For the past week or so I’ve been pummeled by constant talk about the President’s upcoming speech to school children. I’ve been told he’s going to push his socialist agenda down their throats. I’ve been told he’s going to brainwash them. I’ve been told by parents that they will hold their kid out of school because they are afraid for their children. Afraid.
So for the past week I’ve been trying to figure out what the President of the United States could say to children in a public forum that would be so shocking, so horrible, so immoral, that it would warrant politicians labeling him as a socialist, and comparing him to guys like Adolf Hitler.
Well, today I don’t have to wonder any more. The speech has been posted here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/MediaResources/PreparedSchoolRemarks/ . All I can say is I’m completely SHOCKED!!! I’m shocked because what I read today were horrible messages like; Stay in school, work hard despite your circumstances, don’t be afraid to fail, honor your parents and teachers, and you only get what you work for. Shocking I say! Pure blasphemy! Heresy!
I’m obviously being facetious. This speech is EXACTLY what I’ve been teaching my daughter for the past 17 years. I dare ANYONE to read that speech and tell me the message is harmful to children or even remotely anti-capitalist or pro-socialist. Ridiculous.
Now, I’m not an Obama supporter. I think Government plays a role in assuring justice and fair play, but the people are better off when given the freedom to live their own lives. But Obama’s views are not the point of my post. The real thing that bothers me is the continual, blind hatred for anyone on “the other side”. We now live in a “Hatfields vs. McCoy” style society, where people have such an intense hatred for anyone from the other political party, and often we don’t even know why we hate them, we just know that they are our opponents. I mean, when the President can make a speech that highlights the importance of personal responsibility, hard work, and determination, things that are supposed to be hallmarks of the Republican worldview, yet Republicans can find a way to attack that, there’s something seriously wrong with our political system and honestly, our morality. And this goes both ways. We saw the same petty, hateful attacks against Bush for the past 8 years. And this is what kills me; We endured 8 years of ankle-biting, only to turn around and do the same thing, and for some reason we feel it’s OK. Well It’s not.
There needs to be a higher level of civility and calm, level headed thinking in this world. People need to take a deep breath, think about what they are feeling and what they are saying. They need to educate themselves. It’s amazing how many people I speak with about policy that have not done ANY research into an issue except for listen to John Stewart or Glenn Beck. One person told me Obama’s education speech was being kept “secret” to trick people. In less than 5 minutes I found the lesson plan from the Education department online and the speech itself was released today. Some secret! I had another person complain about the proposed healthcare plan so I asked if they’d read it. The reply? “I don’t really have the time”. Wow. How important is that issue to you then? And I admit, I have been guilty of this as well and it’s going to change.
Bottom line; if we’re going to elect people who are are intelligent, capable, fair and honest, we need to start being intelligent, capable, fair, and honest ourselves. And if we’re going to really solve societal issues, we need to be willing to think outside of established party lines.