Former Vice President Al Gore has been mostly forgotten by the public since he won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for a Microsoft Powerpoint presentation he made about the dangers of climate change.
But Gore resurfaced at the Xfinity Center in College Park, Maryland this weekend to deliver a commencement address that included some well-placed criticism about President Trump. While he resisted referring to Trump by name until the final section of the speech - beginning roughly 19 minutes in - when he did, he implored students to do everything they could to vote President Donald Trump out of office - or cut his administration short by another means.
He also urged the graduates in the audience to prove the stereotype that younger people are less engaged wrong, according to the Baltimore Sun.
But at its heart, his speech was political. The Democrat who served with President Bill Clinton urged the audience of early 20-somethings to prove wrong the statistics showing their demographic votes in smaller numbers than older citizens.
"What if, in this year and the years immediately following, something truly extraordinary happened?" Gore said. He said he hoped to see "an American youth movement" that will vote in "unprecedented numbers and reclaim the integrity of American democracy."
A committee of students chose Gore to speak at the ceremony, where 7,500 of the school's 40,000 students received their degrees.
Gore added that the Trump administration was "an experiment" that should be "terminated early for ethical reasons." He added that Americans needed to reclaim respect for reason and the vitality of the news media.
Gore, nowadays best known for his advocacy to fight global warming that earned him a Nobel Prize in 2007, urged the graduates to vote in large numbers in the coming years, suggesting that America’s "experiment" with the Trump administration should, like some scientific ventures, "be terminated early for ethical reasons."
"Your generation has a mission ahead of it," Gore said. "I hope that you will find the will to succeed. In America, the will to succeed is, in fact, a renewable resource."
UM President Wallace Loh expressed similar sentiments.
Loh offered similar exhortations, without mentioning Trump.
"When the heart and soul of our democracy is being challenged, what have you done?" he said. "What will you do?"
Indeed, we could ask Loh and Gore the same question?...