Its no secret that I am not a big fan of the current president nor his VP. However, there is such a thing called decency and respect. I may not like Pence’s views on almost anything, but I know he is a decent man with a solid character. When he was “lectured” by the cast of Hamilton on Broadway, Pence was decent enough to sit through it. He listened patiently, didn’t throw any tantrums, and even defended their petty behavior as being part of free speech.
So, when that man makes time for you to speak at your graduation, you show him the respect he and his office deserves and listen to what he has to say.
Don’t get me wrong, there are extreme cases where you might be compelled to use such an occasion to vent your anger. When I was a student at Syracuse, Rudy Giuliani was invited to speak at the commencement one year, and there was a major display of anger and disapproval against him. Many students stood with their backs to him and their hands out, and even those who didn’t participate in such gestures, supported those who did. Giuliani’s politics and policies and his record may have justified such a protest, but I strongly believe VP Pence didn’t do anything to be treated this way.
This is no time for politics just for the sake of it, and those of you who walked away and made a scene, should realize that you took the moment away from hundreds of other graduates. You owe VP Pence and your fellow students a big apology. Kudos to him for showing such grace and carrying on with the address. I still don’t like his politics, but I do like him a little more now.