Thursday, March 22, 2007

VP Cheney is coming to BYU

The Tribune has reported that the Vice President is coming to BYU to speak at commencement.

Hmm.

So much for political neutrality.

18 comments:

Bradley said...

I don't get your complaint about neutrality. Are you arguing that BYU is endorsing Cheney as a political candidate?

Justin said...

Is BYU the sort of place that would invite someone of an opposing political viewpoint to speak at their commencement? At the very least, this suggests some tolerance for the VP's views. At the worst, it suggests an endorsement of those views.

Homer said...

BYU has clearly shown in the past that they will decline or even disinvite someone who may have views that disagree with their mainstream establishmentarianism.

So, one may argue that this is the VP of the US, but on the other hand, BYU probably wouldn't have had Al Gore when he was the VP.

Emily said...

There is really nothing "neutral" politically by having perhaps the most extremely partisan VP of all time speak at BYU.

Frank Staheli said...

The worst example of this was when George HW Bush came to BYU several years ago while he was on the campaign trail. There were campaign signs galore around the Marriott Center on that day. It was more than a bit embarrassing.

Justin,

I hope BYU would invite someone of a different political viewpoint to speak at BYU. The closest thing I can think of that I am aware of is when Sandra Day O'Connor spoke at a student forum 3 or 4 years ago.

Emily said...

I don't mind if they invite people who are "political" - but to remain neutral, they shouldn't invite people who are "partisan"

Rob said...

When I was a student at BYU in 1983, Mike Farrell (B.J. Hunnicut)from M*A*S*H came to speak.

It was a big deal on Campus, partly because of his liberal views, but also because the M*A*S*H series had just come to an end.

His viewpoints were well received.

It was a different time when both conservatives and liberals seemed to actually respect the other's viewpoints, or at least that seemed to be the case.

I have no problem with Vice President Cheney speaking at BYU. I only hope that he leaves his gun at home.

Anonymous said...

Rob, I had no idea you were a byu grad

Bradley said...

Emily, can you give me an example of what you mean when you say Cheney has been "perhaps the most extremely partisan VP of all time"?

Rob, Farrell is VERY liberal, but I've enjoyed listening to him--even though he gets nearly everything wrong. :-)

BYU has a lot of conservative people on campus and it hardly seems surprising that those people would tend to invite other conservatives to come speak. I believe the same thing happens at liberal universities too. I don't think that undermines BYU's position as an institution as politically neutral.

BYU does occasionally invite very liberal speakers on campus. We had Helen Thomas come speak in a forum a few years ago.

Emily said...

Everybody knows that Cheney is partisan, just like Rocky Anderson is his partisan polar opposite.

I am LDS and I love the church. I didn't go to BYU, but I went to Ricks. And while I agree that it is "cool" to have a VP come and speak, it is my opinion that with the current polarization of this country, it doesn't help the church change its image that it tells members how to vote...

Many nonmembers and anti-LDS feel like the church tells us what to do at the polls. We know that this isn't true, but inviting the most polarizing figure in the GOP to be a keynote speaker at BYU graduation? That does not say "we are politically neutral," it says "we love the GOP and we're playing to our base."

They don't have to invite some ultra-liberal person to make me feel better, either. I just think that they need to be more careful. Why not invite someone else who is "conservative" but not political?

It wasn't so long ago that the members of Utah County had a complete come apart because another politically polarizing figure came to town.

Richard Watson said...

Rob, the year after Mike Farrell spoke at BYU, he spoke at Utah State. I was on the student committee that brought him in to speak at one of our weekly convocations (student assemblies). The speakers we had were mostly non-political but when Farrell spoke, everyone had expected this celebrity to talk about M*A*S*H. Instead, he spoke on the rebels in Educador and the Contras in Central America. The student body was mad at us for bringing him in. Another speaker that students were upset about was when we brought in Dr. Ruth.
However, even with my experiences of bringing in speakers at the college level, I am very surprised that BYU is bringing in the Vice President. This is a not an ordinary politician, this is a man with no ethics whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

This is just as bad as when the University of Utah brought Terry Tempest Williams In as the graduation speaker, all she did was upset people with her liberal rhetoric.

Anonymous said...

One thing that is always stressed in the LDS Church is loyalty and obedience; the Vice President is the model of that – he is very deserving of an honorary degree from BYU – he meets the core values of the institution.

Anonymous said...

Shame on you for questioning the a decision by the brethren.

Anonymous said...

Shame on you for thinking it is a good thing for the Brethren to be partisan.

Bubba said...

Yep! Cheney "is the model of that – he is very deserving of an honorary degree from BYU – he meets the core values of the institution."

Yep, he drinks beers and goes shooting shotguns at his buddies.

Yep, he likes the word fuck.

Yep, he makes billions for Haliburton on the, "mission accomplished!", "Forty Year War" on Iraq.

Yep, that Dick Cheney, he meets those "core Values".

James said...

Cheney is about as partisan as it gets. And this isn't a speech or a visit by the VP, this is the commencement address. One where usually we have a great religious leader or humanitarian. Regardless of your politics, it is pretty tough to argue Cheney is either of those. This is a stunning travesty and I for one will be praying there is some type of schedule conflict.

Emily said...

BYU's speaker policy:

“The speaker’s public reputation for integrity and observance of traditional moral values should reflect favorably upon the speaker and BYU. We should seek after speakers whose personal lives would be an appropriate model for our students to follow”- University Handbook