One of the Hairy Urchins just graduated from High School. The commencement speaker was none other than Bill Gates Sr. Father of Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft. Bill Gates is a locally noted local progressive activist. Even though Washington State is one of the most heavily taxed states in the nation, he was the driving force behind an effort to ADD a state income tax.
His commencement speech was every bit as horrible as I expected it to be. It was little more than a long list of things that he thought had been bad about America. Yes, some progress had been made, but it was up to the graduating students to make things even better. This "Hate America First" philosophy seems to be the place from which rich, privileged liberals start their thinking. Yes, we had segregated schools and rest rooms. Yes, we had miscegenation laws. Yes we had Japanese internment camps. Yes, women were not always allowed to vote. But those injustices are not what makes America exceptional.
Just now I am watching a John Stossel special, "What's Great About America." Now that is a message for graduating students. We do more for the world, have done more for the world, have led the world to more freedom, have given the world more advancements than any other country in history. The students should have been encouraged to be proud of their past and to carry forward with our grand traditions. While America has done bad things, and while we must learn about them and acknowledge them, they are not the most important things about America. And to spend the vast majority of a commencement speech droning on about past injustices did an injustice to the class of 2011.