Thursday, June 14, 2012

Steyn to Graduates: We Got the Lollipops; You're the Suckers

Since David McCullough's superb "you are not special" commencement address has been making the rounds, I thought I'd post part of the high school commencement speech Mark Steyn wrote--but would never be asked to deliver (because it's not "motivational" or "uplifting" enough). It's from his book After America:
You can't always be anything you want to be. I wanted to be a great tap-dancer. But that's my problem. Your problem is that my generation and your teacher's generation have put a huge obstacle in the way of you being anything you want to be: We're spent your future. Generationally speaking, yours truly, the principal, the guidance counselor, the school board, the old, the late middle-aged and the early middle-aged have cleaned you out before you've got going.
"It's about the future of all our children." And the future of all our children is that you'll be paying off the past of all your grandparents. In the assisted-suicide phase of western democracy, voters are seduced by politicians who bribe them with government lollipops, but they're not willing to pay the cost of those lollipops. Solution: Kick it down the road, and stick it to the next generation. That's you...
And the wrap-up:
In the Sixties, the hippies used to say, "Never trust anyone over 30." Now all the Sixties hippies are in their sixties, and they've gone quiet about that, but it's good advice for you: never trust anyone over 30 with the societal checkbook. You thought you were the idealistic youth of the Obama era, but in fact you're the designated fall-guys. You weren't voting for "the future," but to deny yourself the very possibility of one--like turkeys volunteering to waddle around with an Audacity of Thanksgiving bumper sticker on your tush. Instead of swaying glassy-eyed behind President Obama at his campaign rallies singing "We are the hopeychange," you should be demanding that the government spend less money on smaller agencies with fewer employees on lower salaries. Because if you don't, there won't be a future. "You can be anything you want (to) be"--but only if you first tell today's big spenders that, whatever they want to be, they should try doing it on their own dime.
Okay, Tony Robbins he ain't--thank God.

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