So, for those of you that haven’t really been paying attention, a lot of conservatives are really upset about President Obama’s decision to speak to all American students next week and ask them to work hard and get a good education. Really?! Really? Do you not want your children to work hard? Do you not want them to work hard to get a good education? Or to not get an education? Or what? What is the problem?
Maybe it’s because Obama is a Democrat. Or maybe it’s because he’s a black man. I don’t know. It’s just ironic because I remember seeing a speech by President Regan in 1988 (HE was a Republican, white male) and I remember being addressed by President Bush, the Elder in 1991 ( again, a Republican, white guy). And Reagan’s speech was arguably more “indoctrination” if you want to go that route – his were more charged (not just encouraging kids to stay in school but commentary on why Democrats were bad) and he engaged them more than the Obama speech seems to. So really, what’s the big deal about Obama addressing our schoolchildren now? I for one find it fantastic that he is – he’s exhorting students to persist, work hard and strive for success and, compared to the Republicans that went before him, it’s pretty benign. All admirable messages in and of themselves. What is so horribly wrong about encouraging kids to stay in school? It’s not like he is telling your kids to drop out, do drugs and murder, pillage and rape.
A lot of people are up in arms about the President spreading is “socialist philosophy.” Even if he was, why is that so bad really? Aside from the learning the ABC’s and addition, isn’t a big part of education learning that there are different viewpoints and learning to think critically about those viewpoints? Children can’t learn about those different viewpoints and learn how to analyze them if they aren’t exposed to them. So, really, even if you don’t agree with President Obama about everything he talks about (and you know, even though I supported for him and voted for him, I’m telling you that you shouldn’t because that wouldn’t make for a productive discussion about ANYTHING – but that’s a whole different post), why would you want to hamstring your child by censoring his speech to them? Do you really not want your child to learn to think critically about different viewpoints? Or are you just scared that they might actually agree with him? I don’t get it. It just seems really silly, especially in light of past, Republican presidents pretty much doing the same thing and, in Reagan’s case, actually going above and beyond and engaging in discussion with the kids on national television.
It just seems really hypocritical.
On another note, I have reviewed the following book:
It can be found here.