Neal Implores Springfield College Graduates to Solve Democracy's ProblemsMay 18, 2003
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., May 18, 2003 -- Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.) told graduates at Springfield College's 117th undergraduate commencement today "It is far more comfortable to sit back and point out the faults in our American system of democracy, which I admit are many, than to play a role in fixing them. It is within the crucible of democracy that we find the way forward."
Neal addressed an audience of 3,500, including 700 graduates, at the ceremony on Blake Field on the college's campus. "Reject the angry talk show rhetoric that has become the trademark of our times. Just because someone can yell the loudest doesn't mean they are right. You are smarter than that, and sitting on the sidelines, listening to ney-sayers, doesn't do anyone any good," he said.
"Playing a role is a s simple as taking the time to vote - something that your generation is significantly less likely to do than previous generations." Neal added. "But don't sell yourselves short - your generation has done more volunteer and community service than any previous generation. Volunteerism and voting should go hand in hand."
Neal, a former Springfield College adjunct professor of history and government,
encouraged graduates to consider public service as noble career option.
He pointed out that, "Over the past 50 years, government has led
our path of progress."