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Liberal speakers, once again, dominate at giving university commencement addresses.

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College Grads Hear From the Left

Liberal speakers, once again, dominate at giving university commencement addresses.

President Obama has made a point of targeting young people. During the campaign and continuing through his presidency, Barack Obama has held dozens of rallies on college campuses to push his Socialist agenda.

Now, with college administrators’ help, President Obama, members of his administration and other liberals will be given another chance to indoctrinate young people. As the class of 2010 dons caps and gowns to receive their diplomas, many will have to sit through one final leftist lecture before heading out into the real world.

For the past 17 years—since Young America’s Foundation has been keeping tabs on commencement addresses—a disproportionate number of speakers at the nation’s top colleges and universities have been liberal ideologues, big donors to liberal causes, and members of the “drive-by” media.

This year is no different. Using U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of the nation’s top 100 colleges and universities, Young America’s Foundation found that commencement ceremonies at these top schools were dominated by those on the left, while conservative speakers were once again few and far between. 

This year’s research found that a whopping 66 liberals were invited to speak at the nation’s leading universities, while a measly 3 conservative speakers headlined commencement ceremonies.

Some of the nation’s most familiar liberals are making appearances at the nation’s leading institutions. Harvard, the No. 1 school in America, is welcoming Justice David Souter speak, a former liberal member of the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s dismal favorability ratings (she has only an 11% favorable according to a recent CBS News poll), she was the “speaker” of choice at Cornell University for senior convocation.

Apparently President Obama is still unfazed by the 9.7 percent unemployment rate since he took time out of his “busy schedule” to speak at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor’s commencement ceremony. He was joined by fellow administration officials on the commencement speaker circuit including First Lady, Michelle Obama at The George Washington University, Atty. Gen. Eric Holder at Boston University, Congressional Budget Office Director Peter Orszag at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano at American University. In total, nine speeches were given this year by Obama Administration officials. According to our surveys, Bush Administration officials only spoke 14 times over the course of eight years.  

On the rare instance when a school dares to invite a conservative speaker, liberals throw a fit.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was asked to speak at Monmouth College’s commencement and receive an honorary degree. Due to the governor’s moves to limit out-of-control state spending, Facebook groups were started to coordinate a protest.
One comment by a 1960s has-been was particularly hateful and revealing of the left’s attitudes towards those with different view points: “In the sixties, we would have booed him off the stage and pelted him with donuts. Go MU grads!!! You will think of something but DON’T LET HIM SPEAK!!! He is the worst thing to hit our state since smallpox.”

The local media picked up on the story, highlighting how students turned their backs to Christie as he spoke. However, what the newspapers fail to mention are the specific numbers of students that participated. A video taken by a member of the audience shows quite a different scene with only a handful of students turning their backs. The governor’s policies on fiscal responsibility earned him loud cheers and applause.

Fortunately, not all audiences appreciate commencement speakers venting their frustrations on public policy matters.  Recently, a conservative activist recorded a University of Arizona professor getting roundly booed after using graduation as an opportunity to bash Arizona’s new immigration law.

Given the growing popularity of conservative luminaries such as Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and many others, one would think that more conservatives would be appearing at more commencement ceremonies. But, given college administrators love affair with Obama Administration officials, this trend will not change anytime soon.

Written By

Mr. Coyle is vice president for the Young America's Foundation.

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