By Jiesi Zhao
After looking at the 2010 Commencement Speaker Survey, and in particular noting a whopping three conservatives that spoke out of the top 100 schools in our nation, I was excited when I heard names like Speaker John Boehner and Governor Rick Snyder announced for this year’s commencement speakers list. However, as I compiled more names onto this year’s list, I realized that while there is an increase in the number of conservative commencement speakers, the liberal bias of campus administrators shines through once again.
Specifically, out of the 51 speakers who can be identified as either liberal or conservative, only 13 are conservative – meaning that there are three times as many identifiable liberal speakers. Conservative business giants including John Chambers (CEO of Cisco) and Rex Tillerson (chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil) and conservative legislators like Robert McDonnell and Kay Bailey Hutchinson are speaking. However, many more schools are going with the expected lineup of liberal entertainers including Katie Couric and Tom Hanks as well as a number of officials in the Obama administration for a second year in a row. That’s when the reality of campus administrators’ overwhelming bias set in again. After all, the top universities in our nation consistently sponsor liberal speakers on campuses throughout the year and the professors indoctrinate students with nothing else besides their own leftist ideologies. Why would I suspect that graduation could be any different?
In fact, some professors can never set aside their biases and liberal agenda; not even for the benefit of graduating seniors. Commencement is high time to impart wisdom about free-market principles, an understanding of America’s role in the world, and to send students off with the capacity to examine and consider varying ideologies. Instead, liberal administrators deny their students any chance of hearing any other ideology except for their own. Just take a look at who is on our speaker survey and who is missing from the list, and it all becomes very obvious.
While President Bill Clinton is on the list, President George W. Bush is not. Similarly, while Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw of NBC, Katie Couric of CBS, Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report on Comedy Central, Conan O’Brien of TBS, and Wolf Blitzer and Larry King of CNN are set to give remarks, journalists and reporters including Fox News Hosts Bret Baier and Sean Hannity, and best-selling authors Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin are left out. Furthermore, boisterous leftist celebrities, including Tom Hanks and Billie Jean King, are welcomed onto campus while conservative celebrities, such as Ben Stein and Chuck Norris, receive no attention from the top 100 schools.
These and other leaders in the Conservative Movement have all garnered standing-room-only crowds at our nations’ universities throughout the past few years and would undoubtedly impart insightful and worthwhile advice to the class of 2011. Year after year, they are left out of commencement ceremonies at our nation’s top universities.
The liberal indoctrination of students is so complete that even when there is a conservative chosen for the role of commencement speaker, the Left on campus, undoubtedly taking their cues from professors, create an uproar. The choice of Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, who is set to address the University of Michigan where he is a triple alumni (B.A., J.D., and M.B.A.), has irrationally come under attack by campus liberals. They claim the decision to invite an elected official to speak is divisive, even though they had no such complaints when President Obama and former President Clinton spoke in 2010 and 2007, respectively. Students have become intolerant of any other viewpoints – not the kind of attitude that they should be carrying into the working world.
It is nice to see a few more schools that have chosen to forgo another round of worn-out, Obama administration rhetoric this year, but the truth is that after four years of indoctrinating students with liberal ideologies in the classroom, most of our nation’s top universities choose to do no different at graduation.
Jiesi Zhao is a Sarah T. Hermann Intern Scholar at Young America's Foundation