Berry, civil rights activist.
Harvard Law School: Loretta Lynch, former United States Attorney General.
There are many more that you can google, but the picture is clear. Most major universities, while lip service to “diversity,” do not believe in diversity of opinion.
Perhaps the most disturbing of the commencement speeches that June was not just the keynote speaker at the opening of Harvard Law School, but a prominent and soon to be powerful and influential person who attended. .
The keynote speaker was New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, whose favorite topic seemed to be “LGBTQ-plus”. She bragged that her deputy was an “openly gay man”. She also touted her country’s endorsement of same-sex marriage and its progress on “climate change”. This is presumably meant to inspire graduates to adopt his views, if they don’t already share them. Why wouldn’t they do after what they’ve learned, watched what’s promoted in the media, and endured peer pressure from like-minded students?
Among those present at the ceremony was Supreme Court Justice Designate Ketanji Brown Jackson. When Ardern got to the part of her speech in which she referenced New Zealand’s ban on “semi-automatics and military-style assault rifles,” Jackson clapped.
As Congress debates which weapons to ban, if any, this issue could be taken to the Supreme Court. It was inappropriate for Jackson to apparently telegraph his opinion in advance. Notice how the judges never applaud a president’s State of the Union address. This should be Jackson’s model.
What a contrast between Ardern’s remarks and another Harvard commencement address on June 8, 1978, by Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn. His speech angered some professors and the New York Times editorial page because it did not fit their ideological outlook.
While Solzhenitsyn called Western systems “better,” he blamed the West for its lack of courage: “A decline in courage may be the most striking feature that an outside observer notices in the West these days. The Western world has lost its civil courage, both as a whole and separately, in every country, every government, every political party and, of course, at the United Nations.
Such a drop in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling groups and the intellectual elite, causing a feeling of loss of courage throughout society. Of course, there are many courageous individuals, but they do not have a decisive influence on public life.
He added: “Must it be pointed out that since ancient times, the decline of courage has been seen as the beginning of the end?
Solzhenitsyn was a modern prophet. Many speakers at recent opening ceremonies are more pathetic than prophetic.
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