And hands. And mouths. And whatever appendages express disapproval. This past week, a few dozen Notre Dame graduates walked out of their commencement in protest. Apparently, now that they had finished the formal portion of the schooling that they will spend some time (about twenty years) paying off, they didn't feel the need to hang around and get lectured about free speech by the Vice President of the United States. The Vice President of the United States who used to be the Governor of Indiana. Notre Dame is located in Indiana. Indiana is one of our fifty states. In our fifty states, the rule of the law is free speech. So there.
"I would submit that the increasing intolerance and suppression of the time-honored tradition of free expression on our campuses jeopardizes the liberties of every American. This should not, and must not be met with silence," said the Vice Governor President guy. And those wacky kids, what do you suppose they did? That's right. They walked out anyway. They didn't toss their mortarboards and gowns in a pile and set them ablaze, dancing naked around the rising flames chanting anti-government slogans. They walked out. Not a prank. A statement.
The government guy went on: "Far too many campuses across America have been characterized by speech codes, safe zones, tone policing, administration-sanctioned political correctness all of which amounts to nothing less than the suppression of the freedom of speech."
Um, excuse me, Mister Governor Vice? Your ability to spout rhetoric is most definitely protected, but our willingness to listen to it is as well. It's like the "off" button you used to find on most televisions. You know, the one they call "power" now. An interesting thing, really. Since free speech seems to be connected to power. The last couple of commencement addresses given by members of the Trump Regime have included what we in the profession call "The Whiny Passage," in which the speaker announces how put upon they are because of the restrictions put on them by the media or the administration of the university at which they are speaking. "No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly. You can't let them get you down, you can't let the critics and the naysayers get in the way of your dreams," opined our "President" to the graduates of the Coast Guard Academy. None of them walked out, but that may be because they were hoping to keep their jobs at the end of the presentation. My guess is that none of the Notre Dame early exiters were looking for a cushy job aboard a Coast Guard cutter, so they felt free to walk on out of their ceremony.
Freedom. Ain't it grand?