The Dell Boys
The Dell Boys

Former Vice President Biden Speaks at Cornell

Former Vice President Biden Speaks at Cornell

Former Vice President Joe Biden at Cornell University on Saturday.

Former Vice President Biden is expected to give the keynote address at this year's senior convocation at Cornell University.

"I thought we had passed the days when it was acceptable for political leaders at local and national levels to bestow legitimacy on hate speech and fringe ideologies". They're not flattened versions of humanity. "It's an terrible lot harder to dislike someone when you know their dad is dying of prostate cancer, or they have a brother with a drug problem, or they just lost their job". "He wasn't just talking about those born in the United States - not just the wealthy - he was talking about any person with the desire, the drive and the capacity to excel".

Biden reminded the Millennial graduates that just because they are accustomed to the latest technology, and are used to society's reliance on computers and the Internet, not every American is handling the transition to digital very well.

Biden commented on "the forces of populism not only here, but around the world", ostensibly a reference to the rising support for populist politicians - from President Donald Trump to France's Marine Le Pen and the Netherlands' Geert Wilders. He drew applause when he predicted: "This is a temporary state of affairs". Flawed. Struggling to make the world better, just like you.

"You may fundamentally disagree with them, but it's hard to dislike them", Biden said.

He also urged the graduating seniors to "fight the urge to build a self-referential, self-reinforcing and self-righteous echo chamber of yourself online".

"The immigrant, the minority, the transgender-anyone not like me became a scapegoat", Biden said, again taking swipes at Trump without naming him.

"I remember my colleagues and I looking at each other when we graduated, and thinking, how could this be happening?" he said.

On Saturday, Biden emphasized the importance of treating each other with dignity and respect.

Murphy served under President Barack Obama as ambassador to Germany. ". It's bad hard to reach a consensus, and you can't govern this country without consensus".

And then, with a single line about five minutes into the speech - "No graduating class gets to choose the world into which they graduate". I mean this sincerely.

After taking a bite, Biden exclaimed: "It's really good".


editors' picks