Imagine Yale asking Sammy “The Bull” Gravano to be Class Day speaker, and then, to appease those in favor of peace and harmony, giving an honorary degree to the Dalai Lama. Most would find this disgusting and would oppose Sammy “The Bull’s” selection independent of the honor Yale was giving the Dalai Lama. Those same people, however, should be outraged about Yale’s invitation to Hillary Clinton to be Class Day speaker.
The Yale Daily News correctly deduced that the Class Day speaker should be someone who speaks to and reflects the everyday struggles that we face in the real world after leaving Yale. However, we do not judge moral exemplars by whether or not the faced challenges. We all face challenges. We judge role models by whether or not they choose the morally correct thing to do in the face of these challenges. On this count, Hillary fails. While succeeding to satisfy her craven drive for power, she sacrificed the same leftist principles for which she justified her drive for power in the first place.
Example by example demonstrates Hillary’s desire for money, power, or both at the expense of the ideology that she purported to support. By trashing the reputations of women who alleged sexual harassment Bill and Hillary forced leftists to choose between principles and personal magnetism. Take the example of Sidney Blumenthal who will forever be associated with the rumors spread about Monica Lewinsky throughout the White House.
In the best case, leftists had to justify their support for Hillary by saying that the things she stood for were important enough that it was perfectly acceptable to sacrifice those same principles in the process of attaining the desired leftist policies. However, what these leftists never realized is that it has never been about the principles for their own sake for Hillary, but rather about principles as mere agents of her prominence and rise to power.
The greatest example of this was her New York Senate race. She did not run for the Senate there because she felt that it was the state that needed her help the most or where she could make the greatest impact. She ran because that was the place where she was most likely to win. Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee are all poorer than New York. Yet, Hillary did not choose to run there, even though she claims to be their champion. Instead, she ran in New York where there was an open seat.
If Hillary is a great fighter for women, why did she stand by while
Paula Jones, who accused her husband of sexual harassment, was smeared
in the media by Bill’s buddies James Carville and Paul Begala? If she cares
about campaign finance reform and fairness in the electoral system, why
did she run after soft money faster than Al Sharpton runs after Gheri Curl?
If she is a friend of Israel, why did she embrace Suha Arafat after she
made those libelous remarks? If she cares about the plight of the poor,
why did she engage in illegal market speculation even though it meant that
some poor farmer in the Midwest would have to declare bankruptcy and sell
the farm? All of these questions should plague her supporters as hard as
they have plagued most of those on the right.
Some believe that Yale’s decision to invite President Bush to give a speech at Commencement and receive an honorary degree should mollify the opponents of Hillary’s appearance at Class Day. It is not a great stretch or concession for Yale to offer the President of the United States an honorary degree and a spot to speak at Commencement. Furthermore, the case against Hillary has never been about her leftist ideology. Rather, it has been about her lack of character.
The Class Day speaker should inspire and unite the graduating class. What is Hillary going to inspire us to do? Swipe the vases from the Trumbull common room when we leave? Launch vicious personal attacks against those who oppose our ideology? At worst, she is a criminal. At best, she should be investigated by the Senate Ethics Committee. Either way, she should stay away from this year’s Class Day.
Yevgeny Vilensky is a sophomore in Trumbull College
Joseph A. P. De Feo
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