Democrats Dominate College Commencement Addresses
High-profile liberals vastly outgun conservative voices for university speaking slots
Although the concept of “diversity” is championed by the Democratic Party and institutions of higher learning as of nearly religious value, the roster for 2017 commencement speakers on college campuses reflects precious little diversity of political thought.
Even though Republicans practically decimated Democrats in the 2016 presidential and congressional elections, these results are not reflected in 2017’s graduation proceedings, according to a report released Wednesday by Campus Reform. Although Republicans can claim the White House and majorities in both the House and the Senate, Democratic-aligned politicians and officials continue to dominate as commencement speakers.
“The education-industrial complex or simply ‘big education’ despises conservatives and conservative values. These schools are training grounds for the next generation of progressive, globalist thinkers.”
“Increasingly, year after year, American universities have lost their moral compass. They have become more and more partisan for so-called ‘progressive’ causes,” Dr. John Fonte, senior fellow and director at the Center for American Common Culture at the Hudson Institute, told LifeZette in an email.
“At the same time, they are price-gouging middle-class parents who pay outrageous amounts of money so that their children may be indoctrinated into the left-wing ‘values’ of the academy,” Fonte added. “Meanwhile, unfortunately, these young Americans are learning less and less about their own nation and civilization. That highly partisan universities would invite Democrat speakers to the exclusion of Republican speakers is, therefore, hardly surprising.”
Campus Reform’s report discovered that whereas President Donald Trump is only slated to speak at one university for commencement, former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her former rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), have five commencement engagements between them. Thus far, Trump is the only one of the 16 former 2016 Republican presidential candidates to snag a commencement address.
In addition, the Campus Reform report indicated that out of all of Trump’s senior administration officials, only one is slated to speak for a commencement. In the graduation season during former President Barack Obama’s first year in office in 2009, 14 senior administration officials delivered addresses.
As if that weren’t enough, Campus Reform found that Democratic senators outnumber their Republican counterparts by a scale of 9-4 in the number of commencement speeches their party is delivering.
“The education-industrial complex or simply ‘big education’ despises conservatives and conservative values,” Eddie Zipperer, an assistant professor of political science at Georgia Military College, told LifeZette in an email. “These schools are training grounds for the next generation of progressive, globalist thinkers.”
“Colleges and universities are the natural habitat of idealist professors who want to recreate the world in their own image, as opposed to realists who want to understand the world as it actually exists. Democrats are idealists,” Zipperer added. “These are the people who spend their days developing new ways to be offended: the creators of safe spaces, microaggressions, and the anti-free-speech movement.”
Vice President Mike Pence, who recently agreed to deliver the commencement address for the University of Notre Dame, found himself the target of student protesters when the decision was announced. In fact, some Notre Dame students even went so far as to say that the mere prospect of Pence’s presence on their campus causes them to “feel unsafe.”
“For me personally, [Pence] represents the larger Trump administration,” student Immune Mondane told the university’s newspaper, The Observer. “His administration represents something, and for many people on our campus, it makes them feel unsafe to have someone who openly is offensive but also demeaning of their humanity and of their life and of their identity.”
Mondane, along with fellow student Jourdyhn Williams, began a #NotMyCommencementSpeaker campaign pegging off the #NotMyPresident hashtag that arose following Trump’s Election Day victory. As for Pence, the triggered students claim he is “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, offensive, or ostracizing” to various Notre Dame students.
“[Democrats] think college should be free for everybody, health care should be free for everybody, and everyone with a minimum-wage job should be rolling around in a Lexus courtesy of the American taxpayer,” Zipperer said. “Money is evil, patriotism is small-minded, suburban houses with picket fences are more dangerous than ISIS, and nothing is more important than how you feel.”
A report issued Tuesday by The College Fix also noted that a disproportionate amount of Democrats, Hollywood elite, and supporters of Clinton’s were set to deliver the commencement addresses at American’s top 100 universities, as ranked by the U.S. News and World Report. In fact, of the top 100 universities in America, just two booked Republican-aligned speakers. Notre Dame’s choice of Pence and the University of San Diego’s selection of Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich proved to be the sole outliers.
And in a report from FiveThirtyEight in 2014, author Harry Enten noted that he couldn't find "a single clearly aligned Republican political figure" on the rosters to deliver a commencement address at the nation's top 30 universities and top 30 liberal arts colleges in 2013 or 2014. In comparison, Enten found that 11 Democrats and 14 Democrats delivered the speeches for the top 30 universities and liberal arts colleges, respectively.
Most notably in 2014, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice declined her invitation to speak during Rutgers University's graduation ceremony after massive student protests.
Zipperer insisted that Democrats do not look kindly upon having their values challenged by conservative voices.
"A Republican graduation speaker might cast doubt on these deeply held beliefs. There might be a tiny circle on campus labelled the ‘free-speech zone,' and it might be okay for a Republican to speak there," Zipperer said. "But graduation is no place for speakers who might challenge all the Marxist thought that has been pushed on these students for the last four years."
"Students could be triggered and stuck in the room with the ideas that triggered them," Zipperer added. "No. The graduation must be a safe space. That means no conservatives allowed."