Graduates at Notre Dame University walk out on Pence as he touts free speech

Graduates at Notre Dame University walk out on Pence as he touts free speech, by Frank McGurty.

Dozens of students walked out of Notre Dame University’s commencement exercise on Sunday to protest a speech by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who warned graduates of the prestigious Catholic school against suppressing free speech.

The protesters, among the thousands of graduates and guests assembled in the university’s football stadium, stood up when the conservative Republican began his speech and streamed out of the ceremony, to the jeers of some of those who remained.

A few of the students had messages of protest attached to their traditional “mortarboard” graduation caps. One of them displayed an inverted U.S. flag, a sign of protest popularized during the Vietnam War era, and the words “Are we great again yet?,” a reference to President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan. …

“I would submit that the increasing intolerance and suppression of the time-honored tradition of free expression on our campuses jeopardizes the liberties of every American. This should not, and must not be met with silence,” Pence said, in an apparent reference to efforts to bar him from speaking. …

“Far too many campuses across America have been characterized by speech codes, safe zones, tone policing, administration-sanctioned political correctness all of which amounts to nothing less than the suppression of the freedom of speech,” Pence told the audience at the campus in South Bend. …

Organizers of the Notre Dame protest said they wanted to voice their objections to policies advocated by Pence as part of the Trump administration and while he was governor, including a proposal to suspend immigration from some Muslim-majority countries that has so far been blocked in courts.

I don’t recall the opponents of Obama ever being this uncivil — instead, they mainly got out of his way and let him govern. The message is one of students touting elite political positions, unwilling to compromise or respect their political opponents. Agree with them, or there will be unpleasantness.