Worth remembering when Bob "Thanh Phong" Kerrey had John "Bomb Bomb Bomb" McCain speak at the New School. In 2006. Take it away, Jean Rohe.
Right now, I’m going to be who I am and digress from my previously prepared remarks that I had been working on for the past several weeks. I am disappointed that I have to abandon the things I had wanted to speak about, but I feel that it is absolutely necessary to acknowledge the fact that this ceremony has become something other than the celebratory gathering that it was intended to be due to all the media attention surrounding John McCain’s presence here today and the student and faculty outrage generated by his invitation to speak.
The senator does not reflect the ideals upon which this university was founded. Not only this — please, not only this, but his invitation was a top-down decision that did not take into account the desires and interests of the student body on an occasion that is supposed to honor us above all and to commemorate our achievements. What is interesting and bizarre about this whole situation is that Senator McCain has stated that he will be giving the same speech at all three universities where he has been invited to speak recently, of which ours is the last, those being Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, Columbia University, and finally, here at the New School. For this reason, I have unusual foresight concerning the themes of his address today.
Based on the speech he gave at the other institutions, Senator McCain will tell us today that dissent and disagreement are our civic and moral obligation in times of crisis, and I agree. I consider this a time of crisis, and I feel obligated to speak. Senator McCain will also tell us about his strong-headed self-assuredness in his youth which prevented him from hearing the ideas of others, and in so doing, he will imply that those of us who are young are too naive to have valid opinions and open ears. I am young, and although I don’t profess to possess the wisdom that time affords us, I do know that preemptive war is dangerous and wrong, that George Bush’s agenda in Iraq is not worth the many lives lost. And I know that despite all the havoc that my country has wrought overseas in my name, Osama bin Laden still has not been found, nor have those weapons of mass destruction.