Three emails covering the spectrum, though the majority think I’m all wet (view #3).
I agree with you on the Hedges thing…it looks bad when we stoop to their (lefties) level. It reminds me of a story about the SF 49ers during their dynasty years: I believe it was Coach Walsh who demanded there be no on-field celebrations after good plays/touchdowns, etc. He told the players, “Act like you’ve been there before.”
Jonah…as a general principle, I would agree with your assessment. But there needs to be a “but”… In this specific case, the booing was in response to what was being uttered AT THAT MOMENT, so I can understand (though not necessarily excuse) the sudden/emotional reaction. With the left, they hoot and holler and obstruct and shout down the righty speaker JUST FOR BEING ON THE RIGHT–and before he or she even utters a word–not for what he or she is saying to the crowd at that particular moment/event.
I generally agree with you that speakers should not be shouted down and that the campus left should not be emulated in this regard. However, this was not a debate where other voices could be heard or a presentation where the audience is there voluntarily. This was the only graduation in town for the students and their parents. This audience was a captive audience plain and simple. I don’t think commencement speakers should unduly politicize their speeches and I don’t think that captive audiences have to sit and meekly listen to sanctimonious lectures from left-wing buffoons. Also, I doubt the graduation ceremony was billed in advance as a forum for a liberal NYT writer to vent his spleen about the war. If it were, very few (if any) people would have shown up. Where’s the truth in advertising here?
As someone who endured a lot of left-wing nonsense in law school and never did anything about it, I can understand their frustration. On the whole, I view the behavior of the audience as a healthy thing. The left has been so overbearing for so long that the bill has finally come due.