Hillary Clinton delivered a crackling commencement speech at her alma mater, Wellesley College on Friday. In it, she went after Donald Trump and his policies hard but it was the comparisons between Trump and Nixon that has really got people talking and cheering.
She went all in on the “unimaginable cruelty” of Trump’s budget proposal as well as his paranoia and conspiracy theories. When she brought up the mood on campus in 1969, the year she graduated, she got the loudest cheers.
“We were furious about the past presidential election, of a man whose presidency would eventually end in disgrace with impeachment for obstruction of justice — after firing the person running the investigation into him at the Department of Justice!” she said.
“But here’s what I want you to know: We got through that tumultuous time.”
Clinton was, of course, talking about Nixon who left office in disgrace after resigning in the face of impeachment in 1974.
The FBI is currently investigating whether Trump associates colluded with the Russians to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Trump has been non-compliant through much of the investigation, even firing FBI Director James Comey. Comey was the one leading the investigation into Russia at the time of his dismissal.
“You are graduating at a time when there is a full-fledged assault on truth and reason,” Clinton said. “The future of America depends on brave, thoughtful people insisting on truth and integrity right now, every day.”
“You didn’t create these circumstances, but you have the power to change them.
“In the years to come, there will be trolls galore online and in person, eager to tell you that you don’t have anything worthwhile to say or anything meaningful to contribute. They may even call you a nasty woman,” she said, referring to an insult Trump hurled at her during one of the presidential debates.
“Some may take a slightly more sophisticated approach and say your elite education means you are out of touch with real people. In other words, sit down and shut up. Now, in my experience, that’s the last thing you should ever tell a Wellesley graduate,” she said.
Clinton also told the graduates that she is launching a grassroots organization called Onward, Together in order to help a new generation of political activists flourish. She said she believes these activists can change things for the better.
“You may have heard that things didn’t exactly go the way I planned. But you know what? I’m doing OK. I’ve gotten to spend time with my family, especially my amazing grandchildren. I was going to give the entire commencement speech about them but was talked out of it. Long walks in the woods. Organizing my closets, right? I won’t lie: Chardonnay helped a little too,” she said.
“It’s often during the darkest times when you can do the most good,” Clinton said. “I’m very optimistic about the future because I think after we’ve tried a lot of other things we get back to the business of America.”