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President Tells College Grads Not to ‘Wall America Off’

President George W. Bush was welcomed with resounding cheers and a standing ovation at his first commencement speech of the year.

The president spoke to college graduates at Oklahoma State University on Saturday about the numerous opportunities awaiting them and the issues their generation will address.

"With the Internet, you can communicate instantly with someone halfway across the world – and isolate yourself from your family and your neighbors," said President Bush according to the Associate Press. "My advice: Harness the promise of technology without becoming slaves to technology. My advice is that science serves the cause of humanity and not the other way around."

According to an Associated Press story posted by KOCO-TV, the president told the crowd of 20,000 that the job market is “the best is has been in years,” and that competition is on the rise.

"Some look at the changes taking place all around us, and they worry about our future. Their reaction is to wall America off from the world, and to retreat into protectionism. This is a sure path to stagnation and decline," he said. "I ask you to reject this kind pessimism. We should welcome competition because it makes our country stronger and more prosperous."

I have no doubt the president intentionally used the phrase “wall America off” in light of the recent May Day protests, the minuteman project and his unwillingness to secure the border. While I was glad to hear his visit to OSU went well, I was very disappointed to learn the president continued his mantra (this time directly to our nation’s future leaders) that illegal immigration is apparently okay.

Besides this "wall" reference, the rest of the speech was filled with optimism and humor.

"I loved it," said Tessa Miller, a graduating student, according to ENID News. "I was really glad I got to hear him speak."

And graduate Jared Janes said, "It’s kind of a good thing. You don’t have to agree with his politics for it to be cool to have a sitting president speak at your school."

Despite his warm welcome, President Bush was also met by a small contingent of protesters. "About 250 people gathered a block from the stadium, holding signs and chanting anti-Bush slogans" reports ENID News.

As Human Events U reported on Friday, this was the first of four commencement speeches President Bush will give this year with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College scheduled next.

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Written By

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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