OK – you regular readers already know that I am no fan of Barack Obama. So, here’s an early warning: you may want to sit down, brace yourselves – and put down any glassware or sharp objects.
I agree with those who think this “Obama Indoctrination Speech” controversy is devoid of worth for serious discussion.
There, I said it. And I’d say it again. This isn’t a political blog – and my vast disagreements with Obama are primarily grounded in my religious convictions. But I’m man enough to stand up when I disagree with him, and I’m man enough to defend him when I think the criticism is a bit far-fetched.
It’s a stupid “non-issue” issue that makes great political theater, but unfortunately overshadows the intent of the speech (to inspire kids to do better) and more pressing issues (the risk of full-scale government healthcare being ram-rodded down the throats of taxpayers).
I’m here because I want to talk with you about your education and what’s expected of all of you in this new school year.
Now, I’ve given a lot of speeches about education. And I’ve talked about responsibility a lot.
I’ve talked about teachers’ responsibility for inspiring students and pushing you to learn.
I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and you get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with the Xbox.
I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, and supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working, where students aren’t getting the opportunities that they deserve.
But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, the best schools in the world — and none of it will make a difference, none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities, unless you show up to those schools, unless you pay attention to those teachers, unless you listen to your parents and grandparents and other adults and put in the hard work it takes to succeed. That’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education.
What an inglorious bastard!
You mean, the President has the unmitigated gall to strongly suggest that (gulp) students are responsible for actively participating in their own education?
COMMUNIST! FASCIST! MUSLIM!
Bill Cosby has been giving his version of this same speech (plus a bit more on not having babies out-of-wedlock and more) for the past few years. Would Obama had been more embraced if he gave the speech in a brightly colored sweater and eating Jell-O at the same time?
For those who argue that the “resource materials” were a form of government indoctrination because the President asked kids to document how they would commit to staying in school, I still believe that’s a stretch, but I’ll give you that one.
For those who pulled their kids out of school – and protested in tears – because they thought the kids ears would bleed while listening to a positive message, I ask: Aren’t your kids ALREADY in government school? What do you do when they bring home condoms that they got in gym class, or “Heather Has Two Mommies” books?
I am the Chief Role Model in the lives of my children. I set the tone for what they are to expect when they encounter adults inside and outside of our home. As such, my children are highly intelligent critical thinkers. If they heard something off-base in Obama’s speech, then they would ask me for clarification (as they do when they hear about same-sex marriage, abortion, and other controversial topics).
If Obama could get my kids to sign up for his “youth brigade” after one speech, then I’m a horrible parent with no ability to influence their decisions at a young age. If he’s that persuasive, then maybe he should also tell my children to make their beds, pick their clothes up off the floor – and flush the toilet!
I VIGOROUSLY disagree with Obama on abortion, gay marriage, school vouchers, government-run health insurance (beyond Medicare), support of teachers unions, and a myriad of other things. And I will continue to be a vocal critic as the Lord wills - yet I have to give him a thumbs up for using the bully pulpit of the presidency to advocate for self-responsibility.
C’mon – Nixon gave speeches to school kids before. Even Bill Clinton (the Horndog in Chief) is still revered as a role-model. For goodness sake – doesn’t the Office of the Presidency give the POTUS the right to give an innocuous speech to the nations children?
Alright – I’ll stop before pigs start flying and locusts and frogs rain from the sky.