Donald Trump gave his first ever commencement speech to the graduating class of Jerry Falwell’s evangelical Liberty University on Saturday, a situation that was never going to be okay.
The speech began, as one might expect, with our president bragging about the size of the crowd that showed up at their own graduation to hear him speak, which Falwell had informed him broke previous commencement attendance records.
“I’m thrilled to be back at Liberty University,” said Trump. “I’ve been here, this is now my third time, and we love setting records, right? We always set records. We have to set records. We have no choice.” That last sentence really resonates with me.
Trump told the graduating class to act on their dreams, unless they want to be critics, or just critical of anything, after all, “nothing is easier or more pathetic than being a critic, because they’re people that can’t get the job done. But the future belongs to the dreamers, not to the critics.”
Since he somehow realized he was speaking at school that’s highly influenced by the teachings of Jesus, Trump made several errant remarks about Christianity, such as, “In America, we don’t worship government, we worship God, “ and, “We’re going to protect Christianity, and I can say that, I don’t have to be politically correct.” Trump referred to one of the books of the Bible as “Two Corinthians.”
While Falwell has been an avid supporter of Trump since his campaign days, many at his university aren’t so easily convinced. In October, about 2,500 student and faculty members signed a petition denouncing Trump’s brags about having assaulted women on the leaked Access Hollywood tape, and Falwell himself for defending Trump when the scandal broke.
Trump received an honorary law degree at the ceremony on Saturday, but did not don the typical academic regalia, probably because he does not wish to appear to be a person who studies. Although there’s no risk of that.