It could be justifiably argued that academic commencement addresses are pretty much a waste of time. If people were honest, nobody usually gives a hoot about what is being said. Most are simply in attendance to hear their name or see a loved one walk across the stage and then they are off to either a family dinner or party.
Yet, in the past, a number of commencement addresses have provided a bit of an historical snapshot into the perspectives of the foremost leaders and thinkers of the respective time. Perhaps the most prominent that comes to mind is none other than Winston Churchill’s describing the advancement of the Soviet bloc across Europe as an Iron Curtain.
Likewise, though for considerably less auspicious reasons, First Lady Michelle Obama’s Oberlin College commencement oration provides considerable insight into our own political era. The speech also serves as evidence that the First Lady is hardly the first rate intellect propagandists have made her out to be.
The Gettysburg Address begins, “Four score and seven years ago.” The Declaration of Independence begins, “We hold these truths to be self evident.”
Not every piece of public rhetoric is going to stir the soul with such inspiration. But with the opening of “Hi! How are you all doing?”, it is obvious that the First Lady didn’t even bother to try.
It’s not like there is probably all that much going on in Michelle Obama’s brain to begin with. For despite all of the wisdom that a graduation speaker of her status can attempt to impart to the assembled before her, she launches into the same manner of tirade she and her consort Barack have invoked throughout the course of his presidency to manipulate those mesmerized by them into surrendering whatever it is that the couple desires.
For nearly the first thing out of her mouth beyond that idiotic greeting that reminds one more of the quack doctor Nick Riviera on the Simpsons rather than a leader worthy of any kind of admiration was in essence the First Couple’s usual pronouncement of “Look at me. I’m Black. And you are racist if you don’t comply with our demands no matter how ridiculous or outlandish they might be.”
Her proclamation was not articulated that way exactly. However, that categorization was an accurate summary of what did follow.
The First Lady pointed out that Oberlin was the first college in America to view Blacks and women as legitimate students. However, seldom are the Obama’s interested in history that does not either further their agenda or manipulate spineless Whites into compliance.
For in her commencement oration, the First Lady did not reference this historic fact for the purposes of reminding what the individual is capable of through the processes of scholastic advancement and personal improvement. Rather, Michelle Obama proceeded to harp upon the necessity of compliance with the collective and agitation on the part of the herd mentality.
The First Lady warned, “And the truth is, graduates, after four years of thoughtful, respectful discussion and debate here at Oberlin…you might find yourself a little dismayed by the clamor outside of these walls — the name calling, the negative ads, the folks yelling at each other on TV. After being surrounded by people who are so dedicated to serving others and making the world a better place, you might feel a little discouraged by the polarization and gridlock that too often characterize our politics and civic life.”
Maybe so. But if the world outside the campus is discordant and filled with conflict, those embracing the worldview and policies of the First Lady are just as guilty (if not even more so) for making it that way.
One particular question raised by those turning a critical mind to Michelle Obama’s diatribe is on what grounds are things obligated to be as the First Lady prefers them?
In the portion of the speech just quoted, Frau Obama rhetorically crafts the impression that those not relenting to the social vision of leftwing academics somehow do not want to serve others or make the world a better place. This is especially relevant when the assembled she is addressing rank among the foremost in insisting that absolute standards do not exist or are determined by the prevailing demagogue of the moment.
Frau Obama continued, “…you don’t get to be…cautious or cynical.” The question must be asked, “And what if we are?”
For what the First Lady is saying when she invokes the words “cautious” and “cynical” is that you are not to question the social engineering directives when these are handed down by elites. Your’s is not to reason why; your’s is but to do or die.
To the likes of Obama and related totalitarians, the ideal is best visualized in a scene from the movie “Conan The Barbarian”.
In the particular sequence, Thulsa Doom (played by James Earl Jones) signals to one of his cult followers to come to him immediately. The deluded acolyte doesn’t descend the winding staircase. Instead, without hesitation, the doomed soul voluntarily plunges to his death gleefully to satisfy the whim of his master and false god.
Frau Obama reflected, “Are you planning to rally for marriage equality on the steps of the Supreme Court? I certainly hope so.” She continued, “Just think about the folks who are winning those battles…to ensure that everyone in this country can marry the person they love. Think about how just 10 years ago, gay marriage was legal in just one state…and today it is legal…”
And wasn’t her husband at the time numbered among those that counseled against the recognition of such illicit unions? If so, shouldn’t he be removed from office in the same manner as the Mozilla executive that did nothing more subversive than contribute to a referendum initiative that opposed gay marriage before the matter became part of the settled orthodoxy few possess the courage to question for fear of what will happen to their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor?
What is it, then, that makes these positions right or wrong? Is it the whims of the mob?
If so, those opposing the capriciousness of the First Lady are well within their rights to be as cynical and cautious as they want to be. For there exists no basis of rationality from which the First Lady can legitimately launch her criticisms and assaults.
Are these principles grounded in some kind of basis that will outlast the arbitrary tyranny unfolding around us (gentler as it might be at the moment but which Friedrich Hayek warned would grow increasingly violent as the policies imposed would grow increasingly at odds with human nature)? If so, those that the First Lady and her devotees would rather intimidate into silence are obligated in the name of higher truth to avail themselves of every moral means to defend such eternal verities.
In the Obamaist perspective, the individual exists as little more than grist for the elites to grind down as they see fit. The First Lady fondly recalled, “Think about those elections in 2008 and 2012 when idealistic young people … worked for hours for little money and less sleep … Think about the millions of folks who got out to vote on Election Day, waiting in the cold and rain in lines that stretched for hours, refusing to leave until they made their voices heard.”
And for what? Did the First Lady endure similar suffering and deprivation?
If anything, she made out like a bandit. During the couple’s occupation of the White House, they have taken multiple high-priced vacations, flown in pizza chefs from Chicago, and procured evening gowns costing thousands upon thousands of dollars.
Under the rule of the Obamas, most Americans (especially those that did not vote for Barack to begin with) have had the enjoyment of their own petty lives significantly curtailed. For whereas in the age prior to skyrocketing fuel and food costs one might have gone to a place like Walmart quite regularly, now it seems one might get to such an establishment about four times per year.
Towards the conclusion of her oration, Frau Obama declared, “And I want to be clear: Every ordinance, every ballot measure, every law on the books in this country — that is your concern.”
That sounds noble and inspirational upon an initial hearing. For example, if some corrupt backwoods sheriff deprives someone of a different color of their constitutional protections elaborated upon in the Bill Of Rights, it ought to bother you whether you are from New York City or the cotton fields of Georgia.
But just how deeply do you want people from other parts of the country probing into the nuts and bolts mechanics of your local government or even way of life?
For example, those in more liberal areas such as New York City or San Francisco might assume that it is their business what children in Appalachia are taught regarding evolution and creation science. But conversely, should Rednecks have an appreciable say as to whether or not someone should be allowed to walk down the streets of such urban centers brandishing so-called “assault weapons” without the police being allowed to say one thing whatsoever to such individuals?
Towards the conclusion of her oration, Michelle Obama admonished, “Make sure the folks who represent you share your values and aspirations.” Ironically, it is through compliance with that very axiom that true patriots must continue to expose this First Couple for what they are as their regime draws to a close and why Americans must remain vigilant as Barack and Michelle will no doubt continue to undermine our freedoms from the shadows of private life once they leave office.
By Frederick Meekins