A high school senior asked Obama to give a commencement speech for the entire Class of 2020
via The Obama White House / YouTube

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 .

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.

The hashtag took off and people are rallying around the cause.

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.

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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As part of its promise for a brighter world, Dole is partnering with Bye Bye Plastic Bags's efforts to bring sunshine to all.

Visit www.sunshineforall.com to learn more.

Who would have thought that giving the world access to all human knowledge via the internet, the ability to follow and hear from experts on any subject via social media, and the ability to see what's happening anywhere in the world via smartphones with cameras would result in a terrifying percentage of the population believing and spouting nothing but falsehoods day in and day out?

Those of us who value facts, reason, and rational thought have found ourselves at some of our fellow citizens and thinking, "Really? THIS is how you choose to use the greatest tool humanity has ever created? To spew unfounded conspiracy theories?"

It's a marvel, truly.

Between Coronavirus/Bill Gates/5G conspiracies and QAnon/Evil Cabal/Pedophile conspiracies, I thought we were pretty much full up on kooky for 2020. But apparently not. The massive fires up and down the West Coast have ignited even more conspiracy theories, some of which local law enforcement and even the FBI have had to debunk.

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In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

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Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

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On September 14, Charles "Chuck" Feeney signed the paperwork to shut down Atlantic Philanthropies. The ceremony was attended via Zoom by the philanthropies' board which included former California Governor Jerry Brown, Bill Gates, and Nancy Pelosi.

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Dear JK Rowling,

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I certainly don't thank you for your lengthy essay last month where you describe the abuse you have suffered (for which you have my sympathy) and in which you stated that you do not hate trans people, while at the same time peddling even more anti-trans mis-information. Sadly, your diatribe directly caused some trans children to self-harm and other to attempt suicide.

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