Neal Boortz has never been asked to do a commencement address, but he said that if he was ever asked, this is what he'd say:
2008 COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS, TEXAS A&M by Neal Boortz
This Texas lawyer, himself recipient of an Honorary Degree, is obviously
opinionated, but to say what he does, in a commencement address a couple of
weeks ago, in front of a class of Texas A & M graduates, and especially the
faculty, is amazing. I would have loved to have been there just to see the
Commencement Address (Texas A&M). Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2008 04:14:32 This
should be considered must-reading for every adult in North America. It is
extremely rare that anyone speaks the truth like this at any College or High
School Commencement Address.
Neal Boortz is a Texan, a lawyer, a Texas AGGIE (Texas A&M), and now a
nationally syndicated talk show host from Atlanta. His commencement address
to the graduates of this year's A&M class is far different from what either
the students or the faculty expected. His views are thought provoking:
"I am honored by the invitation to address you on this august occasion. It's
about time. Be warned, however, that I am not here to impress you; you'll
have enough smoke blown up your bloomers today. And you can bet your tassels
I'm not here to impress the faculty and administration. You may not like
much of what I have to say, and that's fine. You will remember it though.
Especially after about 10 years out there in the real world. This, it goes
without saying, does not apply to those of you who will seek your careers
and your fortunes as government employees.
This gowned gaggle behind me is your faculty. You've heard the old saying
that those who can - do. Those who can't - teach. That sounds deliciously
insensitive. But there is often raw truth in insensitivity, just as you
often find feel-good falsehoods and lies in compassion. Say good-bye to your
faculty because now you are getting ready to go out there and do. These
folks behind me are going to stay right here and teach.
By the way, just because you are leaving this place with a diploma doesn't
mean the learning is over. When an FAA flight examiner handed me my private
pilot's license many years ago, he said, 'Here, this is your ticket to
learn.' The same can be said for your diploma. Believe me, the learning has
Now, I realize that most of you consider yourselves Liberals. In fact, you
are probably very proud of your liberal views. You care so much. You feel so
much. You want to help so much. After all you're a compassionate and caring
person, aren't you now? Well, isn't that just so extraordinarily special.
Now, at this age, is as good a time as any to be a liberal; as good a time
as any to know absolutely everything. You have plenty of time, starting
tomorrow, for the truth to set in.
Over the next few years, as you begin to feel the cold breath of reality
down your neck, things are going to start changing pretty fast... including
your own assessment of just how much you really know.
So here are the first assignments for your initial class in reality: Pay
attention to the news, read newspapers, and listen to the words and phrases
that proud Liberals use to promote their causes. Then, compare the words of
the left to the words and phrases you hear from those evil, heartless,
greedy conservatives. >From the Left you will hear "I feel." From the Right
you will hear "I think." >From the Liberals you will hear references to
groups -- The Blacks, the Poor, The Rich, The Disadvantaged, The Less
Fortunate. From the Right you will hear references to individuals. On the
Left you hear talk of group rights; on the Right, individual rights.
That about sums it up, really: Liberals feel. Liberals care. They are pack
animals whose identity is tied up in group dynamics. Conservatives think --
and, setting aside the theocracy crowd, their identity is centered on the
Liberals feel that their favored groups have enforceable rights to the
property and services of productive individuals. Conservatives, I among them
I might add, think that individuals have the right to protect their lives
and their property from the plunder of the masses.
In college you developed a group mentality, but if you look closely at your
diplomas you will see that they have your individual names on them. Not the
name of your school mascot, or of your fraternity or sorority, but your
name. Your group identity is going away. Your recognition and appreciation
of your individual identity starts now.
If, by the time you reach the age of 30, you do not consider yourself to be
a conservative, rush right back here as quickly as you can and apply for a
faculty position. These people will welcome you with open arms. They will
welcome you, that is, so long as you haven't developed an individual
identity. Once again you will have to be willing to sign on to the group
mentality you embraced during the past four years.
Something is going to happen soon that is going to really open your eyes.
You're going to actually get a full time job!
You're also going to get a lifelong work partner. This partner isn't going
to help you do your job. This partner is just going to sit back and wait for
payday. This partner doesn't want to share in your effort, but in your
Your new lifelong partner is actually an agent; an agent representing a
strange and diverse group of people; an agent for every teenager with an
illegitimate child; an agent for a research scientist who wanted to make
some cash answering the age-old question of why monkeys grind their teeth.
An agent for some poor demented hippie who considers herself to be a
meaningful and talented artist, but who just can't manage to sell any of her
artwork on the open market.
Your new partner is an agent for every person with limited, if any, job
skills, but who wanted a job at City Hall. An agent for tin-horn dictators in
fancy military uniforms grasping for American foreign aid. An agent for
multi-million- dollar companies who want someone else to pay for their
overseas advertising. An agent for everybody who wants to use the
unimaginable power of this agent's for their personal enrichment and
That agent is our wonderful, caring, compassionate, oppressive government.
Believe me, you will be awed by the unimaginable power this agent has. Power
that you do not have. A power that no individual has, or will have. This
agent has the legal power to use force, deadly force to accomplish its
You have no choice here. Your new friend is just going to walk up to you,
introduce itself rather gruffly, hand you a few forms to fill out, and move
right on in. Say hello to your own personal one ton gorilla. It will sleep
anywhere it wants to.
Now, let me tell you, this agent is not cheap. As you become successful it
will seize about 40% of everything you earn. And no, I'm sorry, there just
isn't any way you can fire this agent of plunder, and you can't decrease its
share of your income. That power rests with him, not you.
So, here I am saying negative things to you about government. Well, be clear
on this: It is not wrong to distrust government. It is not wrong to fear
government. In certain cases it is not even wrong to despise government for
government is inherently evil. Yes ... a necessary evil, but dangerous
nonetheless ... somewhat like a drug. Just as a drug that in the proper
dosage can save your life, an overdose of government can be fatal.
Now let's address a few things that have been crammed into your minds at
this university. There are some ideas you need to expunge as soon as
possible. These ideas may work well in academic environment, but they fail
miserably out there in the real world.
First is that favorite buzz word of the media and academia: Diversity! You
have been taught that the real value of any group of people - be it a social
group, an employee group, a management group, whatever - is based on
diversity. This is a favored liberal ideal because diversity is based not on
an individual's abilities or character, but on a person's identity and
status as a member of a group. Yes, it's that liberal group identity thing
Within the great diversity movement group identification - be it racial,
gender based, or some other minority status - means more than the
individual's integrity, character or other qualifications.
Brace yourself. You are about to move from this academic atmosphere where
diversity rules, to a workplace and a culture where individual achievement
and excellence actually count. No matter what your professors have taught
you over the last four years, you are about to learn that diversity is
absolutely no replacement for excellence, ability, and individual hard work.
From this day on every single time you hear the word "diversity" you can
rest assured that there is someone close by who is determined to rob you of
every vestige of individuality you possess.
We also need to address this thing you seem to have about "rights." We have
witnessed an obscene explosion of so-called "rights" in the last few
decades, usually emanating from college campuses.
You know the mantra: You have the right to a job. The right to a place to
live. The right to a living wage. The right to health care. The right to an
education. You probably even have your own pet right - the right to a Beemer
for instance, or the right to have someone else provide for that child you
plan on downloading in a year or so.
Forget it. Forget those rights! I'll tell you what your rights are! You have
a right to live free, and to the results of 60% -75% of your labor. I'll
also tell you have no right to any portion of the life or labor of another.
You may, for instance, think that you have a right to health care. After
all, Hillary said so, didn't she? But you cannot receive healthcare unless
some doctor or health practitioner surrenders some of his time - his life -
to you. He may be willing to do this for compensation, but that's his
choice. You have no "right" to his time or property. You have no right to
his or any other person's life or to any portion thereof.
You may also think you have some "right" to a job; a job with a living wage,
whatever that is. Do you mean to tell me that you have a right to force your
services on another person, and then the right to demand that this person
compensate you with their money? Sorry, forget it. I am sure you would
scream if some urban outdoorsmen (that would be "homeless person" for those
of you who don't want to give these less fortunate people a romantic and
adventurous title) came to you and demanded his job and your money.
The people who have been telling you about all the rights you have are
simply exercising one of theirs - the right to be imbeciles. Their being
imbeciles didn't cost anyone else either property or time. It's their right,
and they exercise it brilliantly.
By the way, did you catch my use of the phrase "less fortunate" a bit ago
when I was talking about the urban outdoorsmen? That phrase is a favorite of
the Left. Think about it, and you'll understand why.
To imply that one person is homeless, destitute, dirty, drunk, spaced out on
drugs, unemployable, and generally miserable because he is "less fortunate"
is to imply that a successful person - one with a job, a home and a future -
is in that position because he or she was "fortunate." The dictionary says
that fortunate means "having derived good from an unexpected place." There
is nothing unexpected about deriving good from hard work. There is also
nothing unexpected about deriving misery from choosing drugs, alcohol, and
If the Liberal Left can create the common perception that success and
failure are simple matters of "fortune" or "luck," then it is easy to
promote and justify their various income redistribution schemes. After all,
we are just evening out the odds a little bit. This "success equals luck"
idea the liberals like to push is seen everywhere. Former Democratic
presidential candidate Richard Gephardt refers to high-achievers as "people
who have won life's lottery." He wants you to believe they are making the
big bucks because they are lucky. It's not luck, my friends. It's choice.
One of the greatest lessons I ever learned was in a book by Og Mandino,
entitled "The Greatest Secret in the World." The lesson? Very simple: "Use
wisely your power of choice."
That bum sitting on a heating grate, smelling like a wharf rat? He's there
by choice. He is there because of the sum total of the choices he has made
in his life. This truism is absolutely the hardest thing for some people to
accept, especially those who consider themselves to be victims of something
or other - victims of discrimination, bad luck, the system, capitalism,
whatever. After all, nobody really wants to accept the blame for his or her
position in life. Not when it is so much easier to point and say, "Look! He
did this to me!" than it is to look into a mirror and say, "You S. O. B.!
You did this to me!"
The key to accepting responsibility for your life is to accept the fact that
your choices, every one of them, are leading you inexorably to either
success or failure, however you define those terms.
Some of the choices are obvious: Whether or not to stay in school. Whether or
not to get pregnant. Whether or not to hit the bottle. Whether or not to
keep this job you hate until you get another better-paying job. Whether or
not to save some of your money, or saddle yourself with huge payments for
that new car.
Some of the choices are seemingly insignificant: Whom to go to the movies
with. Whose car to ride home in. Whether to watch the tube tonight, or read
a book on investing. But, and you can be sure of this, each choice counts.
Each choice is a building block - some large, some small. But each one is a
part of the structure of your life. If you make the right choices, or if you
make more right choices than wrong ones, something absolutely terrible may
happen to you. Something unthinkable. You, my friend, could become one of
the hated, the evil, the ugly, the feared, the filthy, the successful, the
The rich basically serve two purposes in this country. First, they provide
the investments, the investment capital, and the brains for the formation of
new businesses. Businesses that hire people. Businesses that send millions
of paychecks home each week to the un-rich.
Second, the rich are a wonderful object of ridicule, distrust, and hatred.
Few things are more valuable to a politician than the envy most Americans
feel for the evil rich.
Envy is a powerful emotion. Even more powerful than the emotional minefield
that surrounded Bill Clinton when he reviewed his last batch of White House
interns. Politicians use envy to get votes and power. And they keep that
power by promising the envious that the envied will be punished: "The rich
will pay their fair share of taxes if I have anything to do with it." The
truth is that the top 10% of income earners in this country pays almost 50%
of all income taxes collected. I shudder to think what these job producers
would be paying if our tax system were any more "fair."
You have heard, no doubt, that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
Interestingly enough, our government's own numbers show that many of the
poor actually get richer, and that quite a few of the rich actually get
poorer. But for the rich who do actually get richer, and the poor who remain
poor .. there's an explanation -- a reason. The rich, you see, keep doing
the things that make them rich; while the poor keep doing the things that
make them poor.
Speaking of the poor, during your adult life you are going to hear an
endless string of politicians bemoaning the plight of the poor So, you need
to know that under our government's definition of "poor" you can have a $5
million net worth, a $300,000 home and a new $90,000 Mercedes, all
completely paid for. You can also have a maid, cook, and valet, and a
million in your checking account, and you can still be officially defined by
our government as "living in poverty." Now there's something you haven't
seen on the evening news.
How does the government pull this one off? Very simple, really. To determine
whether or not some poor soul is "living in poverty," the government
measures one thing -- just one thing. Income. It doesn't matter one bit how
much you have, how much you own, how many cars you drive or how big they
are, whether or not your pool is heated, whether you winter in Aspen and
spend the summers in the Bahamas , or how much is in your savings account.
It only matters how much income you claim in that particular year. This
means that if you take a one-year leave of absence from your high-paying job
and decide to live off the money in your savings and checking accounts while
you write the next great American novel, the government says you are 'living
This isn't exactly what you had in mind when you heard these gloomy
statistics, is it? Do you need more convincing? Try this. The government's
own statistics show that people who are said to be "living in poverty" spend
more than $1.50 for each dollar of income they claim. Something is a bit
fishy here. Just remember all this the next time Charles Gibson tells you
about some hideous new poverty statistics.
Why has the government concocted this phony poverty scam? Because the
government needs an excuse to grow and to expand its social welfare
programs, which translates into an expansion of its power. If the government
can convince you, in all your compassion, that the number of "poor" is
increasing, it will have all the excuse it needs to sway an electorate
suffering from the advanced stages of Obsessive-Compulsive Compassion
I'm about to be stoned by the faculty here. They've already changed their
minds about that honorary degree I was going to get. That's OK, though. I
still have my PhD. in Insensitivity from the Neal Boortz Institute for
Insensitivity Training. I learned that, in short, sensitivity sucks. It's a
trap. Think about it - the truth knows no sensitivity. Life can be
insensitive. Wallow too much in sensitivity and you'll be unable to deal
with life, or the truth So, get over it.
Now, before the dean has me shackled and hauled off, I have a few random
* You need to register to vote, unless you are on welfare. If you are living
off the efforts of others, please do us the favor of sitting down and
shutting up until you are on your own again.
* When you do vote, your votes for the House and the Senate are more
important than your vote for president. The House controls the purse
strings, so concentrate your awareness there.
* Liars cannot be trusted, even when the liar is the president of the
country. If someone can't deal honestly with you, send them packing.
* Don't bow to the temptation to use the government as an instrument of
plunder. If it is wrong for you to take money from someone else who earned
it -- to take their money by force for your own needs -- then it is
certainly just as wrong for you to demand that the government step forward
and do this dirty work for you.
* Don't look in other people's pockets. You have no business there. What
they earn is theirs. What you earn is yours. Keep it that way. Nobody owes
you anything, except to respect your privacy and your rights, and leave you
the hell alone.
* Speaking of earning, the revered 40-hour workweek is for losers. Forty
hours should be considered the minimum, not the maximum. You don't see
highly successful people clocking out of the office every afternoon at five.
The losers are the ones caught up in that afternoon rush hour. The winners
drive home in the dark.
* Free speech is meant to protect unpopular speech. Popular speech, by
definition, needs no protection.
* Finally (and aren't you glad to hear that word), as Og Mandino wrote,
"1. Proclaim your rarity. Each of you is a rare and unique human being.
2. Use wisely your power of choice.
3. Go the extra mile .. drive home in the dark.
Oh, and put off buying a television set as long as you can. Now, if you have
any idea at all what's good for you, you will get the hell out of here and
never come back.