Yesterday was the end of democracy in America. The President of the United States continued his mission of making the nation a socialist (if not fascist-communist) country, following the path of Hitler. At least that’s what you would think having listened to some of the parents outraged that the president was going to make an address to schools nationwide.
Where did all of this fury come from? Last week, the chair of the Republican Party of Florida, Jim Greer, was outraged over the scheduled speech. He said that the speech was nothing more than an attempt to “indoctrinate America’s children to his socialist agenda.” This spread like wildfire, with conservative commentators continuing to make ridiculous claims about the speech and its purposes. It’s not quite as crazy as the conspiracy theories about Obama’s citizenship and religion, but it’s close. Since then, this story has taken a significant amount of time on the news, brushing over the increasing death counts in Iraq and Afghanistan and other actual life-and-death matters. Some schools even decided not to air the speech because some parents were so upset about their president giving a speech to their kids. For example, the speech was not shown in some school districts in Michigan, Texas, Illinois, Virginia and Wisconsin. Of course, the same thing happened right here in Utah with the Nebo District banning the speech. Many parts of Utah adopted a similar stance and parents in many districts across the state have took the option they have been given by their respective districts not to allow their children to see the speech. In a radio interview, one school district worker talked about the upset parents calling in one after another. “They were saying the same things, using the same language.” It is obvious the parents were driven by conservative political pundits.
One parent said this: “I don’t think it’s appropriate [that Obama] speak to our kids. It’s like someone calling my child on the phone and speaking to them without my permission.” So apparently anybody that ever talks to this person’s child needs permission from the parent. This is just irrational overprotection. But that is the recurring theme that has come from this whole thing: Insanity.
It’s obviously not the message that has so many parents upset, because Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush gave speeches to schools as well. Yes, there were some politicians that did not want those speeches to happen, but there was nowhere near the uproar from parents that we got this time around.
After the speech was released, Florida GOP Chairman Greer backtracked, saying “it’s a good speech” and “it encourages kids to stay in school and the importance of education.” He then turned a complete 180, saying “I think that’s what a president should do.” But he and others already made it painfully obvious the reason he did not think Obama should address school children, and it wasn’t because of anything in the actual message. Hopefully Greer and others like him learned that if you make outlandish statements with no evidence, you end up sounding crazy. For good reason.
In the end, Obama did speak to the vast majority of students across the country. He spoke about getting an education to make our country “more fair and more free,” but made no mention of health care reform or any other policy initiatives. He did say students would need a good education to do everything from medicine to the military. He talked about working hard no matter your situation, that there is no excuse for not trying. Nothing about welfare or tax policy. Nothing about gay rights or gun control. Nothing political whatsoever. He even closed with the well-known phrase “God bless you, and God bless America.”
The brainwashing has become evident, but it certainly did not come from Obama.
Randal Serr is a liberal political columnist for Rhombus. He doesn’t have children but, if he did, they would have been in school yesterday.
Tags: Barack Obama
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