Editors Pick

Mike Pence Speech Spoils a Perfectly Good West Point Graduation

Photo: Getty Images

If you’re like me, you wish your wife and loved ones would stop complaining about your ballooning weed budget. If you’re like me, you’ve likely also taken the time during a movie about some evil villain, or regime, or crime figure to consider if villains ever take the time to stop and wonder if they’re doing something super villainous. Did Darth Vader ever catch himself in a mirror, stop and think, “Holy shit, Anakin, you look like an enduring, intergalactic avatar for oppression”?

If Darth Vader is kin to Trump administration capo Mike Pence, the answer is no.

Saturday, Pence told the most diverse graduating class in the history of the United States Military Academy that the world is a “dangerous place,” in which they should expect to see combat, according to CBS News.

“Some of you will join the fight against radical Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq,” he said, no doubt disappointed there was no ominous banner to unfurl behind him, wasting the red leather gloves and American flag eye-patch he’s been saving.

“It is a virtual certainty that you will fight on a battlefield for America at some point in your life,” he added. “You will lead soldiers in combat. It will happen. Some of you may even be called upon to serve in this hemisphere.”

Pence’s words were made more ominous by the Trump administration’s recent plans to send another 1,500 troops to the Middle East in an effort to combat so-called threats from Iran.

Congratulating more than 975 West Point grads on behalf of President Stay-Puft, Pence promised them their “commander in chief will always have your back. Mr. Trump is the best friend the men and women of our armed forces will ever have.”

Pence told the cadets, who became second lieutenants in the Army upon graduation, that Trump proposed a record $750 billion defense budget for 2020, and said the nation was “once again embracing our role as the leader of the free world.”

West Point’s graduating class included 34 black women and 223 women overall, with 110 black graduates, double the number 2013. Pence also told graduates the class included the academy’s 1,000th Jewish cadet.

Each and every one of those brave defenders of liberty deserved a better commencement speaker.


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