I can count on one hand the times that I remember agreeing with something President Obama has said or done. He and I have completely different worldviews. His action on bathrooms in public schools and buildings this week plainly illustrates that he is a part of the moral revolution taking place in the country. However, even the people with whom we disagree the most can make a wise statement every once in a while.
Condoleeza Rice was asked to be the keynote speaker of the commencement ceremony at Rutgers University this week. Due to protests by students regarding her support of the Iraq War, she politely backed out of the engagement. President Obama was her replacement. The president did make some indirect comments about Donald Trump while never mentioning his name; that was to be expected. But with regards to Dr. Rice, the president made sure these students knew how he felt about it and I couldn’t agree more:
“If you disagree with somebody, bring them in and ask them tough questions. Hold their feet to the fire, make them defend their positions. … Don’t be scared to take somebody on. Don’t feel like you got to shut your ears off because you’re too fragile and somebody might offend your sensibilities. Go at them if they’re not making any sense.”
Safe spaces don’t exist in the real world. Facts don’t care about your feelings. No one is immune or exempt from the truth, whether it is comfortable or not. A position on a subject cannot be defended solely by an argument that begins with, “I feel like…” Opinions only go so far. Facts must be involved. There have been many times when I have wanted to “bring [the president] in and ash [him] tough questions.” I may never get that opportunity, but I’ll certainly do it when disagreement arises with others.