President Obama’s Commencement Address to Notre Dame

June 5, 2009

It has been about a week now, and I have listened to the traditional media praise President Obama’s commencement speech to the graduating class of 2009, at Notre Dame.  There has also been scathing criticism from other sources in the alternative media.  Now I will offer my humble opinion of his comments.

President Obama held true to form, wasting no occasion to trumpet his ideology.  Instead of maintaining a congratulatory attitude and speaking to a future of great aspirations, the President seized the opportunity to attempt to reinforce his political agenda.

The President opened with a few bits of humor, and then used a congratulatory sentence to lead into those subjects nearest and dearest to his heart.  He began by espousing his belief that we are at a moment of great consequence for our nation and the world.  He claimed we are at a rare point in history where the size and scope of the challenges require a remaking of our world.  He declared that we should align our deepest values and commitments to the demands of a new age, citing it as a privilege and a responsibility afforded to only a few generations.

I’m thinking, “Not bad so far.  He is laying out the future challenges for this graduating class as he sees it.”  Not so fast.  Would the real President Obama please stand up?  Then suddenly he emerged.

President Obama comingled American Values with Global Citizenship, asserting that the global economy has left millions behind, that greed and short-term thinking are rewarded at the expense of fairness, diligence, and an honest day’s work.  He argued that the strong, too often dominate the weak, and that those with wealth and power find all manner of justification for their own privilege in the face of poverty and injustice.

There he goes, denouncing success as something detestable.  I wonder if he and Michelle gained their wealth and power by the same of poverty and injustice as he accuses others.  Painting a picture of humanity with such a broad brush is a grave mistake as not all nations share the morals, values, and standards as that of America.

The President professed that we should seek peace, while admitting there are those who will stop at nothing to do us harm.  He expressed a desire to find a way to reconcile an ever-shrinking world with its ever-growing diversity of thought, of culture, and of belief; and to find a way to live together as one human family.

I know the President considers himself as a “citizen of the world”, but this is beginning to sound a lot like a desire of a “One World Order”.

He conceded that no one person, religion, or nation can meet the challenges of global recession, violent extremism, the spread of nuclear weapons, or pandemic disease alone. He claimed these societal negativities do not discriminate or recognize borders.  He went on to avow that our very survival requires greater cooperation and understanding among all people, from all places, than ever before in history.

I dread to think that I am the only one that sees the only item in his laundry list that is truly unyielding to borders or discrimination is pandemic diseases.

President Obama used an encounter during his Senate Campaign to fly in the face of the Catholic Church, which is staunchly anti-abortion.  The President referred to a letter from a doctor who claimed he would have trouble voting for, then Candidate Obama, because of the wording on his web site.  The doctor ended his letter with a call for “fair-minded words”.

The President then demonstrated his willingness to alter his rhetoric in attempts to appear as though he is seeking common ground with those that oppose him.

Through this presentment, the President introduced a desire to “honor those who disagree with abortion”, and “draft a sensible conscience clause”, “grounded in clear ethics and sound science”.

President Obama had the audacity to address a college steeped in Catholicism, traditionally in strict opposition to abortion, and consider them in need of ethical grounding.  His comment clearly asserted that opposition to abortion involves the lack of clear ethics or sound science. Furthermore, I find it amazing that the audience cheered so vigorously for anyone presenting an opinion so contradictory to their own.

Hang in there Notre Dame.  I got your back, even if you will not stand your ethical ground; there are those of us who will.  As to the drafting of a “conscience clause”, forgive my dissention, but I relish my personal liberty and freedom, and therefore do not wish for the government to dictate my conscientiousness.

The President’s arrogance was on full display when, in the same speech he attempted to equate the resolve of man to the power of God declaring, “We must decide how to save God’s creation from a changing climate that threatens to destroy it.”

The assumption that we truly have the power to save the planet from climate change is ludicrous.  After all, if I am not mistaken, the Christian belief teaches that God created the climate too.  Not to mention, that a brief study of geology reveals that the world has a rich and constant history of climate change, which I personally attribute to something beyond our capabilities, namely a divine plan.

I have a news flash for you.  Compared to God, man is created in his image, not equal to his power and ability.  I understand that we owe it to our posterity to try to protect our natural resources, but saving the world from its own climate, people please.  When they figure out how to create a clump of clay from gas, cover seventy-five percent of it with water and the rest with loose rocks, have it spin a thousand miles per hour of its own volition and not lose any of its contents, then we can talk.  Our purpose here is to enjoy the ride and try to make life better for those who follow; not so complicated.

The President did finally deliver a commencement for the later part of his speech, which I must admit, was quite inspiring for the graduating class.  He briefly mentioned potential futures for the attendees.  He inspired them to meet challenges head on, and to never shy away from voicing their opinions and beliefs.  He urged the graduates to become part of the future, encouraged them to allow their faith to guide them in their journey, and cautioned them to remain humble and to temper their passions.

I must also admit that I appreciated his advice to the young audience that they should be part of their community, join the common effort toward the common good, and learn from one another, that in doing so, all things are possible.

I assumed it would be smooth sailing to the finale when the President had to end his speech by throwing another monkey wrench into the works by incorrectly referencing the Constitution regarding America’s “journey towards a more perfect union”.

The issuance of this statement from someone who taught Constitutional Law causes me more than a little concern.  The preamble of the Constitution states, “…in Order to form a more perfect Union… do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”  There is no reference of a “journey toward”, nor could there be.  The Founders accomplished their mission of creating a more perfect union through the ratification of the Constitution.

It is my opinion that referencing a “journey toward” a more perfect union relegates the Constitution to a “living, breathing document”, subject to whimsical change, depending on which way the societal, or political, winds are blowing.  The Constitution of the United States is not a weak, spineless opinion; it is the centerpiece of the law of the land, an affirmation of the power of the people, and a detailing of the limitations of authority for our government.

Finally, I congratulate all of the graduating classes of 2009.  Your accomplishments are commendable, and I concur with the President when he said, “Every one of you should be proud of what you have achieved”.  You have obtained a solid foundation on which to go out into the world and begin building your life.  Always remember, you did not succeed alone.  Each of you required support and encouragement in you scholastic ventures.  You will eventually learn, the greatest gift to receive, is the personal gratification you will experience in supporting and encouraging others in their ventures.  Because, like you, nobody accomplishes greatness alone.   Salute.

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