It’s a Lot More Likely You’ll Hear a Liberal Commencement Speaker
Karen Jeffers /
Liberal speakers at college commencements outnumber conservative speakers by two to one, a study by Campus Reform shows.
This spring’s list of commencement speakers includes President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, as well as their Democratic predecessors in those offices – Bill Clinton and Al Gore. Not on the list so far: former Republican presidents or their vice presidents.
Democratic governors set to speak outnumber Republican ones by a ratio of 11-6, reports Campus Reform’s editor in chief, Caleb Bonham, while Democratic senators overshadow Republican senators by a 9-4 ratio.
The most heavily weighted group of invited speakers? Liberal political appointees and operatives are 21-5 over conservative counterparts.
And some among the comparatively small number of conservative speakers are experiencing a bit of backlash from the higher education community.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is set to speak at Rutgers University, has been met by media scrutiny and some professors circulating petitions to disinvite her. Some students at the University of William and Mary have expressed outrage over their scheduled speaker, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Last year, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) faced petitions before he spoke at Coastal Carolina University.
“The bullies’ vision of America is alarming to behold, with the values of peaceful coexistence turned on their head,” Jennifer A. Marshall, director of domestic policy studies at The Heritage Foundation, wrote recently for The Foundry in a piece about the growing intolerance of the Left.
“There’s tolerance aplenty on today’s campuses. Too bad it runs only in one direction,” Mike Gonzalez, Heritage’s vice president of communications, wrote at NRO in a commentary on student-led efforts to quash a student-led pro-marriage event earlier this month at Stanford University. He added:
Decrying liberalism at our universities has been a conservative preoccupation at least since William F. Buckley wrote ‘God and Man at Yale’ in 1951. Yet Academia seems to become more antagonistic to traditional ethics every year.”
Speakers selected by conservative-leaning universities don’t tend to face the same dissension.
Liberty University will hear Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, for instance, while Southern Utah University invited Ann Romney, wife of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Ken McIntyre contributed to this story, which was produced by The Foundry’s news team. Nothing here should be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of The Heritage Foundation.