Neil Boortz’ Commencement Speech–Truth! & Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
It is said to be a commencement speech delivered by nationally syndicated talk show host Neil Boortz. Among other things, he offends the faculty by saying they are the ones who can’t “do” so they stay at college and teach. Some versions say he delivered the speech at his alma mater, Texas A&M.
The speech is from the pen of Neil Boortz and is posted on his website at www.boortz.com.
Boortz tells TruthOrFiction.com, however, that so far, it’s never actually been delivered at a commencement.
He says he wrote the speech about 1997 in protest of never having been invited to give a commencement address.
It became the springboard for his first book, “The Commencement Speech You Need To Hear.”
Later he produced an audio CD of the speech complete with crowd noise and applause, which has been aired on his radio program.
Boortz says that although Texas A & M is his alma mater, it is not true that he gave the speech there.
Last updated 6/29/03
It is the season of commencement speeches. Many are boringly predictable.
Neal Boortz, a Texan, lawyer, Texas Aggie, now nationally syndicated talk
host from Atlanta is an exception. Agree or not you will find his views
thought provoking. It would have been particularly entertaining to witness
Neal Boortz Commencement Address:
I am honored by the invitation to address you on this august occasion. It’s
about time. Be warned, however, that I am not here to impress you; you’ll
enough smoke blown your way today. And you can bet your tassels I’m not here
to impress the faculty and administration.
You may not like much of what I have to say, and that’s fine. You will
remember it though. Especially after about 10 years out there in the real
This, it goes without saying, does not apply to those of you who will seek
careers and your fortunes as government employees.
This gowned gaggle behind me is your faculty. You’ve heard the old saying
that those who can – do. Those who can’t – teach. That sounds deliciously
insensitive. But there is often raw truth in insensitivity, just as you
feel-good falsehoods and lies in compassion. Say good-bye to your faculty
because now you are getting ready to go out there and do. These folks behind
going to stay right here and teach.
By the way, just because you are leaving this place with a diploma doesn’t
mean the learning is over. When an FAA flight examiner handed me my private
pilot’s license many years ago, he said, ‘Here, this is your ticket to
same can be said for your diploma. Believe me, the learning has just begun.
Now, I realize that most of you consider yourselves Liberals. In fact, you
are probably very proud of your liberal views. You care so much. You feel so
much. You want to help so much. After all, you’re a compassionate and caring
person, aren’t you now? Well, isn’t that just so extraordinarily special.
this age, is as good a time as any to be a Liberal; as good a time as any to
know absolutely everything. You have plenty of time,
starting tomorrow, for the truth to set in. Over the next few years, as you
begin to feel the cold breath of reality down your neck, things are going to
start changing pretty fast .. including your own assessment of just how much
So here are the first assignments for your initial class in reality: Pay
attention to the news, read newspapers, and listen to the words and phrases
proud Liberals use to promote their causes. Then compare the words of the
to the words and phrases you hear from those evil, heartless, greedy
conservatives. From the Left you will hear “I feel.” From the Right you will
think.” From the Liberals you will hear references to groups –The Blacks,
Poor, The Rich, The Disadvantaged, The Less Fortunate.” From the Right you
will hear references to individuals. On the Left you hear talk of group
on the Right, individual rights.
That about sums it up, really: Liberals feel. Liberals care. They are pack
animals whose identity is tied up in group dynamics. Conservatives and
Libertarians think — and, setting aside the theocracy crowd, their identity
centered on the individual.
Liberals feel that their favored groups, have enforceable rights to the
property and services of productive individuals. Conservatives (and
myself among them I might add) think that individuals have the right to
their lives and their property from the plunder of the masses.
In college you developed a group mentality, but if you look closely at your
diplomas you will see that they have your individual names on them. Not the
name of your school mascot, or of your fraternity or sorority, but your
Your group identity is going away. Your recognition and appreciation of your
individual identity starts now.
If, by the time you reach the age of 30, you do not consider yourself to be
libertarian or a conservative, rush right back here as quickly as you can
apply for a faculty position. These people will welcome you with open arms.
They will welcome you, that is, so long as you haven’t developed an
identity. Once again you will have to be willing to sign on to the group
mentality you embraced during the past four years.
Something is going to happen soon that is going to really open your eyes.
You’re going to actually get a full time job! You’re also going to get a
work partner. This partner isn’t going to help you do your job. This
partner is just going to sit back and wait for payday. This partner doesn’t
share in your effort, you’re your earnings.
Your new lifelong partner is actually an agent. An agent representing a
strange and diverse group of people. An agent for every teenager with an
illegitimate child. An agent for a research scientist who wanted to make
answering the age-old question of why monkeys grind their teeth. An agent
poor demented hippie who considers herself to be a meaningful and talented
artist … but who just can’t manage to sell any of
her artwork on the open market.
Your new partner is an agent for every person with limited, if any, job
skills … but who wanted a job at City Hall. An agent for tin-horn
fancy military uniforms grasping for American foreign aid. An agent for
multi-million-dollar companies who want someone else to pay for their
advertising. An agent for everybody who wants to use the
unimaginable power of this agent’s for their personal enrichment and
That agent is our wonderful, caring, compassionate, oppressive government.
Believe me, you will be awed by the unimaginable power this agent has. Power
that you do not have. A power that no individual has, or will have. This
has the legal power to use force deadly force to accomplish its goals.
You have no choice here. Your new friend is just going to walk up to you,
introduce itself rather gruffly, hand you a few forms to fill out, and move
on in. Say hello to your own personal one ton gorilla. It will sleep
it wants to.
Now, let me tell you, this agent is not cheap. As you become successful it
will seize about 40% of everything you earn. And no, I’m sorry, there just
any way you can fire this agent of plunder, and you can’t decrease it’s
of your income. That power rests with him, not you.
So, here I am saying negative things to you about government. Well, be clear
on this: It is not wrong to distrust government. It is not wrong to fear
government. In certain cases it is not even wrong to despise government for
government is inherently evil. Yes … a necessary evil, but dangerous
… somewhat like a drug. Just as a drug that in the proper dosage can save
life, an overdose of government can be fatal.
Now let’s address a few things that have been crammed into your minds at
this university. There are some ideas you need to expunge as soon as
These ideas may work well in academic environment, but they fail miserably
there in the real world.
First that favorite buzz word of the media, government and academia:
You have been taught that the real value of any group of people – be it a
social group, an employee group, a management group, whatever – is based on
diversity. This is a favored liberal ideal because diversity is based not on
individual’s abilities or character, but on a person’s identity and status
member of a group. Yes it’s that liberal group identity thing again.
Within the great diversity movement group identification – be it racial,
gender based, or some other minority status – means more than the
integrity, character or other qualifications.
Brace yourself. You are about to move from this academic atmosphere where
diversity rules, to a workplace and a culture where individual achievement
excellence actually count. No matter what your professors have taught you
the last four years, you are about to learn that diversity is absolutely no
replacement for excellence, ability, and individual hard work. >From this day
every single time you hear the word “diversity” you
can rest assured that there is someone close by who is determined to rob you
of every vestige of individuality you possess.
We also need to address this thing you seem to have about “rights.” We have
witnessed an obscene explosion of so-called “rights” in the last few
usually emanating from college campuses.
You know the mantra: You have the right to a job. The right to a place to
live. The right to a living wage. The right to health care. The right to an
education. You probably even have your own pet right – the right to a
instance, or the right to have someone else provide for that child you plan
downloading in a year or so.
Forget it. Forget those rights! I’ll tell you what your rights are! You have
a right to live free, and to the results of your labor. I’ll also tell you
have no right to any portion of the life or labor of another.
You may, for instance, think that you have a right to health care. After
Hillary said so, didn’t she? But you cannot receive health care unless some
doctor or health practitioner surrenders some of his time – his life – to
He may be willing to do this for compensation, but that’s his choice. You
no “right” to his time or property. You have no right to his or any other
person’s life or to any portion thereof.
You may also think you have some “right” to a job; a job with a living wage,
whatever that is. Do you mean to tell me that you have a right to force your
services on another person, and then the right to demand that this person
compensate you with their money? Sorry, forget it. I am sure you would
some urban outdoorsmen (that would be “homeless person” for those of you who
don’t want to give these less fortunate people a
romantic and adventurous title) came to you and demanded his job and your
The people who have been telling you about all the rights you have are
exercising one of theirs – the right to be imbeciles. Their being imbeciles
didn’t cost anyone else either property or time. It’s their right, and they
exercise it brilliantly.
By the way, did you catch my use of the phrase “less fortunate” a bit ago
when I was talking about the urban outdoorsmen? That phrase is a favorite of
Left. Think about it, and you’ll understand why.
To imply that one person is homeless, destitute, dirty, drunk, spaced out on
drugs, unemployable, and generally miserable because he is “less fortunate”
to imply that a successful person – one with a job, a home and a future – is
in that position because he or she was “fortunate.” The dictionary says that
fortunate means “having derived good from an unexpected place.” There is
nothing unexpected about deriving good from hard work. There is also nothing
unexpected about deriving misery from choosing drugs, alcohol, and the
If the Left can create the common perception that success and failure are
simple matters of “fortune” or “luck,” then it is easy to promote and
their various income redistribution schemes. After all, we are just evening
the odds a little bit.
This “success equals luck” idea the liberals like to push is seen
Democratic presidential candidate Richard Gephardt refers to high-achievers
as “people who have won life’s lottery.” He wants you to believe they are
making the big bucks because they are lucky.
It’s not luck, my friends. It’s choice. One of the greatest lessons I ever
learned was in a book by Og Mandino, entitled “The Greatest Secret in the
World.” The lesson? Very simple: “Use wisely your power of choice.”
That bum sitting on a heating grate, smelling like a wharf rat? He’s there
choice. He is there because of the sum total of the choices he has made in
his life. This truism is absolutely the hardest thing for some people to
especially those who consider themselves to be victims of something or other
– victims of discrimination, bad luck, the system, capitalism, whatever.
all, nobody really wants to accept the blame for his or her position in
Not when it is so much easier to point and say, “Look! He did this to me!”
than it is to look into a mirror and say, “You S.O.B.! You did this to me!”
The key to accepting responsibility for your life is to accept the fact that
your choices, every one of them, are leading you inexorably to either
or failure, however you define those terms.
Some of the choices are obvious: Whether or not to stay in school. Whether
not to get pregnant. Whether or not to hit the bottle. Whether or not to
this job you hate until you get another better-paying job. Whether or not to
save some of your money, or saddle yourself with huge payments for that new
Some of the choices are seemingly insignificant: Whom to go to the movies
with. Whose car to ride home in. Whether to watch the tube tonight, or read
book on investing. But, and you can be sure of this, each choice counts.
choice is a building block – some large, some small. But each one is a part
the structure of your life. If you make the right choices, or if you make
right choices than wrong ones, something absolutely terrible
may happen to you. Something unthinkable. You, my friend, could become one
the hated, the evil, the ugly, the feared, the filthy,, the successful, the
Quite a few people have made that mistake.
The rich basically serve two purposes in this country. First, they provide
the investments, the investment capital, and the brains for the formation of
businesses. Businesses that hire people. Businesses that send millions of
paychecks home each week to the un-rich.
Second, the rich are a wonderful object of ridicule, distrust, and hatred.
Few things are more valuable to a politician than the envy most Americans
for the evil rich.
Envy is a powerful emotion. Even more powerful than the emotional minefield
that surrounded Bill Clinton when he reviewed his last batch of White House
interns. Politicians use envy to get votes and power. And they keep that
promising the envious that the envied will be punished: “The rich will pay
their fair share of taxes if I have anything to do with it.’ The truth is
the top 10% of income earners in this country pays almost 50% of all income
taxes collected. I shudder to think what these job producers
would be paying if our tax system were any more “fair.”
You have heard, no doubt, that in the rich get richer and the poor get
poorer. Interestingly enough, our government’s own numbers show that many of
poor actually get richer, and that quite a few of the rich actually get
But for the rich who do actually get richer, and the poor who remain poor
there’s an explanation — a reason. The rich, you see, keep doing the things
that make them rich; while the poor keep doing the things
that make them poor.
Speaking of the poor, during your adult life you are going to hear an
string of politicians bemoaning the plight of the poor in . So, you need to
know that under our government’s definition of “poor” you can have a $5
net worth, a $300,000 home and a new $90,000 Mercedes, all completely paid
for. You can also have a maid, cook, and valet, and $1 million in your
account, and you can still be officially defined
by our government as “living in poverty.” Now there’s something you haven’t
seen on the evening news.
How does the government pull this one off? Very simple, really. To determine
whether or not some poor soul is “living in poverty,” the government
one thing — just one thing. Income. It doesn’t matter one bit how much you
have, how much you own, how many cars you drive or how big they are, whether
not your pool is heated, whether you winter in Aspen and spend the summers
the Bahamas, or how much is in your savings
account. It only matters how much income you claim in that particular year.
This means that if you take a one-year leave of absence from your
job and decide to live off the money in your savings and checking accounts
while you write the next great American novel, the government says you are
This isn’t exactly what you had in mind when you heard these gloomy
statistics, is it?
Do you need more convincing? Try this. The government’s own statistics show
that people who are said to be “living in poverty” spend more than $1.50 for
each dollar of income they claim. Something is a bit fishy here. just
all this the next time Peter Jennings puffs up and tells you about some
hideous new poverty statistics.
Why has the government concocted this phony poverty scam? Because the
government needs an excuse to grow and to expand its social welfare
translates into an expansion of its power. If the government can convince
in all your compassion, that the number of “poor” is increasing, it will
all the excuse it needs to sway an
electorate suffering from the advanced stages of Obsessive-Compulsive
I’m about to be stoned by the faculty here. They’ve already changed their
minds about that honorary degree I was going to get. That’s OK, though. I
have my Ph.D. in Insensitivity from the Neal Boortz Institute for
Training. I learned that, in short, sensitivity sucks. It’s a trap. Think
about it – the truth knows no sensitivity. Life can be insensitive. Wallow
much in sensitivity and you’ll be unable to deal with life, or the truth.
get over it.
Now, before the dean has me shackled and hauled off, I have a few random
* You need to register to vote, unless you are on welfare. If you are living
off the efforts of others, please do us the favor of sitting down and
up until you are on your own again.
* When you do vote, your votes for the House and the Senate are more
important than your vote for president. The House controls the purse
concentrate your awareness there.
* Liars cannot be trusted, even when the liar is the president of the United
States. If someone can’t deal honestly with you, send them packing.
* Don’t bow to the temptation to use the government as an instrument of
plunder. If it is wrong for you to take money from someone else who earned
it — to
take their money by force for your own needs — then it is certainly just as
wrong for you to demand that the government step forward and do this dirty
work for you.
* Don’t look in other people’s pockets. You have no business there. What
earn is theirs. What your earn is yours. Keep it that way. Nobody owes you
anything, except to respect your privacy and your rights, and leave you the
* Speaking of earning, the revered 40-hour workweek is for losers. Forty
hours should be considered the minimum, not the maximum. You don’t see
successful people clocking out of the office every afternoon at five. The
are the ones caught up in that afternoon rush hour. The winners drive home
* Free speech is meant to protect unpopular speech. Popular speech, by
definition, needs no protection.
* Finally (and aren’t you glad to hear that word), as Og Mandino wrote,
1. Proclaim your rarity. Each of you is a rare and unique human being.
2. Use wisely your power of choice.
3. Go the extra mile … drive home in the dark.
Oh, and put off buying a television set as long as you can.
Now, if you have any idea at all what’s good for you, you will get the hell
out of here and never come back.