The Commencement Speech That Wasn’t


Fake news: President Trump’s Notre Dame Commencement Address

When the news broke that President Trump would not deliver Notre Dame’s 2017 commencement address nor receive an honorary degree despite the university’s tradition of honoring newly elected presidents in this fashion, The Irish Rover, Notre Dame’s independent student newspaper, published the following consolation offering.

Trump’s Commencement Address at Notre Dame

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release:

News outlets have been reporting that the University of Notre Dame did not invite President Donald J. Trump to receive an honorary degree and deliver an address at its upcoming commencement exercises in May. While these stories began circulating on March 2, they only recently came to the attention of the President whilst he perused Twitter late last night.

Immediately dubbing the outrageous stories as “fake news,” the President furiously hammered out the following comments, all the while muttering something about “total scam” and “bull****.” This address, or something like it, will be delivered (without the use of a teleprompter) at Notre Dame’s commencement exercises on May 21.

Thank you, Fr. John. Thank you. I have great respect for the law—no one respects the law more than me! No one. So it makes a lot of sense for me to get an honorary “doctor of laws” degree.

I want to say congratulations to all of you out there—the Class of 2017. It’s a great honor to be here to celebrate your graduation from Notre Dame. At least, those of you here in the arena. I saw some protesters outside. They were yelling things at me—vulgar things, really, and screaming, “Not my Commencement Speaker!” I’m not sure what they aren’t getting…Sad!

But let’s be frank, I’m a pretty nice guy—I’m for the most part a nice guy, unlike some of you—congratulations to all of you, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love!

I’m sure you’re all aware that my IQ is one of the highest—no one has a higher IQ than me—but please don’t feel stupid or insecure; it’s not your fault. But I am a really smart guy. I have the best words. No one has better words than me. It’s true. So, Fr. John, I hope you won’t mind if I speak frankly now.

Class of 2017, you’ve already accomplished a lot. You’re wonderful people. Amazing people. Some of you, I assume, are bad people. And some of you, I assume, are from China. But I love Catholics, and Notre Dame is the greatest of the great Catholic institutions for great people.

But Notre Dame has fallen on some hard times. Ever since Sergeant Tim McCarthy from the Indiana State Police retired, Notre Dame has been weak. Low-energy. Like a weak, little baby. I remember what Tim McCarthy said—what a great guy, by the way, a real American. He said, “Driving like a turkey is a fowl way to drive.” And he’s right, you know. I don’t think anyone would say that he’s wrong. The truth is, people, the truth is that Notre Dame has been driving like a turkey for a while now. And that’s foul—it’s just foul. Our leaders are stupid. Incompetent.

These people are just holed up in their Golden Dome building—and they’ve lost touch with the people! Completely lost touch.

They don’t have any idea what life is like for the students living in fly-over country. What about the hard-working people of Carroll Hall? No one cares about them. What about the middle-class students living without air conditioning in their closet-sized rooms? The freshmen—they go in, they don’t know there’s no air conditioning. They sweat like dogs. How are they gonna beat ISIS? It’s not going to happen. The freshmen are toast. I saw them. I went to visit Fisher Hall—what a dump, by the way. But let me tell you, I didn’t sweat at all, even though it was pretty hot in there. And you know why—I can handle the heat. I can also afford air conditioning – you know, one of the beautiful things about me is I’m rich.

But our leaders don’t care. They don’t even know what it’s like living in a dump like Pangborn. What a terrible name, by the way. Awful. And I don’t even need to tell you what’s happening in Zahm—it is total carnage, and it needs to stop. Now.

Notre Dame, you don’t know how to win. I will teach you! I promise to you right here and right now—we are going to drain Du Lac! We will make Notre Dame great again! Believe me. Believe me.

Before I get to the real problem, I just want to be fair—because I’m a very fair person, really—and point out some of the things that I love about Notre Dame.

For starters, the best taco bowls are made in Taco Bell in LaFortune. I love Hispanics! And also those great gold helmets that the football team wears. They remind me of the toilets at Trump Tower! And I can’t forget to mention Mike Brey—Big League Brey. What a coach—that man knows how to win. I’m glad he gave up on the turtlenecks, though. You know, all of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me. That’s to be expected. But I can guarantee you – none of them would have been flirting with me if I was wearing turtlenecks. Fr. John, I noticed that you’re wearing some kind of turtleneck too. I bet you don’t get many chicks.

So much for the good stuff. The real problem is the football team. Four and eight? Eight losses by the football team. What would Rudy say? We don’t win anymore. We lose to Duke. We lose to Navy. We lose to everybody. But I can make you win again.

We can make Notre Dame football great again! How? It’s really not that complicated. You have to stop the run. It’s that simple. I will build a great wall—and nobody builds a wall better than me, believe me. Our defensive line will be a wall. A wall, I tell you! And USC is going to pay for the wall. Yes, USC is going to pay for that wall and it’s going to be a great wall that stops anyone from going through.

Second, we’re going to get players to come here—legally. Legally. No under-the-table payments, no admitting students who don’t do their own work—just good, solid Americans. Not from China. I’m talking American-made steel. Players who run like gazelles and hit like freight trains. Amazing people. And guys who can read. Reading is very important, let me tell you.

On offense, my plan is very simple. We’re going to bomb the **** out of them. I’ve seen your new QB, and he has a cannon for an arm. Just let loose and throw it deep. Simple.

And I know—I know that the critics are probably already saying, “How is he going to do this?” Well, I’ll tell you one thing. We’re not going to have any more scandals with the football team. No more joy rides down Indiana back roads with loaded handguns at your side and a bag of marijuana at your feet. As far as I’m concerned, I like the guys who don’t get caught. And if anyone does get caught, I’m going to look Brian Kelly right in that chubby face and say, “You’re fired.” Okay?

Before I leave, I just want to tell you that I’m excited for your future. You know, sometimes I say that the only difference between graduates of Notre Dame and other schools is that you guys are Catholic, and your women are more beautiful. But that doesn’t do you justice. Unlike Mexico, when Notre Dame sends its people, they send the best.

Thank you for having me, and thank you for the degree. I promise you, I will be so good at the laws that your head will spin. May God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.

Mordecai Lewis is the Rover’s most relevant real news writer.

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