Choate is a prestigious preparatory school in rural Connecticut whose best known alumnus is John F. Kennedy. Its student body tends to mirror those of the Ivy League colleges to which it sends many of its graduates...children of privilege, legacies, with miinority kids mixed in. The word 'choate' (prounounced COH-ate) means 'formed,' which in an old-fashioned way describes the school's mission, to form youth into young adults. Many years ago, apparently, the founders decided it would sound pompous to pronounce the school's name in two syllables. Thus, we say 'CHOAT.'
I have no connection to Choate/Rosemary Hall. But as a former Connecticut resident I know you have a reputation to protect. That's why your choice of Karl Rove as commencement speaker is mystifying.
I don't know who wrote the bio on your website. But to read it, one would think Rove is a highly respected statesman, when in fact he is the exact opposite. He was fired by both Bush 41 and Bush 43. The latter had so little regard for Rove that he nicknamed him "Turd Blossom." Rove was instrumental in the outing of Valerie Plame, a fact even his attorney admitted to; Valerie Plame was a C.I.A. agent whose revealed status has resulted in extreme danger to other C.I.A. operatives. Rove didn't preside over two "successful" elections, as your bio states, but two crooked ones; if your scribe had been a pollwatcher in 2004, as I was, he or she would have witnessed vote-flipping and deliberate under-allocation of voting machines to a Democratic-leaning precinct. Those weren't accidents. They were purposeful acts, planned and implemented for one purpose only...to steal an election. In this regard Rove was simply following his own instincts, which have always been to achieve a desired result by whatever means possible, ethical or otherwise.
Everything Rove did during his tenure at the White House has worked out horribly for the country. The United States has lost its moral standing in the world, and at every juncture Karl Rove was busy behind the scenes, acting for political gain at the expense of the public interest and common good. Your decision is lamentable and bizarre.
I fervently hope your students boycott the graduation ceremony en masse.
Robert Lockwood Mills is the author of five published books, including two personal biographies. His historical docudrama, 'The Trial of John Wilkes Booth,' was broadcast by Connecticut Public Radio in 1999. Three of his essays have been published (more...