Here's Rich Lowry, drawing right-on-the-money conclusions about the recent spectacle of college students protesting McCain and Rice as commencement speakers:
What a bargain: At a cost of a mere $100,000 or so, a northeastern college can take your child and transform him into a delicate flower incapable of handling opinions at odds with his own. It can close his mind and vacuum-seal it against opposing views. And it can, as a bonus, perhaps make him rude and incorrigible.
These have been the benefits of liberal education on display this commencement season, as graduating students have risen up against the affront of having to listen to the U.S. secretary of State or a distinguished war hero for a half-hour or so. Students complain that Condoleezza Rice and Sen. John McCain don’t represent them. But since when has it been a requirement that speakers on campus be representative of—in the sense of totally agreeing with—student views? If there were such a requirement, few commencement addresses would ever be given by anyone to the right of filmmaker Michael Moore.
All the rhetoric about “not speaking for me” and “not in my name” indicates a certain self-obsession. At the New School it was in full flower. As McCain spoke about the lessons of his life, students yelled, “It’s not about you!” and “It’s about my life, not yours!” Apparently what they wanted to hear was: “I’m here to tell you that every unexamined prejudice you hold is absolutely correct. You represent the summit of human wisdom, and in all the years you have left on this Earth, you will never learn anything important that you don’t already know as a snotty 21-year-old. And don’t let anyone ever dare to tell you otherwise.”
McCain’s speech was largely a self-effacing account of his own folly as an arrogant, know-it-all youth. Students who heckled and turned their backs on the senator as he delivered this message must recognize irony only when it appears on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. The point of turning your back on someone is to demonstrate a fundamental disrespect. Students at BC were far and away better behaved than the New School mob, but some of them did the same to Rice. It is a gesture appropriate in response to a member of the Klan, but when applied to McCain or Rice, it says more about the protester than the speaker.
Read the rest here.
By the way, this post is a nice bookend to my earlier post about commencement speakers. Here, we have Leftist students refusing to listen, and in my earlier post we had Leftist politicians refusing to speak. The closing of the Leftist mind is complete.