Commencement meltdown– students are wisely rejecting elite authority

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Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice

Here is an incomplete list of moralists who are upset that students are protesting against certain college speakers, notably including Condoleeza Rice:

“Dear Class of 2014, Thanks for Not Disinviting Me,” by Stephen Carter, at Blooomberg;

“The Commencement Bigots,” by Timothy Egan, in The New York Times;

and “Commencement Speakers Are Dropping Like Flies,” by Andrew Sullivan.

I don’t necessarily endorse all the student protests against all the speakers–for one thing I don’t know enough–, but Rice is a no-brainer. She participated in deceiving America with her nonsense about smoking guns and mushroom clouds and, according to the most recent study, the Iraq War caused 500,000 deaths.

There’s no real accountability for American elites, so at the moment those who think American war criminals should be brought to justice are forced to cheer for tiny symbolic victories that let the criminals know that whatever the powerful may think, ordinary decent people who know their records do not wish to socialize with them or honor them or treat them as gurus with interesting words of wisdom to impart on graduation day. There should be no public embrace of such people. It is the least we can do to honor those who died because of their actions.

But how do our moralists react? With shock and horror at students unwilling to listen to those who “disagree” with them. They should know better than to trivialize the issue this way; Stephen Carter even goes on to say that Obama is guilty of killing civilians in the drone campaign and he also points out that the Clintons were complicit in the runup to the Iraq invasion. But the lack of accountability for the powerful in American life doesn’t seem to bother him. What bothers him is the symbolic rejection of elite authority. He couches it in terms of students listening to those with whom they disagree, but this is nonsense.

Anyone even faintly familiar with the Iraq War knows what the pro-war arguments were. No, this is about authority and knowing your place. Condoleeza Rice has wisdom to dispense–the students should graciously accept what she has to teach. It is only by listening politely to the likes of Condoleeza Rice that they demonstrate their worthiness to take their place among those who matter.

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I’m sorry, I’m a little broke up right now. All famischt too, but I’ll go upstairs and have some breakfast. I see that the term “ziocaine” is still in current use! 64,000 + hits when I Google it. As my wife would say, “What has the old God-help-us wrought?” I thought it would decompose as quickly as last year’s discarded antlers, but it seems to still be around. That would be gratifying, except that with… Read more »

Good essay, Donald. The essence of conservatism (of Republicans and sadly also of Democrats) is the protection (or re-acquisition) of privilege to the (already) rich and powerful. Those who wage war are particularly members of the class of the powerful, and therefore to be protected. Why did Obama not prosecute the Bushies for torture and war crimes? Because he is (in the sense I set forth) a conservative and works for the oligarchy, conservatives all,… Read more »

The Rice girls are totally bought; they are the worst examples possible of free blacks in the 21st Century. They broadcast total lack of moral integrity for all to see.

this reminds me of the awesome action by George Mason’s Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) walking out when renown billionaire and apartheid profiteer Shari Arison received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at their university’s winter graduation ceremony.

big salute!

If Condoleezza Rice would publicly admit she helped neocon warmongers set up the idiotic invasion of Iraq in 2003, perhaps she would be a more popular choice among students.