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A freeper's observation: Commencement Addresses. What is and isn't appropiate

Posted on 12/18/2001 5:29:42 AM PST by E.G.C.


There was a lot of talk yesterday about a commencement at California State University which took place over the weekend.

The speaker was Janis Besler, publisher of the Sacremento Bee. Unfortunately, she chose to trun her speech into a political editorial against our war on terror.

While she is entitled to her opinion, a high school or college graduration is not the proper place to express political opinions. These are special moments for people who are gradurating and about to move into the real world. What they need to hear in a commencement speech are words of inspiration and encouragment, not someone's political opinions.

This story would not be getting so much attention except that she is a liberal or progressive. If this had been a conservative, this story would not have received attention and if it did, the crowd would be lauded for standing up for what they believe in.

Were yours truly to give a college or high school commencement address, this is a reader's digest version of what I would say:

Congradulations, Seniors on making it this far. You have achieved the knowledge and skills neccssary to help you get ahead in this world. Now it's time for you to put that knowledge and skill to work and see how far you can go.

If you look around you'll notice there are plenty of jobs waiting for you. This is your opportunity to get ahead in this world and make a name for yourself and make the world a better place.

Chances are for some of you that there is not a job that fits your knowledge or skill field. Let me ask you. Do you have a hobby that you like to do in your spare time? Why not turn it into a livlihood? You can start an entrepeneurership. Be your own boss, set your own hours. do whatever you want. There are lots of them around today who are making a living off of their hobbies. It's a fun thing to do.

You're going to hear a lot of people like music artist Billy Joel say go ahead and party and live the recreational life all you want, but don't kid yourselves. Life is not all fun and games and partying. Millions of us go to bed around sunset and wake up at 5 in the morning. I'm one of those. Work is not a dirty word, but laziness is. You shouldn't ask people to pick up after you all the time. If you are capable of making a living for yourself then you should try to do so. No nation, state or community has ever survived with a buch of people laying around and saying gimme,gimme,gimme. YOU HAVE TO EARN YOUR WAY JUST LIKE THE REST OF US. There's nothing wrong with working and earning your own way. Some who are able to work choose to be lazy instead. That's not the way for our cities and towns to get ahead.

Whatever path you choose, all of us are behind you. Whatever you decide to do in your life, you should understand and realize that the future of this nation is in your hands. I wish you all the best

TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Your Opinion/Questions
That is what I would say in a nutshell if I were asked to give a high school or graduration commencement speech. It's plain and simple Politics just simply don't belong in commencement speeches.
1 posted on 12/18/2001 5:29:42 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: E.G.C.
While she is entitled to her opinion, a high school or college graduration is not the proper place to express political opinions.

Exactly. Yet the libs have been using the commencement soapbox for years to press their sick and twisted political agenda into soft and impressionable minds.

The reaction at Cal State was long overdue. Sure, it was rude. But it was rude of the speaker to attempt to use the commencement venue to pitch a vile and overtly political message. The speaker threw a boomerang and got back what she gave.

2 posted on 12/18/2001 5:39:29 AM PST by Kevin Curry
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To: E.G.C.
Arthur Schlesinger spoke Saturday at the PSU graduation, which I attended (a friend was graduating). Regardless of how different his views are from mine, I was happy to listen to the man talk about our current situation and relate a bit of relevant history. I found the political nature of the speech to be quite appropriate, and he was actually very witty. Point is, I don't see anything wrong with inviting a notable speaker and having that person impart some wisdom based on their area of expertise.
3 posted on 12/18/2001 5:43:51 AM PST by NittanyLion
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To: E.G.C.
Agreed, while I agree with some of her comments on the war on terror (hey sue me!! I remember what powers the Constitution gives the federal government) it was no place for her to push her views

I think commencement speeches should be congratulations, advice on getting ahead, and how they can make a difference no matter what their political affiliation

4 posted on 12/18/2001 5:44:53 AM PST by billbears
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To: All
Thanks, Kevin, Nittany and Billbears for your posts. Anybody else want to take a crack at it?
5 posted on 12/18/2001 5:49:33 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: E.G.C.
I should add, in regard to Schlesinger, I suspect the majority of the audience was pretty bored with the speech. I'm one of those sickos that loves politics. The speaker at the other commencement ceremony (there are two) was a biologist who spoke about the Human Genome Project.
6 posted on 12/18/2001 5:56:29 AM PST by NittanyLion
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: E.G.C.
While she is entitled to her opinion, a high school or college graduation is not the proper place to express political opinions.

You have to realize that for this particular Kalifornia Kollege, these poor graduates have been brain-washed with the liberal agenda for at least the last 4 years. She thought she was just giving them some last minute reinforcement.

8 posted on 12/18/2001 6:08:15 AM PST by cuz_it_aint_their_money
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Well, of course it is california so I don't know what else to expect. I guess some people are poltical junkies just like me. I just wouldn't say anything political in any kind of commencement speech I was invited to give.

As to post number 7, I would submit that this was indeed a liberal speech. It may not sound liberal to you but a lot of us know which is liberal and which isn't. I've been researching politics for the last several years and I know more than anyone when it's liberal and it's conservative.

What you're going to have to realize is that this kind of opinion is just not as popular as some would like to think. You just don't give people civis lessons in commencement speeches. Once these kidsreach the point of graduration, the time for lecturing them on poltical matters is over. Nobody wants to lectured on goverment policy and political matters and I still feel this kind of lecturing by Ms. Besler was just not appropaite for a commencement speech. Sorry, Joe but I must call your wrong in that regard.

Bump for more responses.

9 posted on 12/18/2001 6:29:43 AM PST by E.G.C.
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