Mitt Romney's recent commencement speech to Liberty University students was standard fare, except that the conversation could have occurred in 1950, says Washington Post columnist Colbert I. King. Romney's words do not resonate with the struggles of today's graduates and, by extension, today's voters.
It was the kind of speech that could have been delivered — sans the pandering and the references to more-contemporary figures (the late Chuck Colson; the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, who founded Liberty University; and the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.) — to college graduating classes in the 1950s or even in 1900.
The Liberty remarks, as seems to be true of many Romney speeches, reflected a rather constricted view of the country. Perhaps it's because Romney chooses to deliver most of his lines to narrow audiences.
Missing in his Liberty offering, as with some other Romney speeches, is any recognition — not praises, mind you, but simple acknowledgment — that 21st-century America is more than a white, middle-class country. He revealed no sense whatsoever of knowing that the overwhelming majority of Liberty grads will, in their adult lives, inhabit an America in which they will be the minority.
Read Colbert I. King's entire op-ed at the Washington Post.
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