Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia joked during a commencement speech yesterday at the all-girls Catholic school Stone Ridge about commencement speech platitudes. He talked about “old and hackneyed” clichés everyone always hears at speeches such as these, and proceeded to dismiss them all one by one.
For example, he said the phrase “unprecedented challenges” is bunk, because all challenges are precedented.
And then there’s “never compromise your principles” or “follow your north star” or that kind of thing. Scalia said sometimes, if you’re lost, you probably should follow someone else’s north star.”
And then there was this.
“Never compromise your principles,” Scalia said, “unless, of course, your principles are Adolf Hitler‘s, in which case you would be well-advised to compromise them as much as you can.”
He also, more seriously, spoke of how evil men like Hitler never started out by saying they wanted to do evil things, merely just proposed their solutions for problems ailing their societies, and everyone should be careful about embracing dangerous solutions.
Watch Scalia’s full commencement address here:
[image via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? email@example.com