tv Senator Elizabeth Warren Delivers University of Massachusetts Commencement... CSPAN May 20, 2017 11:32am-11:51am EDT
as we forgive those who trespass against us. and, as long as there is a soul in prison i am not free. ideas that are too unattainable? class of 1999, ideals by their very definition can never be too high. >> democratic senator elizabeth warren was the speaker at the university of massachusetts in amherst. she encouraged graduates to be involved with public affairs and talked about her path to becoming a senator. this is 15 minutes. [applause] you.warren: thank [applause] sen. warren: thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you. u-mass.
it is good to be here. thank you or inviting me to be here with you today. i really do love visiting this campus and seeing the great work done by students and faculty. u-mass a lot of th amherst grads on my staff. you have turned out smart people. i know because i hire them. to see stan rosenberg, whatstate delegation, and a great team you have working for you in western and central massachusetts. i was a law professor for years. this is not my first commencement speech. if i go longer than 20 minutes, i know that it will be my last. i understand every extra minute i speak is that much longer before you can hit the bars.
[applause] sen. warren: not that some of bars, ofto hit the course. imagine my surprise last week when i got my daily news roundup , and front and center was, "elizabeth warren's commencement speech drinking game." [applause] say, theen: i have to timing was perfect. i was suffering writers block. got menking game. m going. the downside is now i know what you are hiding under the ropes. bes. if you learn nothing else from this speech, please know that fireball is a nickname that
,onald trump uses on twitter not a beverage to be consumed by distinguished college graduates. [applause] sen. warren: alright. to the graduates, you have worked hard and we are here to celebrate your success. congratulations to all of you. way to go. [applause] sen. warren: to all of the parents, grandparents, families, friends, teachers, and advisors you helped to make this day possible. congratulations to all of you. graduates, this is a day for celebration. you have earned it. this is a day that is also tinged with sadness.
you have gone to a last party and southwest. lateave had your last night flight at antonio's. a truly existential question bears down upon you, will you ever feel joy again? [laughter] so, what does come next? some may be worried you haven't gotten it all figured out. i get that. i own path had plenty of twists and turns. i dropped out of college and got married at 19 to the first boy i ever dated. so a lot of you are already doing better than i did. .'m here today to make a pitch for the work you do going forward, i'm here to ask you to get more involved in our democracy. i know some of you are already headed into public service.
i'm looking out at future teachers, firefighters, nurses, social workers -- [applause] ok. warren: there are nurses here. we are glad. [laughter] sen. warren: some of you will work directly in government, some for nonprofits, many of you will work for small businesses. many of you will start your own businesses. many will join date corporations -- join big corporations. my pages to be more involved directly in the democracy of policy. policies matter enormously. i will give you one small reminder. this one counts for a nip of smirnov. [laughter][applause] sen. warren: anyone have a student loan? [applause] that is like asking does anyone here wear a funny
hat? the interest rate on your loans were set by your public and the shows. the interest, how much he needed heavilyw, were influenced by the funding your university received from the commonwealth and federal government. by your elected officials. as a practical matter, how much owe and who has access to the kind of first-rate education in part received is set by handful of people who, in a democracy, are supposed to answer directly to you. it is easy to say, "i don't like like any" or i don't political party. i never even considered running and i alreadyfice had a grandchild when i ran my first senate campaign.
there are days when i was so frustrated i want to spit. but, the decisions that get made by your government are important and far-reaching. it is no longer possible to assume that democracy will work if most americans wait until election time to learn a little about the candidate and ignore what is going on. i'm not here to make a pit tch just to republicans or democrats. independents,ns, vegetarians. my point is about democracy. country, our democracy is not a machine that will run on its own.
it need to fighting for what you believe in. officials don't hear from people like you, the policies will be set by the people they do hear from. hear plentythey from corporate ceos, wall street, giant corporations, and others who spend buckets of money to make sure that their interests are heard. here is the thing, your elected officials are increasingly working only for the few, the very wealthy few. they are setting policies only few, theit the vie very wealthy few. if that doesn't change, this country will fundamentally change. it is your future on the line. i'm here to ask you to get engaged -- not engaged like i did at 19 -- [laughter] sen. warren: but engaged with
issues. policy issues. some of you are already deeply committed to fights that matter to you. i want to say thank you for that . please don't quit after you leave school. we need you. i am also here to try to expand the circle here to ask more of you, all of you, to expand your postgraduate to do list to and advocacyement for issues you care about. i want to give three serious suggestions. start withs something that is the core of who you are. it is easier to engage on an issue if you think through who you are. if you know jubilee event and are willing to fight for. figuring out who you are is not as easy as it sounds.
.o one can do it for you the list of possible issues that move you with long. you start with the cost of college, free speech, animal rescue, nuclear weapons, access to voting, free flights to hawaii. i put that in to see if you're still listening. criminal justice reform, military veterans, clearwater, national parks, hunger, bullying, prenatal care. i'm trying to keep this a political, but i have one more. that no one in this country is above the law. we need a justice department, not an obstruction of justice department. [applause] sen. warren: regardless of who you are politically or who you vote for, you have to think hard
about what matters to you, not your mom and dad, or your girlfriend, or your dog -- though your dog may have a strong opinion. do not pick whatever cause that emma watson or taylor swift are supporting this week, gnome matter how much you want to be in their squad. no matter how much you want to be in their squad. you have to figure out what makes you want to get up and what makes you not want to move. i'm still not talking about emma watson or taylor swift. you are more likely to follow through a few deep down care about an issue. second, do studying. i just made myself police popular graduation speaker by telling graduates who just finished their last assignment to study a little more. issm not trying to win m
popularity. i think as long as mitch mcconnell is running the senate that is out of reach for me. [laughter] sen. warren: knowing something about an issue makes a difference. read the facts, not the alternative facts, the real facts. [applause] sen. warren: after say i never thought we would need a modifier for facts. how do you distinguish them, the actsy facts? a group makes a difference. more good ideas, more ways to make your voice heard. one voice is powerful, two voices are twice as powerful.
voices create a force to be reckoned with. it is not easy to join groups when there aren't weekly meetings and a table at the concourse, you have to try. but please do it. american needs to you. each generation must rebuild democracy to serve its own time and needs. the world war ii generation faced challenges that were different from those of the .ietnam-era generation each rebuilt democracy differently. your generation faces huge challenges, sharp differences that divide the nation along deep fracture lines. intergenerational challenges that have settled young people with an unprecedented $1.4 trillion in student loan debt. an economy producing great andth for the top 10%
locking everyone else out. if democracy for you simply means leaving it to others, letting others set the terms in political debates, and surrendering policy decisions to people far away in washington, our country will work better and better for a smaller and smaller number of people. if democracy for you means connecting up, studying, making hard decisions and defending them with intelligence and commitment, this country will flourish. america needs your commitment. you need the commitment. getting involved in issues you care about, fighting for them, can reshape our country. it will reshape you. everyter what work you do day, if you find issues that matter to you and get in the
fight, you will build a life with more heart flutters and fewer don't make me move moments. you will build a life that is deeply worthwhile. take it from me, someone who wakes up every day energized and ready to jump in, except for the morning after i played the elizabeth warren drinking game. [laughter] sen. warren: let me say this, class of 2017 you have built the right foundation for your amherstwith a u-mass education. you can make great things happen for our country and yourselves. go u-mass. [applause] sen. warren: thank you. [applause]
>> thank you, senator warren. this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, at 10:00 ameri a on reel broadcastc witha robert kennedy and ronald reagan taking questions via satellite from students in london. in england there is movement against racial discrimination. ont america like to comment this or the country may learn from america's experience? to ourave been unjust minority groups, as well as mexican-americans and native americans. we have just begun to realize it
and are starting to deal with it. georgetown university professor on the military strategy and political goals of emancipation during the civil war. >> the idea that a president in the event of a sectional war over slavery and rebellion of the southern states might have the authority to emancipate slaves the military measure predates the civil war. it is articulated by john quincy adams on a number of occasions. >> 6:45 p.m. eastern, talking about the first u.s. congress' debate on slavery. antislavery activists and the pennsylvania abolitionists society put forth a vision of a new nation that imagined a racially inclusive republic rights ofbasic enslaved africans were respected. exchanged
between abraham lincoln and his friend. talk about theto everlasting love for each other was normal and encouraged, to be ,xpressive about intimacy expression, and love. as long as the boundary was maintained. .> for more go to c-span.org >> another commencement address from republican senator rob portman. he spoke at ashland university in ohio. this is 15 minutes. [applause] thank you very much. thank you for your friendship and inviting me to be here at