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How to Choose the Right College

Choosing a college can be difficult. In fact, searching for the right school can be an education itself. But maybe it’s time to forget about student/teacher ratios, degrees offered and those ever growing tuition costs. Perhaps a more tell-tale sign of a school’s merit would be the educators themselves. But, it would be impossible to meet every professor and sit-in on every class to evaluate these intellects who have set-up permanent shop in the land of academia. However, the speakers who are invited to a school’s most sacred and honored occasion–commencement–can reveal a lot.
 
This year, a number of radical left-wing, social Marxists and fanatical fascists, I mean guest speakers, are offering their words of wisdom to our nation’s youth. That’s right–the last pieces of advice thousands of tomorrow’s leaders will receive before entering the “real world” will be an altered and distorted perception of reality.
 
So, what schools should parents and teenagers avoid? Let’s start with South Dakota State University where former United States Senator Tom Daschle told graduating students just days ago, “This university and its values guided my entire career.” That certainly doesn’t say much for South Dakota State, now does it? Continuing with former lefties who have been left out in the cold, former senator and vice-presidential candidate John Edwards is off to North Carolina Central University. Former US Senator Bob Kerry takes his liberal dogma to New York Law School. Ex-House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt is scheduled to talk at Washington University in St. Louis. Former Washington State Governor Gary Locke, who supports abortion and same-sex partner benefits, will speak at Seattle University. Meanwhile, long-shot presidential candidate General Wesley Clark is headed to Cornell University. And finally, Al Gore will make his way to Johns Hopkins, but don’t hold it against the school. Administrators probably didn’t start looking for a commencement speaker early enough, and Al was the only one left.         
 
As for liberals who are still holding onto power by a thread, they too are heading back to school. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will enlighten the young minds of Goucher College. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is off to George Washington University Law School. Pennsylvania Governor and previous DNC chairman Ed Rendell will address students at Dickinson College. Judicial activist and Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will be at the New School University in New York. And the anti-Christ, also referred to as Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, will be sharing her pessimistic view of the world with students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Marymount Manhattan College. 
 
But wait! For fear of being called a racist, I can’t leave out this year’s prominent black speakers. Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr. will surely be spreading a message of peace, harmony and love at Saint Augustine College in Raleigh, North Carolina. Meanwhile, Washington College welcomes Kweisi Mfume and his NAACP rhetoric. And, Anita Hill (yes, she’s still around) is off to talk with students at Lasell College but stipulates that all Coke cans, and now even cans of Diet Coke, be left outside the auditorium while she speaks.  
 
But, the school that wins the “College Communist Party of the Year Award” has to be the University of California at Berkeley. This bastion of liberalism has an entire bullpen of lefties warmed-up and ready to go: Maureen Dowd, ultra-feminist and New York Times columnist, Warren Beatty, political activist and falling Hollywood star, Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Mayor and Benjamin Barber, former political consultant to the Clinton Administration. All have been asked to speak at UC Berkeley.
 
Parents and high school students should eliminate these schools from their lists of colleges to consider. Clearly, these institutions are unaware of the results from the last two elections, the growing popularity of conservative ideas and the hearts and minds of mainstream America. Don’t waste your money. Don’t waste your time, and don’t give in to their tainted view of the “real world.”
 
Instead, parents and teenagers should consider the following schools: Northwest University in Washington State–where former Attorney General John Ashcroft is scheduled to speak; Liberty University–a Christian school that’s invited Sean Hannity to offer some words of wisdom; Columbia College–where former First Lady Barbara Bush will give the commencement speech; Lafayette College and Bucknell University–where former Pennsylvania Governor and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge has been invited to talk; And Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan–where President George W. Bush will address the graduating class and share his view of the world.
 
It’s time to hold colleges and universities accountable for the educations they’re providing. The speakers who are invited to a school’s commencement should be considered. Are graduates leaving with words of wisdom in mind or words you’ve been fighting against for a lifetime? 

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Mr. Flickinger is the "dean" of Human Events U and founder of the Network of Campus Conservatives. He is a native of Pittsburgh, who graduated from Ohio University Scripps School of Journalism with specializations in political science and economics.

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