A few days ago I wrote a post in which I mentioned that this semester I will be teaching in the same room where I had the chance to meet Michael Bloomberg, about four years ago.
Shortly afterward, I went back and read the post I had written about my meeting with Bloomberg. Bloomberg was our commencement speaker that year at Villanova, and I thought he did a terrific job.
One particular part of his speech really hit home, given what we have experienced for the past couple of months:
“It (patriotism) means having the courage to re-examine our beliefs when data and science contradict them. It means having the courage to stand up to members of your own party when you believe they are wrong – or when their actions put our great American experiment at risk.”
“And it means having the courage to accept the results of an election – even when, and especially when, you deplore the results. Since last November, one of the popular protest slogans has been: ‘Not my president.’ I understand the reasons to protest this president, and I said my piece last summer. So don’t get me wrong: protest is an essential part of patriotism, and I’d encourage all of you to speak up, call your legislators, and get involved in public issues. But at the same time, the fate of our American experiment rests upon the principle that the losing side accepts the legitimacy of the winning side – and works in cooperation with it for the good of the country, rather than fomenting a revolution.”
So I guess as the saying goes, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
And it seems like we did not learn anything from four years ago…
Let’s hope there won’t be another repeat…