Dear Commons Community,
Hillary Clinton returned to her alma mater, Wellesley College, to give a commencement address to this year’s graduates and their families. She wasted no time criticizing Donald Trump comparing him to Richard Nixon. Here are some highlights from her address.
“By the way, we were furious about the past presidential election, of a man whose presidency would eventually end in disgrace with his impeachment for his obstruction of justice,” Clinton said, referring to her graduating class of 1969. (The House Judiciary Committee had approved articles of impeachment against Nixon, but he actually resigned before the full House could vote on them.)
“We got through that tumultuous time,” Clinton said. “We turned back a tide of intolerance and embraced inclusion. … The ‘we’ who did those things were more than those in power who wanted to change course, it was millions of ordinary citizens, especially young people, who voted, marched and organized.”
Clinton also decried the Trump administration’s budget proposal, calling it “an attack of unimaginable cruelty on the most vulnerable among us.”
When people in power invent their own facts and attack those who question them, it can mark the beginning of the end of a free society.
“You are graduating at a time when there is a full-fledged assault on truth and reason,” Clinton said. “Just log on to social media for 10 seconds, it will hit you right in the face.”
“Some are even denying things we see with our own eyes ― like the size of crowds,” she added, taking a jab at Trump’s obsession with his inauguration attendance. “And then defending themselves by talking about ‘alternative facts.’”
“When people in power invent their own facts and attack those who question them, it can mark the beginning of the end of a free society,” she said. “That is not hyperbole. It is what authoritarian regimes throughout history have done. They attempt to control reality.”
Clinton ended her address by imploring the audience to stand up for free speech and human rights by registering to vote, marching in protests, running for office and promoting plurality.”
Hillary could have used more of this type of passion during her unsuccessful campaign last year.