By Alan Smithee
As more graduates are going home to live with their parents, public schools are collapsing, the growing chaos in minority precincts, the rise of substance abuse, US foreign policy in absolute shambles, traditional values like truth and integrity in decline, moral and ethical standards a new form of deviancy, suppression of free speech, merits of arguments overwhelmed by oppression and hate, and the grievance industry is alive and well, welcome graduates of 2015 to a pretty messed up world.
Secretary of State John Kerry removed Cuba from the U.S. terrorism blacklist. Did Kerry tell Putin he can keep Crimea is he stops his aggression….and Vladimir Putin just smiled.
Intellect, experience and charm do not guarantee wisdom and vision. Lord Acton opined “Most great men (and women) are bad men (and women). The global FIFA corruption scandal and rampant America’s political indignities are proof of an integrity lesson of monumental significance,
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke.
Ask today’s generation to explain the “Legend of the Cherry Tree.” Chances are one will get blank stares. Lying is becoming politically correct. Ascendancy of lies is a moral corruption framed by the Dorian Gray simile of the Clinton Crime Family. This is a culture war and we are losing.
What is the historic back drop for the graduating class of 2015? Iran is on the verge of a nuclear agreement. Russia has successfully invaded Crimea and eastern Ukraine. China is expanding its territorial aggression in the South China Seas. There are fourteen countries with nuclear capability.
This is an era of moral and tactical cowardice. America is in a perfect storm of weakness…desperately seeking rescue…from of all things…climate change? How odious and unenlightened. There is a vacuum of will, leadership and strategies. Very absent this commencement season is the wisdom of Abraham Lincoln:
“Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” Abraham Lincoln. How many college graduates know what Lincoln was talking about?
The murder rate, over the 2015 Memorial Day Weekend, exploded in Baltimore, Chicago, New York and across America. First crush any spirituality, as Marco Rubio warns: “Christianity could be labeled ‘hate speech,” and then cause chaos within the “rule of law.” The Catholic Church is ever so complicit in this downward deviancy with the “Clerical Sexual Abuse Scandal.”
ISIS is, expanding throughout the Middle East, Iraq, Syria, Northern Africa; Afghanistan…with rumors of infiltration through Mexico and the FBI Director says ISIS is present in all 50 states.
ISIS grows, as Nazism did in the 1930s. Is this nothing more than a theme, a current version of Joseph P Kennedy’s totalitarianism, “Democracy is dead…” corrupted National Socialism (sic), radical Islamism rising. Iran was pro Hitler, is our democracy committing suicide?
One cannot escape the implications of the Reich Concordat of 1933, when Rome feared Communism., fast forward to the present embrace of communist Cuba, facilitated by Rome, when the beheading, slaughter and burning of Christians and Infidels is directly related to the fear of ISIS ever rising. It was communism then, it is radical Islam now.
What this generation of college graduates is not being told of the eerie similarity between 1928 to 1945, Allies vs the Axis WWII, and how 2009 to 2026 is shaping up to be a probable Christians vs Muslims WWIII, religion and/or economics the root cause, with survival of the fittest- Darwinism in control. And historians are praying that history does not repeat itself.
The nation needs another Lincoln. The greatest error of this generation is in believing that the men and women of the Caliphate are not true believers, not in it for the long haul, with blood chilling and striking parallel to Hitler’s youth camps….. Nazi youths camps in America in the 1930s, ISIS cells in all 50 states in America, in 2015! No, this is not hate Muslims, it is a study of global history.
There is an unbeatable combination, not recognized anymore by today’s avant-garde, it is the value of traditionalism, and that is a coalition of Reagan Democrats and JFK Conservatives (Ira Stoll).
It was so long ago, 2014, “Bloomberg, at Harvard, blasts Ivy League:
“‘liberals’ for ‘trying to repress conservative ideas’……..Think about the irony: In the 1950s, the right wing was attempting to repress left wing ideas. Today, ….., it is liberals trying to repress conservative ideas, even as conservative faculty members are at risk of becoming an endangered species. And perhaps nowhere is that more true than here in the Ivy League.”
“Those in the trenches say the assault on conservative ideas in higher education continues despite high-profile legal victories by academics over viewpoint bias. These are the very people who are entrusted to teach the First Amendment, and yet they are violating it.”
Colleges and universities feel they need to reach a higher degree of consensus on a graduation speaker. This guarantees a restriction on free speech and the First Amendment.
The free thinkers need a “safe place” to hide from free thought.
The extinction of Conservative commencement speakers in American academia today is paralleled by the extinction of democratic professors in Nazi Germany under Hitler. After WWII the Allies tried to repopulate those institutions with a diversity of political views. It was only possible with a mandated form of affirmative Action; some called it the unintended consequences of the Marshall Plan. This is the soft tyranny of radical secularism, the scientific engineering of consent by Edward Bernays. The fog of biased indoctrination infiltrates, dominates, the media. Climate change becomes worse than radical Islam, or so indicated Obama at the 2015 Coast Guard graduation speech.
As Al Qaeda metastasizes, is the demise of the Jayvee team a victory? ISIS, ISIL and Dash have never been contained or decimated, they are growing, says bin Laden papers. Reuters; “U.S. says South China Sea reclamations stoke instability. “China’s land reclamation around reefs in the disputed South China Sea is undermining freedom and stability.”
And this is the battle of the greater good and the lesser evil. And we are consumed with Baltimore, Maryland chaos and climate change. Surely some commencement speakers will address these monumentally critical issues of current morality and ethics!
There is something so “nefarious and wrong” with the Peggy Noonan explanatory Hillary tic “head bobbing” interviews, the vintage 1950s’ bobble-head doll nodding, in agreement right on cue, and the universal clapping of the scripted (sic) spontaneous mass requisite attendance at North Korean celebration for a Kim Jong-un “anything” parade. Is this a subconscious projection of America’s academia commencement exercises, nothing but propaganda lecterns, psychological projection, the “mission creep” of angry, empty, radical progressivism?
“President Obama delivered the keynote address at the United States Coast Guard Academy commencement ceremony Wednesday 5/20/15 in New London, Connecticut. In his commencement speech, Obama warned graduates climate change is one of the largest threats they will have to face as they defend the United States and our nation’s interests abroad. In his speech, Obama said denying climate change or refusing to deal with it is negligence is a “dereliction of duty.”” Was this not a blatant politicization of the ideology of billionaire liberal activist Tom Steyer for deep pockets?
CNN reports the day before “North Korea said Wednesday that it has the ability to miniaturize nuclear weapons, a key step toward building nuclear missiles.” That will certainly affect climate change. This global tranquility (sic) is scary in three ways framed by Charles Krauthammer.
“Number one, the North Korean leadership is probably clinically nuts, certainly paranoid. And we have no idea what they can or what they will do. And if they have the miniaturized weapon (atomic bomb)…. they are going to get it in a year or two anyway….they actually could hit San Francisco or/and Los Angeles.”
“Second, they (North Korea) share everything. They are actually helping in Syria. We know they are helping Iran. And if they learn how to miniaturize and transfer intelligence (technical design capability, the ICM capability and the Netanyahu concern about atomic fuse design) to Iran that accelerates Iran going “nuclear”!!!!”
“And the last thing, the scariest of all, in the midst of all this, Tal Afar, Badush Dam, Rawa, Qim, Ana, Al Waleed, Rutba, Hit, Ramadi, Khaldiya, Husayba, the Syrian city of Palmyra, Fallujah, Hawija, Sharquat, Mosul, Tikrit fall (to ISIS), and the 5/10/15 announcement from North Korea, the President gives an (commencement) address to the Coast Guard Academy and talks about “climate change” ”.
That this is the scariest of all….”Climate change”…..with ISIS, ISIL, Syria, Ukraine, radical extreme Islamists in Europe, Africa and the FBI Director says that ISIS Tentacles Reach into All 50 U.S. States, this is a watershed moment of national absurdity.
Then off to Tuskegee University. It was founded in a one room shanty, near Butler Chapel AME Zion Church. Dr. Booker T. Washington was the founder, first teacher.
The bronzed likeness of Booker T. Washington “Lifting the veil” , the two images …link the past, no matter how cruel or unkind, to the present… lifting the veil of ignorance off his people, symbolized by a terrified slave, by showing them the ways of a better life. Then promote and celebrate cultural progress, the better life! Rather, liberty and freedom are deflated to climate change, in an almost rambling nothingness.
America has higher aspirations. There is a great national feeling of loss, disappointment and need for revitalization of the American spirit of liberty, slowly being scrubbed from our nations’ consciousness, to wit:
“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” John F. Kennedy. Ah, yes, JFK knew who Lincoln was.
“If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” Ronald Reagan.
Some choose “the masterpiece Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison, in his novel “The Invisible Man”, as he describes this statue (of Booker T) much differently: “I am standing puzzled,” his narration begins, “unable to decide whether the veil is really being lifted, or lowered more firmly in place; whether I am witnessing a revelation or a more efficient blinding.” Progress is made with an affirmation toward the “greater good and the lesser evil.” What is the role of “excuses and victimization “ if not a surrender….to the lesser evil….a plausible outtake from Condoleezza Rice’s most famous three words…..a rejection of wedge issues and the grievance industry.
Hardship was the very essence that made Booker T. Washington so great. “I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him…..Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.” Booker T. Washington, “Up from Slavery.”
The remarks of the First Lady, Michelle Obama, were eloquent and thought provoking. And somewhere within its greatness came a moment of discord, dissonance, a remembrance of 2008 “for the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country.” Some heard revenge and reparations; other heard “moving in that direction (Lincolns Union?) and just not feeling so alone in my frustration and disappointment”….the arena of excuses and victimization.
“And believe me, I understand that kind of pressure. (Applause.) I’ve experienced a little bit of it myself. You see, graduates, I didn’t start out as the fully-formed First Lady who stands before you today. No, no, I had my share of bumps along the way.
“….. But, as potentially the first African American First Lady, I was also the focus of another set of questions and speculations; conversations sometimes rooted in the fears and misperceptions of others. Was I too loud, or too angry, or too emasculating? (Applause.) Or was I too soft, too much of a mom, not enough of a career woman?
Then there was the first time I was on a magazine cover — it was a cartoon drawing of me with a huge afro and machine gun. Now, yeah, it was satire, but if I’m really being honest, it knocked me back a bit. It made me wonder, just how are people seeing me.
Or you might remember the on-stage celebratory fist bump between me and my husband after a primary win that was referred to as a “terrorist fist jab…. folks have …. plenty …. words to describe me. …. “a little bit of uppity-ism.“ …… my husband’s “cronies of color.” Cable news once charmingly referred to me as “Obama’s Baby Mama.”” And the media carried it as uplifting?
“The realization that no matter how far you rise in life, how hard you work to be a good person, a good parent, a good citizen — for some folks, it will never be enough.”
There it is, that dissonant cord. To all too many, this is so philosophically different than the “liberty” of George Washington, JFK and Reagan.
The First Lady’s address at Tuskegee was somewhat marinated by her own perception of victimization. Much of the substance and language of her commencement address is attributed to an interview with People Magazine done in late 2014 “The Obamas: How We Deal with Our Own Racist Experiences” and further researched in “Mrs. Obama’s Tall Tales of Racialized Victimhood”….an interesting journey into “down with the struggle” post Ferguson.
The value of this approach is that it “white washes” the true systemic cultural problems of dysfunctional families, poverty with “excuses and victimization” while destroying avenues to individualism and exceptionalism with the suppression and oppression of the academically institutionalized collectivism.
We have a choice of dark, dank collectivism that keeps people in a permanent underclass. Or we can have a shared interest and principle of optimism and fundamental exceptionalism. Watch what is happening in Baltimore, Maryland, Chicago and New York.
The commencement message demanded and deserved is, “Only in America can the abused and down trodden shake off their shackles and succeed,” as did Booker T Washington and Fredrick Douglas …..or surrender to chaos.
Oh, how this nation, post Martin Luther King Jr, was ready for an Abraham Lincoln, “Fourscore and seven years ago…..” binding up this union’s wounds, with a racial and traditional values compassionate embrace. The First Lady could have done it.
One is tempted to conclude with the 2014 “Don’t Major in Intolerance” by Michael R. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City. He is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.
This referenced article below is adapted from a commencement speech given in 2014 at Harvard University for the curious. He is a transformational Democrat to Republican to Independent. Why????
In 2014 Shonda Rhimes Tells Dartmouth Graduates: ‘Don’t Be An Asshole’. A hashtag is not a movement. A hashtag does not make you Dr. King. A hashtag does not change anything. It’s a hashtag. Shonda Rhimes’ Real Talk for Dartmouth Grads: Dreams Are for Losers
“Be a doer, not a dreamer…it’s hard work that makes things happen.”
“So I didn’t have to fight as hard. I had time to study the cracks (in the glass ceiling). I had time to decide where the air felt the rarest, where the wind was the coolest, where the view was the most soaring. I picked my spot in the glass and called it my target. And I ran. And when I hit finally that ceiling, it just exploded into dust. Like that. My sisters who went before me had already handled it. No cuts. No bruises. No bleeding. Making it through the glass ceiling to the other side was simply a matter of running on a path created by every other woman’s footprints. I just hit at exactly the right time in exactly the right spot.”
That was Shonda Rhimes at Dartmouth 2014 and it was inspirational.
But that would be embracing the obvious. Rather let us return for a moment to 2015.
Matthew McConaughey delivered a commencement speech to the spring 2015 graduating class at the University of Houston. His message was:
“Life’s not fair. It never was, isn’t now and won’t ever be. Do not fall into the entitled trap of feeling like you’re a victim.….. The truths (are) all around us all the time… Put yourself in (a) place to receive the truth…. “Let’s make it a place where we break a sweat, where we believe, where we enjoy the process of succeeding in the places and ways we are fashioned to. Where we don’t have to look over our shoulder, because we are too busy doing what we’re good at…. Traveling towards immortal finish lines…. We write our own book, overcoming our fears. We make friends with ourselves. And that is the place that I’m talking about.”
“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.”
Now that is inspirational.
Entitlements, excuses and victimization are a scourge. Individualism and exceptionalism, maturing under great hardship are re-earned, and cherished for and sustain by a flawed but noble nation.
From the Millennials on, our “In Search of Excellence” has suffered from the progressive decay of exceptionalism.
“As current events teach us, those who try to achieve success without hard work ultimately deceive themselves, or worse, deceive others…… We take risks knowing that risk will sometimes result in failure. But without the possibility of failure, there is no possibility of success. We remember Albert Einstein’s words: “insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results.” This was Tim Cook Apple CEO at Auburn.
We are sure Tim Cook will never forget the spirit of Steve Jobs, a college dropout, beyond his commercial success, as portrayed in the Stanford 2005 Commencement speech. It was a Steve Jobs’ truism:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
The past half century of radical progressive thinking has savaged this concept in step with the fulfillment of the philosophical “Defining deviancy down,” the catchy alliteration coined by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
We are living in a time of human fallibility and overwhelming conflict. Today’s leaders come up short in the Martin Luther King Jr. crucible of “content of character,” patriotism and heroism. And our nation is suffering. The core lessons of leadership are:
“And now we come to the heart of the matter, to the core lesson taught by the heroism …… the character that takes command in moments of crucial choices has already been determined.”
“It has been determined by a thousand other choices made earlier in seemingly unimportant moments. It has been determined by all the little choices of years past—by all those times when the voice of conscience was at war with the voice of temptation—whispering the lie that it really doesn’t matter. It has been determined by all the day-to-day decisions made when life seemed easy and crises seemed far away—the decisions that, piece by piece, bit by bit, developed habits of discipline or of laziness, habits of self-sacrifice or of self-indulgence, habits of duty and honor and integrity—or dishonor and shame.” Ronald Reagan The Citadel
“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
“No greater injury can be done to any youth than to let him feel that because he belongs to this or that race he will be advanced in life regardless of his own merits or efforts.” Booker T Washington of Tuskegee University.
Thomas Jefferson 1826 and Andrew Jackson 1845, both were in favor of the common man and felt that it is the common people who should have the biggest influence on government, not the wealthy aristocrats. They also supported states’ rights and felt that the federal government should not get involved with the states affairs. Both men’s actions clearly showed, that in their mind, the common man did not include minorities. Dred Scott v Sanford decision of 1857 began the fight for abolition, albeit on the wrong foot. The American Civil War was fought from 1861 to 1865 to determine the survival of the Union. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery throughout the United States in 1865.
America was forged by the courageous pivots from the disparate shades of equal and social justice. America is in desperate need of another Lincoln.
What is apparent in today’s commencement speeches is the dilution of American exceptionalism. This is alluded to by Scott Eyman when he talks about early America, the murder of the frontier spirit and diminishing the very existence of “heroes”, a perennial circular conversation between Jeffersonian and Jacksonian principles and fundamentals and the lesson of “Manifest Destiny.”
“The righteous revisionists took great delight in demeaning and defiling and perverting anybody who ever wore a badge, a uniform, or moved west.”
Today we call it radical secularism, which is over shadowing individualism and patriotism. It is the politically correct “mission creep” of a fatuous concept of George Washington jingoism, JFK conservatism and Ronald Reagan liberalism.
The world is much more complex today characterized by venality and doubt, and paralyzed ambiguities. Our leaders are more articulate, talented and educated but the wisdom and vision of yesterday’s experience is lost to them, either their soul has blinders, or they reject “God Bless America.”
The statesmen of today are generally brilliant, easily hurt, a forced sense of humor, very literate, almost always naturally funny when inclined, and more often than not, in conflict with the world’s image of them. Thus they rarely are capable of understanding domestically or globally:
“You cannot build character and courage by destroying men’s initiative and independence.” Rev. William John Henry Boetcker.
“Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm.” James Madison. And this puts morals, the standards by which we live, and ethics, the argument for “good” and “bad” in the Sal Alinsky’s wheelhouse, where they don’t belong. Diminish “religion” and “law and order” and radical progressivism will destroy our Judeo-Christian foundation of morals and ethics.
“Democracy… while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.” John Adams.
And 76% of today’s college graduates have no working knowledge of the former two paragraphs.
And “Patriotism is supporting your country all of the time and your government when it deserves it.” Mark Twain
Liberty and freedom are never “beaten”, they are surrendered! And that should be the commencement message!