Obama’s Joplin graduation speech brings out the rabid right

May 25, 2012

President Obama speaks to Joplin High graduates, May 21, 2012

Obama’s Joplin graduation speech Monday evening showed that while there’s the political “right”  there’s also a very active “rabid” political right.

Corner readers know that I am no fan of this President and will do all within my power between now and November 6th to ensure America does not fall to a second term of this failure.

But as I watched the speech live Monday night I did not hear that failure, I heard a President.  Below is my examiner.com column from yesterday regarding what we here in Joplin heard vs what the outsiders read:

At the ends of our political spectrum today live those that no matter the facts nor how bright the truth, they simply cannot overcome their ideological blindness.

So dedicated to the cause, so passionate for the agenda, they imprison themselves in an intellectual darkness impregnable to independent thought.

While I see far more on the left these days, I was reminded this past Tuesday morning the right has its prisoners as well.

I was purveying my usual morning sites for feedback on President Obama’s commencement address Monday evening here in Joplin when a Daily Caller story by Neil Munro popped up.  Headlined Obama pushes progressive ‘community’ ideology at Mo. high school commencement , the piece caught my eye because it was not the way I remembered it at all.

I had watched the ceremony and Obama’s speech live and though, yes he got a dig in at Congress and had a few lines of subliminal messaging; I remembered it most for being surprisingly “non” Obama.

It touched on common themes that we’d all experienced over the past year and highlighted some of the best of the best our human race has to offer.  The words could have come just as easily from the keyboard of this most ardent Obama opponent as from his Presidential speech writer.

I attempted to inject some perspective with the comment below:


I wrote the Joplin Globe column two days post tornado.  I’ve got hundreds of pictures on my camera card documenting the devastation.  I am one of Obama’s most vocal critics and wrote the lead opposition Globe forum column in March against him inserting himself into the graduation.

Yes, there were a few undertones to Obama’s speech but it was not the partisan propaganda I had feared or what is portrayed in your story here.

Joplin as a whole, and the class of 2012 have been through more in a year than hopefully most will never endure in a lifetime.

The DC is a refreshing counter to Politico and the rest of the push from the left, but on this story it’s missed the story.

As those words were being spoken, those of us who live here didn’t hear partisanship.  We were too filled with memories of that day, the weeks that followed, and the years that still lay ahead.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day and last night, yes, even Obama did well.

Geoff Caldwell, CaldwellsCorner

To which Neil responded:

Fair enough, but I’m watching from outside Joplin, without any significant memory of the tornado or the recovery. I’m watching his words and arguments in many of his speeches, and this one was remarkably ideological for a post-tornado High School speech.

I’ve re-read that comment numerous times and each time I’m left with a shaking head and a “huh?” look on my face.

Here’s an actual paid journalist admitting “watching from the outside” and having no “significant memory of the tornado or recovery”, but yet still feels qualified to tell others that a speech he didn’t hear given in a place he doesn’t know was “remarkably ideological”.

But the greater problem isn’t with Neil’s article or his defending of it, it’s in the over 200 responses and the pack mentality it inspired.

Sorting all the online comments by “most popular” shows a “Robert S.” sitting at the top with his “I would have requested that my child would not have to participate in a speech delivered by a Communist.”

The “perspective” exchange between me, Neil and a few others?  Sitting on the last two pages, buried by what the readership wanted to hear rather than what was actually said.

I am far more conservative than liberal in my political leanings and truly believe this country as founded would not survive a second Obama term but I refuse to succumb to the herd mentality shown in that comment thread.

The fact is, the President of the United States came to Joplin Missouri Monday night and proved me wrong by giving a surprisingly non-partisan, inspirational and uplifting speech to a graduating class so very much deserving of one.

If just because that President’s name was Barack Hussein Obama can blind you to that simple truth than you are no better than the minions who still support him.

The battle for the heart and soul of this great nation will not be won with same “blind leading the blind, now shut up and get in line” mentality employed by the left.

It will be won by convincing independent voters that our founding principles and the freedoms that flow with them are just as fragile in the 21st century as they were in the 18th.

It will be won by reminding those same voters that, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction” is more than a Reagan quote, it is a fundamental truth.

And it can be won without making truth a casualty on the road to victory.

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6 Responses to Obama’s Joplin graduation speech brings out the rabid right

  1. anson burlingame on May 25, 2012 at 7:13 am


    You are absolutly correct that BOTH sides have extremes that bring great discredit upon their own side of the aisle rather than effectively counter to other side. And it is getting worse where out right lies, far to much spin and name calling goes on.

    Thus our grave political divide today leaving only a few that will determine the outcome of very important elections. Each side is far to intent on “rallying the base” rather than seeking agreement.


  2. anson burlingame on May 25, 2012 at 7:13 am


    You are absolutly correct that BOTH sides have extremes that bring great discredit upon their own side of the aisle rather than effectively counter to other side. And it is getting worse where out right lies, far to much spin and name calling goes on.

    Thus our grave political divide today leaving only a few that will determine the outcome of very important elections. Each side is far to intent on “rallying the base” rather than seeking agreement.


    • Geoff Caldwell on May 25, 2012 at 7:30 am

      And one needs look no further than dwainbwain’s post yesterday and Dear Leader’s own claim about him NOT being an irresponsible spender, that it really was all BUSH’s fault.

      Never mind that to get the numbers they tell the minions they have to credit almost a trillion dollars of what was supposed to be one time emergency spending to the Bush administration and THEN use that as a new baseline from which to say that Obama has increased spending less than any President in the past 60 years.

      It is more than misstating fact, it is outright lying but in the world of the “extremes” the “ends always justifies the means”.

      Thankfully the polls are showing there’s still just enough of us with brains left that we’re not falling for it.

      When the history books are written I truly believe this will be the year that they will call the year that America beat back the enemies at the gate and big government liberalism was at last put where it belongs: in the trash can of failed ideas.

      I’m off to the lake in a couple hours and looking forward to catching up on your latest posts. I’ve gotten the notices they’re there but no time to read yet.

      Have a safe holiday weekend and I’ll see ya round the corner!

      • A Nonny Moose on May 27, 2012 at 2:02 pm

        What’s the current joke going around? “Name the two presidents who have been responsible for at least 11 fiscal years: Franklin Roosevelt and George W. Bush”.

        I’m with you regarding the rabid right. There are those on both sides who are so blindly partisan that anything is correct if it’s uttered by someone with the correct letter in parentheses after their name, be it (D) or (R), and it’s automatically wrong if they happen to have the incorrect letter. I feel nothing but contempt for people like that, as it is a sure sign of someone far too lazy to think for themselves. They simply read the bumper stickers, listen to the news, and make their mind up based on what their party tell them to think. As I tend to value intellect and reasoning above most anything else, how could I feel anything except contempt for those who parrot party positions with no thought except what they’re told to think? I see far too many adopting the stance that those who disagree with their party — or in most cases, those who agree with the bumper stickers they say the opposite of the bumper stickers they themselves like, because a concept like “ideology” is far beyond them — are the “enemy”. Obama is not the enemy. He’s an American politician who I believe happens to be wrong on almost every single issue, and whose fiscal and social policies are dangerous to the future of the nation. But he isn’t the enemy, and it would behoove a lot of people to remember that. Oh, and for the record, neither was George W. Bush. Or Bill Clinton. Or Ronald Reagan, and so on and so forth. This innate need to put the black hat on those with whom we disagree, to villainize them in order to make it easier to attribute all sorts of terrible things to them, well, that’s just not healthy, nor is it wise. A man can be horribly, horribly wrong, as I believe Obama is, and not be acting out of malice.

        I, too, was surprised at the content of the president’s speech. I’m sure there was quite the fight between the various speechwriters as to just what the content was supposed to be, but apparently this time the right speechwriters won. It doesn’t happen often, but we should recognize it when it does. I was happy to see your column.

        • A Nonny Moose on May 29, 2012 at 8:16 am

          Exhibit A of exactly the kind of idiot jackass I’m talking about: See Kimberlin, Brett. Given the fine breed of folks who occupy the far left in this area, Geoff, I hope you’ve already spoken with both the police and sheriff’s office to expect this type of call about you soon.

      • Herb Van Fleet on May 28, 2012 at 10:53 am

        What Nonnie said.


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