Hillary's fatuous advice to grads
Last year at this time, it was Wellesley. Last week, it was Yale. What will Hillary Clinton do in the future when faced with the prospect of having no other collegiate alma maters at whose commencements to spew her wearying brand of clichés and personal complaints?
Not to worry. Cap-and-gowned Hillary will have little difficulty finding other liberal institutions of higher learning offering her a dais on which to stand, scold, and celebrate herself. If there's one thing as predictable as death and taxes, it's Hillary's desire to share her personal self-absorption with future generations of the like-minded.
Admittedly, it's been a long time since I strode down the aisle at my own Ivy League college graduation ceremony. Protocol was different then. For example, on the day before the actual ceremony, a "rehearsal" was held at which we graduates were assigned specific seating for the ceremony and told to correct any mistakes made in the pronunciation of our names by the conscientious class dean, who may have noted them phonetically, though I can't be sure.
One thing of which I am certain is that graduation events used to center on the students receiving degrees, not on the prestigious guest orators receiving adulation, even to the extent of stealing the show. Graduation day once belonged exclusively to elated seniors who had worked hard for four years to make it to the podium and proudly claim their diplomas. No doubt, the commencement speakers were suitably impressive back then, too, but their message was largely about our future, not theirs. And it was about our achievements, not their disappointments.
It was axiomatic for graduates to suppose – perhaps with overconfidence – that the world was their oyster. Threescore and some years later, Hillary is warning graduates that the world is more like a Venus flytrap, especially now that she has unfairly been denied her rightful claim to the U.S. presidency.
Ironically, one of the pieces of advice Hillary told Yale's Class of 2018 was "be ready to lose some fights."
This statement illustrates that whatever the topic, Hillary will find a way back to herself. On that occasion, she parlayed her own personal obsession with losing into a dire warning for graduates about to take on the world. Her frequent speeches to sympathetic audiences seem to represent a form of therapy for Hillary, the only difference being that those who listen to her tales of woe and retribution pay an honorarium for the privilege.
It's becoming sadly apparent that Hillary Clinton cannot exist without the oxygen of public approval. And though she is not all that interested in grads or anybody else other than herself, she seized the moment at Yale to rattle off a series of hackneyed words of wisdom while buttering up her pliant audience.
Considering her own past behavior, her rhetoric seemed as phony as a diploma-mill degree. "If any group ever prepared to rise to the occasion," she purred, "it is you, the Class of 2018. You've already demonstrated the character and courage that will help you navigate this tumultuous moment."
"Character and courage"? For spending four years at a prestigious college located on a beautiful New England campus? Or maybe it was for assuming thousands of dollars in student debt in order to afford that heady experience? And what "tumultuous moment" did Hillary have in mind? Perhaps the possibility that even Yale graduates might not be immediately welcomed into a job market resistant to those with high-priced degrees in ethnic studies?
The same person who wrote Hillary's boring books must be scribbling her commencement oratory, rolling out a succession of pretentious platitudes such as this:
"As hard as it is, this is a moment to reach across divides of race, class, and politics. To try to see the world through the eyes of people very different from ourselves and to return to rational debate, to find a way to disagree without being disagreeable, to try to recapture a sense of community and common humanity." (Here she runs the risk of being called out for the use of the word "hu-man-ity.")
The sheer gall of the woman! She who crassly reached across a divide of political differences only to strike out at Republicans as "deplorables" and "irredeemable." She who said the only inventive people in America are those who reside in the few states she won. She who, as a candidate, could no more "see the world through the eyes of people very different" from herself than she could ultimately suck it up, act with a modicum of grace, and claim responsibility for having lost the election she was supposed to win.
Yet the insincere and unoriginal rhetoric of her Yale commencement speech hardly comes as a surprise. After over a year of badmouthing Trump and leading the charge to find justification for nullifying the results of the 2016 election, Hillary has suddenly decided to pose as a force for reason and restraint.
All she proved by trying to do so is that words can lack currency even when propped up by the usual sleazy Clinton shtick. Hark back to the cutesy reset button she presented nine years ago in Geneva to the Russian foreign minister when she was secretary of state. It was a gimmick intended to mend the deteriorating relationship between our two countries.
Obviously, it didn't work, yet at Yale she again brought forth a small token of Slavic kitsch by way of a bit of "show and tell": a Russian soldier's helmet made of black fur.
She almost put it on, but in the interest of her ever changing hairdo, she decided, instead, to brandish it aloft, chortling, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."
Over time, Hillary's views on Russia have been altered by personal expedience. These days, it's decidedly "nyet" to any reset button, though it had once lucratively been "dah" to the Uranium One deal. Now it's a resounding "nyet" for Vladimir and his minions, but previously it was "dah" to the six-figure speeches hubby Bill delivered to audiences of generous Russian business oligarchs.
Hillary has confessed to being unable to forget the 2016 election. And while her future role in party politics is uncertain, her intention is to hold fast against the encroaching tide of obscurity. In so doing, she seems all the more determined to strut and fret her hour upon the public stage, delivering her own brand of sound and fury – and signifying nothing.