High school seniors set to graduate in 2020 have got to feel massively let down. After years of work, their last year in high school will end with a whimper instead of a bang.
California has already announced that all the traditional end of the year ceremonies will not take place. No prom. No sports banquets. No senior ditch day. No baccalaureate. No graduation ceremony.
Sure the diploma will come in the mail but that's no match for being able to confidently walk on stage in front of one's family and peers to prove you did it.
That means there also won't be any inspiring commencement speaker to share some inspiring advice on how to take the next steps in life.
Twitter user Lincoln, the son of Emmy nominated comedy writer Cassie St. Onge, suggested that Barack Obama give a speech to the nation's 2020 graduating class to make up for the lost ceremony.
"I'm saddened by the loss of milestone events, prom & graduation," Lincoln wrote. "In an unprecedented time, it would give us great comfort to hear your voice. We ask you to consider giving a national commencement speech to the class of 2020."
Then he started the hashtag #ObamaCommencement2020 .
Hi @BarackObama! Like most high school/college seniors, I'm saddened by the loss of milestone events, prom & graduation. In an unprecedented time, it would give us great comfort to hear your voice. We ask you to consider giving a national commencement speech to the class of 2020.
— Lincoln (@lincolnjackd) April 15, 2020
Some people tried to make the movement political, but Lincoln says it's not about politics. It's about being able to hear from the voice that inspired his generation.
Trump would hate it! Please, let it happen.
— D. R. Dick (@granitevoter) April 15, 2020
Wether he does or not, it isn't about that. It's about someone who speaks for my generation. Like Barack Obama was the first President I can remember. The classroom mock elections, watching his inauguration in school. That's what this is about. Hearing that voice of hope again.
— Lincoln (@lincolnjackd) April 15, 2020
The hashtag took off and people are rallying around the cause.
I love the idea of an #ObamaCommencement2020 Speech. Honestly, I just want him to do a weekly address. I know that's not your job anymore but could you come check on us. We miss you. https://t.co/1dlyo6yB43
— Kenya Bradshaw (@KenyaBradshaw) April 15, 2020
If @BarackObama gave a commencement speech to all the high school/college graduating seniors, it would be the most viewed live-stream event in history.
Whaddaya say Mr. President?
— Bill Madden (@maddenifico) April 15, 2020
My son is graduating from college and my daughter is graduating from high school — we would love to have @BarackObama give a national commencement speech! #ObamaCommencement2020https://t.co/XetLubPo0g
— Carrie House (@cnh_65) April 15, 2020
So proud of my kids, @lincolnjackd & his big brother @eli_debenham for starting this tweet & getting #ObamaCommencement2020 trending. Thanks to everyone who shared. Even if it doesn't happen, I know your support means a lot to the Class of 2020. pic.twitter.com/8m8eJJpsfn
— 🗽 Caissie “Pretty Scared, You?" St.Onge (@Caissie) April 15, 2020
OF COURSE we should have #ObamaCommencement2020...
He's already written some of the best lines.
This one is feeling more relevant by the minute. pic.twitter.com/YWNXl8KLGs
— Julie #FlattenTheCurve Cohen (@FilmmakerJulie) April 15, 2020
Let's go, Mr. President. #ObamaCommencement2020https://t.co/BNAmN95HF1
— Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) April 15, 2020
Trumpers tried to get #TrumpCommencement2020 trending, but it only has a handful of supporters. Let's be honest, Trump couldn't give a speech to the Boy Scouts of America without being completely inappropriate.
#TrumpCommencement2020 A message to the all Graduates of 2020,Seniors, grad students, honor students, technical students, and GED graduates!
Make this trend!#TrumpCommencement2020#TrumpCommencement2020pic.twitter.com/MFiWe1zHi9
— Bubba (@Brightside172) April 15, 2020
The President's aides and the White House say he won't make this speech political.
Bear in mind this is the same man who gave a highly politicized speech to a bunch of kids at the Boy Scouts of America…
He is incapable of giving an apolitical speech.pic.twitter.com/iF4rSGEqgt
— Ryan Hill (@RyanHillMI) July 3, 2019
Barack Obama is a great choice to do the nationwide commencement speech because he has been voted Gallup's most admired man in the world the past twelve years in a row. Usually, the president of the U.S. wins the honor, however, Obama beat out Trump in 2017 and 18 and tied him in 2019.
Michelle Obama was voted the Most Admired Women in the World for the past two years, so she'd be a great choice to make the commencement speech as well.
If Obama doesn't give speech, students can always tune into some of his previous commencement speeches online. Here's one from Rutgers in 2016 where he gave some advice that's just as good in 2020. Plus, while watching it you can pretend the last four years never happened.
That's it, Class of 2016, a few suggestions on how you can change the world. Except maybe I've got one last suggestion. (Applause.) Just one. And that is, gear yourself for the long haul. Whatever path you choose — business, nonprofits, government, education, health care, the arts — whatever it is, you're going to have some setbacks. You will deal occasionally with foolish people.
You will be frustrated. You'll have a boss that's not great. You won't always get everything you want — at least not as fast as you want it. So you have to stick with it. You have to be persistent. And success, however small, however incomplete, success is still success. I always tell my daughters, you know, better is good. It may not be perfect, it may not be great, but it's good. That's how progress happens — in societies and in our own lives.
So don't lose hope if sometimes you hit a roadblock. Don't lose hope in the face of naysayers. And certainly don't let resistance make you cynical. Cynicism is so easy, and cynics don't accomplish much. As a friend of mine who happens to be from New Jersey, a guy named Bruce Springsteen, once sang — (applause) — "they spend their lives waiting for a moment that just don't come." Don't let that be you. Don't waste your time waiting.
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