A Kentucky high school valedictorian used his speech as a teaching moment for the closed-minded Trump supporters in his neck of the woods.
Ben Bowling took a moment to impart some memorable quotes to the graduating seniors. It’s the time when the students are supposed to take away some valuable life experience, but they had no idea the wise words would come from an unlikely source, reports Khou.com.
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“This is the part of my speech where I share some inspirational quotes I found on Google,” Bowling said in his speech at Bell County High School. “’Don’t just get involved. Fight for your seat at the table. Better yet, fight for a seat at the head of the table.’ – Donald J. Trump.”
The students erupted into applause, co-signing the Trump advice. But it was all a trick.
“Just kidding,” Bowling said. “That was Barack Obama.”
The boisterous applause quickly turned silent. During the 2016 campaign, some 80 percent of the town backed Trump.
“The crowd erupted in applause and before they could even finish clapping I said I was kidding and the applause quickly died,” the 18-year-old valedictorian said.
Bowling, told Courier Journal that he “didn’t mean anything bad by it.” He actually found humor in the moment and he made the news.
“I just thought it was a really good quote,” Bowling said. “Most people wouldn’t like it if I used it, so I thought I’d use Donald Trump’s name. It is southeastern Kentucky after all.”
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Alisha Russell, a Kentucky law student who attended the ceremony said in a Twitter message:
“There was a portion of the crowd that thought it was absolutely hilarious. But there was definitely some collective groaning too.”
Y’all, no lie – the valedictorian just quoted Trump and everyone cheered.. then he told us that it was actually an Obama quote. Best part of the day. I am rolling.
— Alisha Russell (@_alisharussell) June 2, 2018
The honor student plans offered this advice to future valedictorians.
“Try not to be too nervous about it,” Bowling said. “For the most part, if you’ve been successful up to this point there’s nothing to worry.”