Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Obama's Indoctrinating Your Children...Be Very Afraid!

I got to read Obama’s speech to the nation’s students yesterday. And I have to say, I don’t understand all of the hoopla. Obama will say that school is important and that kids should stay in school. Here are excerpts:

But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.

But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.

If that’s what passes for indoctrination these days, then I’m all for it.

So what could people really be worried about? Some conservatives probably fear that Obama will get good publicity. Schoolchildren will see him in a favorable light, and just maybe grow up to be Democrats. But I doubt this. Will a kid who’s six years old decide to support universal healthcare with a public option and cap and trade because the President told him to study hard? No.

Maybe the mere act of seeing Obama will make kids support him. But if parents are worried about that, they shouldn’t have let their kids watch his inaugural address or state of the union. Besides, apolitical kids are unlikely to be swayed to volunteer for the Obama 2012 campaign now

The only answer I can find is that some conservative commentators are interested in fomenting a controversy to the detriment of President Obama. Maybe if people can be persuaded that he’s going to indoctrinate their children or convert them to Islam, they’ll be less likely to support Obama’s ambitious domestic goals. But even that wouldn’t hurt Obama. People who believe he’s trying to convert them to Islam aren’t supporting him at present any way.

At the end of the day, there’s simply no harm in having one’s children hear Obama speak. No child will be hurt in any way. And some kids will undoubtedly be inspired to work harder in school. Isn’t that a good thing?

1 comment:

  1. What I think is most striking about this speech is not any political overtones, but this excerpt:

    "I get it. I know what that’s like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn’t always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn’t fit in. "

    I feel like, at the very least, the last two presidents weren't able to make a connection like that. I think this encapsulates one of Obama's core appeals: he's not some patrician upperclassmen who can't connect with the struggle of the working class, no, he's just the opposite, and it catches me off guard when the president of the United States goes ahead and admits to people that his father left him and he grew up with a single parent just so he can establish that deeper connection.

    I'm hoping that that's the part of the speech that resonates the loudest and reaches the audience he's trying to connect with.