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Some People Need to Take a Giant Chill Pill September 7, 2009

Posted by Bill in Obama, Politics.
Tags: , , , ,

I simply cannot get over the fuss and bother from right-wingers about President Obama’s proposed speech to the nation’s schoolchildren on Tuesday, September 8. The President… of the United States… wants to talk to kids about the importance of staying in school, and you have a bunch of nutters protesting because they are afraid their kids are being indoctrinated into some liberal cult.

I frequently tell people that you can’t fix stupidity and here is a prime example of it. For my first example, we have this mother who is so distraught about the prospect of Obama speaking to her children via television that she bursts into tears.

Then we have this highly confused mother, who can’t even remember the question,  explaining why she is keeping her kindergartner home from school on the day of Obama’s speech lest her child pick up cooties or something (it’s never exactly clear what she is afraid that her child is going to pick up, only that she doesn’t want her picking up whatever it is from Obama)

Finally we have some sanity from James Carville who has the audacity to say aloud what the rest of us have been thinking– these people are nutters.

Have we become so polarized in this country that we cannot let the President of the United States talk to our children because we didn’t vote for him? Well yes, it appears that as far as some people are concerned, we have. Where were these people when President Reagan addressed the nation’s schoolchildren– On November 14, 1988 he addressed and took questions from Washington area middle school students in a program taped and distributed by C-Span. During this program he [gasp] strayed from his “stay in school and stay off drugs” message into a message about the importance of low taxes.

Then in 1991 President George Bush (the first) gave a message to the nation’s school children, urging them to stay in school and stay off drugs. Democrats fussed about the expense of the speech, but I don’t recall parents pulling kids out of school and screaming about indoctrination.

A lot of the fuss now is centered around study guides that the Department of Education prepared to accompany Obama’s speech. Parents are outraged about a question in which students were asked what they could do to support Obama. That question has since been removed. Okay, so maybe maybe the question was ill advised, but does this really rise to the level of indoctrination?

Now you have these parents who are so concerned about their children that they don’t want them exposed to a 15 minute speech from the President of the united States. These parents, who are making a big fuss about how concerned they are about their children’s education, are keeping their kids out of school for an entire day lest they get cooties from hearing this 15 minute speech. How does that compute?

I’ve even seen some politicos suggest that Obama’s opponents should be given equal time with the schools. How stupid is that? Are you going to put someone in there to tell the kids they should drop out of school and turn to drugs to solve their problems?

When our kids were growing up, when they were exposed to things that Bill and I disagreed with, we used it as a teachable moment and discussed it with the kids.  I disagreed with just about everything George Dubya Bush did as president. I think he was the worst president in this country’s history, and hold him directly responsible for the economic problems we are experiencing today. However, if he had chosen to address the schools, I would have used it as a springboard for discussion with my kids.

I have always thought that lessons will have more of an impact on kids if they understand both sides and if they are free to ask questions and explore various options. Yet, there are people who clearly do NOT want their kids exposed to anything but their own beliefs.

However, the protests against Obama go beyond that. People are genuinely afraid of him and what he stands for. If you look at the right wing blogosphere, it is full of accusations about Obama’s purported ties to socialism, to Islam, to the Antichrist. It’s easy enough to dismiss this as the irrational musings of right wing nutjobs, but there are far too many politicians who are willing to capitalize on people’s fear for their own political gain. For example, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a possible contender for the GOP’s 2012 presidential nomination, said Friday the classroom is no place to show a video address from Obama, while Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer released a statement this week accusing Obama of using taxpayer money to “indoctrinate” children.

Folks, the reaction to Obama’s speech is flat out stupid. Whether you like it or not, Barak Obama is the president of our country. A lot of the parents screeching about the speech make a big deal about how they want to be the ones to teach values to their children. Well fine; while they’re teaching your kids about values, maybe they ought to  spend some time having a discussion with them about respect. In fact, it’s a lesson they might want to learn for themselves since they seem to have missed it somewhere along the way.



1. Dindy - September 7, 2009

Here is a link to the president’s speech so you can see what has all these nutters in such an uproar.

2. Dindy - September 7, 2009

Further note: Read Laura Bush’s comments about Obama and Obama’s speech. Laura is a classy lady and this took guts. Good for her.


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