For the last four years I have attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Today I will receive my degree. The hard work of every graduate will be rewarded with a few moments of glory before our family and friends. This celebration of achievement should unite us together behind such admirable success.
Although my degree will be awarded for political science, I do not think politics should have any part in a graduation. By often invoking political issues with which members of the audience inevitably disagree, partisan speakers divide graduates against each other on a day when everyone should be the most united. But many politicians simply see the opportunity as a chance to promote themselves or an agenda to a large, captive audience.
I was disheartened to learn that my graduation would be overshadowed by a politician: Sen. Claire McCaskill. My concerns have nothing to do with party affiliation. Graduation simply is not the place for political activism.
I sincerely hope that Ms. McCaskill breaks with typical politicians and leaves politics out of her speech so that the focus can remain where it belongs: on the graduates.
Justin D. Smith