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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21 Responses to “The Commencement Speech That Wasn’t”

  1. It important to realize the Lady whose image resides atop the golden dome is vastly more powerful than the deeply flawed present leadership. So let us pray and work and in the words of our president let’s make Our Ladies University and our country great again.

    • In regards to The Commencement Speech That Wasn’t, one has to consider the purpose of a Commencement Speech from the start. Some have argued that ” a commencement speech is an opportunity for a commencement speaker to share their experience, values, and advice”.

      No doubt, Our Lady, whose Image resides above The Golden Dome, Is The Destroyer of all Heresy, because she recognizes that in order to Mirror Justice, one must reflect The Way, The Truth, and The Life (Light) of Love.

      The only question a Catholic University should consider when choosing a Commencement speaker is whether or not that speaker’s experience, values, and advice, reflect a desire to be for Christ or against Him.

      It is not possible to be for Christ while denying that God, The Ordered Communion of Perfect Love, The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Triniry, Is The Author of Love, of Life, and of Marriage.

      Claiming to be wise”, the modernists have indeed “become foolish”, for they have deceived themselves by failing to recognize that to deny that God, The Ordered Communion of Perfect Love, The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity, Is The Author of Love, of Life, and of Marriage, is to deny Salvational Love, God’s Gift of Grace and Mercy.

      3. Since “time is greater than space”, I would make it clear that not all discussions of doctrinal, moral or pastoral issues need to be settled by interventions of the magisterium. Unity of teaching and practice is certainly necessary in the Church, but this does not preclude various ways of interpreting some aspects of that teaching or drawing certain consequences from it. This will always be the case as the Spirit guides us towards the entire truth (cf. Jn 16:13), until he leads us fully into the mystery of Christ and enables us to see all things as he does. Each country or region, moreover, can seek solutions better suited to its culture and sensitive to its traditions and local needs. For “cultures are in fact quite diverse and every general principle… needs to be inculturated, if it is to be respected and applied”.3

      Although error has no rights, sometimes error can help to illuminate that which is true due to The Law of Noncontradiction.

      Time is not greater than Space; Time exists in relationship with Space. This moment in Time, is the same moment in Time, on every point of Space in God’s Universe.

      It appears with Time, God’s Universe is expanding.

      No doubt, to suggest that truth is relative to one’s culture, and sensitive to its traditions and local needs and thus every general principle of truth needs to be inculturated if it is to be respected and applied, is the error of modernism in a nutshell.

  2. Dennis Mackin Sr. April 14, 2017 at 10:19 am

    But for the character of his opposition, many would not have voted for Trump. However, Mr. Lewis seems equitable in slinging disparaging remarks. He made me laugh when I really wanted to cry at the state of Our Lady’s U.

  3. Kevin McNamara April 12, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    To: ND Law School Grad:
    “University of Notre Dame students have begun a “NotMyCommencementSpeaker” white board campaign to protest the invitation of Vice President Mike Pence to speak at commencement.”
    “Last week, seniors Immane Mondane and Jourdyhn Williams invited students to take photos holding white boards with “direct quotes from Pence that are racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, offensive, or ostracizing to members of our community”, along with the hashtag”#NotMyCommencementSpeaker.”
    This, my friend, represents the activity of snowflakes; and apparently, the current definition of a racist is a conservative who wins an argument with a liberal. I submit to you that these juvenile actions are not likely to integrate well into the real world after graduation, since half of people you encounter whom will disagree with you. As for you, I hope you enjoy your employment with the ACLU. Would be fitting, as you are apparently familiar with Karl Marx: ‘Accuse others of what you do’.

  4. Thaddeus Mikulski '74 April 12, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    Whatever your view of the current ND administration, it is a well written piece of satire that effectively utilized the idiosyncrasies of Trump’s public speeches. Whatever your view of Trump, lefties and righties, you all need to get a life and chill out.

  5. EVERY problem has a solution… ND is great as I learned in my universal travels on defense and aerospace. Athletic programs are great and the will to win can not be over stated. ND need not continue to compete with the “Country Clubs!” There are enough incredible young people capable of doing COLLEGE work and compete on every level. Freedoms are not free and – pardon the expression – snowflakes should have had or get a job, starting with garbage collection or ditch digging or accompanying the TV personality, Rowe? on dirty jobs… sad that most of our snowflakes never had to organize time and hold jobs growing up.

  6. To Kevin McNamara: wow, you think “commencement speakers should be a source of dialogue?” Why, so you can shout “snowflake” at them? I bet “libtard” is a regular part of your vocabulary as well. Your closed-minded vocabulary isn’t a way to win the hearts and minds of people who disagree with you but who are open to possibly changing their opinions. Moreover, it makes me doubt the sincerity of your opinion about stifling free speech and its validity that Pence is a decent man. (I hope he is never required to break bread with Angela Merkel or any other female world leaders, since he won’t unless his wife is present. That is just strange.) Good luck in your future disrespect of those who disagree with you.

  7. The young people today are enormously creative (as this piece demonstrates) but also highly influenced by the secular culture and media which remains unchallenged on campus. They are generally “lost” in a sea of secularism. The university fails to take their Catholic faith formation seriously because its President and chief administrators maintain a philosophical hubris that is rooted in the “hermeneutic of suspicion,” an outdated philosophical approach to all of reality and knowledge. There must be a return to “faith seeking understanding.” Pope Benedict asked for a reevaluation of the metaphysics of doubt and called for a new foundation for philosophical and theological pursuits, which in fact, impact in profound ways all that happens at the university. Our young people need guidance to survive the tide of secularism so as to reach the solid shore of a world where the hierarchy of objective values is still in tact. They pay too much in tuition for the University to overlook this need.

  8. Sad. This is demeaning to President Trump and to The University of Notte Dame–Our Lady s University. It is NOT CATHOLIC OR CHARITABLE.

  9. Uncovering the Truth April 12, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Just so people know, this came from the April Fools issue of the Rover….

    • I think everyone knows article is in jest. The import is the ridicule is viewed by some as part of the ‘resistance’. Never has there been such piling on of a new administration. The ridicule reflected in the article can be seen on every late night show and most major newspapers. ND under Jenkins has made a joke out of the Laetare award. They had no problem inviting a President who had the most lax policy ever on abortions. I feel that commencement speakers should be a source of dialogue, not necessarily agreement with everyone (never happens). But ND under Jenkins has morphed into a PC Progressive institution one step away from stifling legitimate free speech, in line with Progressive mandates. While some may see the Rover’s article as funny, it is more piling on and actually a distraction from bigger problems: a deeply divided country and uni-think media. One may not agree with Pence on every issue, but he seems like a decent man. For the snowflakes at ND to get coverage protesting such non-issues tells me that ND, like other institutions, is comfortably settling into its liberal baby-sitting role because it is spiritually aligned–and possibly mentoring–the snowflakes. So this is what $60 thousand per year gets you? It saddens me, but as a graduate I would say there may be a better way to spend your money.

  10. This article is representative of the current condition of Notre Dame, the country and the Catholic Church. The joke is on the author – it is almost comical to see him flailing about, doing his best to undermine some one who is attempting to re-instate some common sense and with whom he may disagree. The author is living in a world that is almost devoid of common sense and facts, so, his best offense is to ridicule, discount and try to misdirect the discussion if not to try and avoid a sane discussion at all. The hypocrisy is stifling and it would be comical, if not so pitiful, to watch such behavior flailing about. Truth and accuracy do not appear to be part of their repertoire.

    • RNP Class of 1969 April 12, 2017 at 10:43 am

      Yikes! The April 1st Edition! They got me again. Back in 1965 when I was a freshman, the front page of the Observer showed an artists rendition of the Administration building with an ultra modern face lift with glass and steel… It took me a while to realize it was the April Fools edition. The same April fools edition also said the University was going co-ed.

  11. Trump speech was funny but also politically correct.

  12. Kevin McNamara April 12, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Saw latest protest about Pence. Nice to know that regardless of the season, Notre Dame still has “snowflakes”.

    Jenkins to ND what Obama was to America. SAD!

  13. RNP Class of 1969 April 12, 2017 at 7:53 am

    As an old time ND graduate, I am very saddened and disappointed by Fr. Jenkins who seems determined to reduce ND’s Catholic identity. Very sad. I am not familiar with administrative politics, but I suspect the Universities board is at least partly to blame. We need to get a board that is more in tune with the values for which Notre Dame stands.

  14. marilyn a reinhold April 12, 2017 at 6:58 am

    The jenkins administration has been horrible and a devistation since the start.- His liberal views has brought down the university and basically changed the whole concept of what a catholic university should be. we need to elect someone who can bring back a school with good values,keep the long lasting beliefs and make us proud again-= the country did it by electing Trumph and ND can do it by electing a good, strong candidate with help from the Sycamore organization.-Our prayers and financial support did it for our country- we can now do it for ND

  15. Frank Freidhoff, '58 April 12, 2017 at 6:51 am

    I did not think it was funny at all. It was insulting to President Trump and to the University. The fact that UND did not invite Pres. Trump is bad enough, but the “speech that did not happen” is just as bad.

  16. Do you suppose the administration and fellows can stifle their academic egos long enough to realize that this is funny?

    Hmmm……….or is it funny???

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