Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas advised university graduates to lead by example rather than chasing after idealistic political goals.
Speaking at a commencement address at Hillsdale College in Michigan
, Thomas said, "At the risk of understating what is necessary to preserve liberty in our form of government, I think more and more than it depends on good citizens, discharging their daily duties in their daily obligations."
Thomas emphasized that he wanted to give an address that was different than what has come to be expected on such occasions.
"I resist what seems to be some formulaic or standard fare at commencement exercises, some broad complaint about societal injustice and at least one exhortation to the young graduates to go out and solve the stated problem or otherwise to change the world. Having been where you are, I think it is hard enough for you to solve your own problems, not to mention those problems that often seem to defy solution. In addressing your own obligations and responsibilities in the right way, you actually help to ensure our liberty and our form of government."
Thomas focused much of his address lamenting what he said was an erosion of traditional values. “Hallmarks of my youth such as patriotism and religion seem more like outliers, if not afterthoughts. Do not hide your faith and your beliefs under a bushel basket, especially in this world that seems to have gone mad with political correctness.”
Thomas, who has served on the Supreme Court for a quarter of a century, also referred to the controversy surrounding his confirmation due to sexual harassment allegations against him when recalling the recent death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
"Over the almost 25 years that we were together, I think we made the court a better place for each other. He was kind to me when it mattered most, in those early days."
The Daily Caller
pointed out that Thomas was a rarity among commencement addresses nationwide, as analyses show that liberals outnumber conservatives four to one on such occasions when the political beliefs of the speaker are known. Thomas' address was at Hillsdale, known for being a conservative liberal arts school.
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