A funny thing happened as Vice President Mike Pence approached the podium to give his commencement address at the University of Notre Dame last weekend. Several dozen students quietly filed out of their own graduation exercises because…resist y’all! Plenty of folks are trumpeting the praises of these young people for their courage (insert sarcasm). Not me. It’s probably no secret how irritating I find a bunch of twenty-something-year-olds who believe they have nothing to gain from the wisdom of a person who is experienced and accomplished enough to be the vice president of the greatest and most powerful nation on the planet, but I won’t condemn them for being arrogant and disrespectful. You can’t talk the entitled out of being
stupid offended. It’s futile.
As a student of psychology (and as a parent) I’ve learned the best way to eliminate undesirable behavior (particularly in impudent two-year-olds or so-called adults who act like them) is to ignore it. Vice President Pence and I must have read the same parenting books because he never skipped a beat. In the midst of the resistance, VPOTUS graciously proceeded with his remarks. Ironically, at one point he even called Notre Dame “a vanguard of the freedom of expression and the free exchange of ideas at a time, sadly, when free speech and civility are waning on campuses across America,” alluding to campus protests which have abridged freedom of speech and diversity of thought at other universities.
Who says the VP doesn’t have a sense of humor.
Regardless of political ideology, the thing people on both sides of the aisle appear to be missing about this greatly-exaggerated-by-the-main-stream-media campus protest is that it was an epic fail. Consider this: Notre Dame conferred degrees on nearly 2100 students last Sunday and only several dozen students walked out during the vice president’s speech, which means the overwhelming majority of them DID NOT. Epic. Fail. (Cue choir of angels.)
If you are one of the 2000-plus graduates who remained seated during Vice President Pence’s commencement speech (especially if you disagree with everything he stands for), thank you and congratulations! Not only did you spend four years earning a prestigious Notre Dame degree, you grew up along the way and are ready for the real world…where walking out is not an option.
If you remained seated, you are ready for the real world where facts matter more than feelings.
If you remained seated, you are ready for the real world where nobody has the right to not be offended.
If you remained seated, you are ready for the real world where you do not have the right to silence others because they say something you don’t like.
If you remained seated, you are ready for the real world where you are not entitled to a darn thing.
Finally, if you are one of the several dozen students who quietly filed out of the University of Notre Dame graduation exercises as Vice President Mike Pence approached the podium to give his commencement address. good luck in the real world. You’re going to need it.
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If you’d like to hear the full speech.