McCain’s planned speeches at universities met with protest

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Senator John McCain of Arizona is about to show up at a couple of places one wouldn’t think to find him: He is the speaker at Columbia College‘s Class Day on May 16, and he is scheduled to give the commencement address at the New School on May 19. McCain was invited to the New School by New School president Bob Kerrey, who is standing by his decision, despite a lot of protest.

Columbia’s class of 2006 has constructed a website, John McCain Does Not Speak For Us, which includes a petition to withdraw the school’s invitation to McCain to be its Class Day speaker. At the New School, Gregory Tewksbury, a leader of the anti-McCain protests, is suggesting that McCain would be an appropriate guest if New School faculty and students could debate him, but that he is not an appropriate commencement speaker. Others at the school do not think McCain should be a guest there under any circumstances.

The protests against McCain, as expected, are about the senator’s strong voting record against gay rights and women’s right to choose, and his support of the war in Iraq. But there is something else that has made the protests perhaps even stronger than they might have been: This Saturday, McCain is delivering the commencement address at Liberty University, the school founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell. Mr. Falwell is also opposed to gay rights and women’s right to choose, and drew attention to himself after the September 11 attacks for saying that the attacks were caused by the ACLU, feminists, gays, abortionists, and the federal courts.

McCain says he considers it “an honor” to address the students and faculty at Liberty Univeristy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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