Wednesday, June 02, 2004

The Left doesn’t get it – again

What is a commencement speech? What is its point? I was always under the impression that it server two purposes, first to give credit to those graduating for the hard work they have performed to get to that point and to give them direction as they go forth to make their mark on this world. According to the Left it seems the purpose is to bash the Bush administration.

As we go through this season of graduations there is story after story of commencement speakers grandstanding over their opposition to the Bush administration. On of the worst examples is that of Author E.L. Doctorow, who gave the commencement address at Hofstra University.

In a 20-minute address to graduates at the Long Island school on Sunday, the novelist criticized Bush's tax cuts, anti-terrorism policies and the Patriot Act, but focused mainly on what he called Bush's "untrue" stories about the war in Iraq

That is not a commencement speech that is a political speech. If you want to use the part of the speech where you charge the youth graduating with the responsibility of leadership to espouse Leftists ideas that's fine but spending your time berating the current White House administration does not cut it. The graduating class at Hofstra agrees with me as, "...a torrent of boos and catcalls that forced Doctorow to stop talking."

Doctorow response?

"I thought we were all supposed to speak out," he told The Washington Post in Tuesday's editions. "Isn't that what this country is about?"

The good author sees nothing wrong with using a commencement speech as a political soap box, which he can "speak out" against what he feels is wrong with America. But in a great feat of hypocrisy while he has the right to bash politics that he doesn't agree with – during a commencement speech no less – that it's wrong for those who disagree with him to speak out. Like many in the Left today that feel they can say whatever they want while any voice of opposition can be classified, or rather demonized as "hate speech", "racism", "censorship" etc.

The Left is intellectually bankrupt and this is just another example.

Oh, come now. The foment of opposition to irresponsible tax cuts and poor social planning is alive and well. Just because real Democrats don't make the news anymore doesn't mean they don't exist. "The Left" as they are known may get the headlines (and they will) but true liberalism lives and breathes. I have a post coming up about this. It's not like the national debate is over.
Umm... Did I use the word "democrat"? I was talking about the Left thus I used the term Left. I didn't even hint at anything else so you commment has confused me. Do you think turning a commencement speech into radical political propoganda is okay? That is what I was talking about. I'd happly post the same thing if someone from the Right did the same thing but I've never heard of the teeny tiny number of Rightist speakers ever doing that. If they did I'd also be against that. Do you now get that I wasn't harping on Dems?
Well, if you note the time of the comment, my misinterpretation will make a bit more sense (think hard). Some of us have a strange tendency to highjack the point after a dozen or so beers. I'm curious as to whether you're right about the right showing such restraint when Clinton was in office. As a simple factual matter, obviously conservatives don't get invited to do nearly as many commencement addresses as liberals do, on account of who still very much runs academia. I agree that the left really has a problem with bitching about everything at inappropriate places and times (watch the Oscars, anyone?), and as such your point is valid. But at least his speech was more exciting than the generic commencement address most of us got. Hell, I'd rather boo (and I would have) in a heartbeat than struggle to stay awake through half an hour of generic blather about limitless opportunity, the world is your oyster, blah, blah, blad, ad nauseum.
Time of posting has now been noted. Dang son... Here something to think on base on you mentioning of the Right during the Clinton years, would you say there are some similarities between the Religous Right control of the tenor of the Republican party 10 years ago and the Left's seeming limitless influnce on the Democrats of today?
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