Thursday, September 10, 2009

Obama's Speech Controversy

Ok, I'm pissed, so sit down and strap in. Here it comes.

I cannot believe the idiocy I am hearing from all kinds of citizens and political pundits with regard to the President of the United States addressing this nation's school children just this past week.

This country is stronger than any one speech given by any one man. These are WORDS, people. Words. And this is the United States, a country founded on some pretty cool ideals, one of them being Freedom of Speech. And with that comes the responsibility of those listening to... shut up and listen! A wiser man than I once said, "I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend with my life your right to say it." But that seems way too tough for a bunch of parents who themselves were raised on "Just Do It", "Just Say No!" and "Have it Your Way." If they are against it, then they're not going to let anyone, anywhere, make up their own minds, it seems.

Have we so forgotten our own strengths that we have become a nation of complete knee-jerk reactionaries? Scared of words? And is that how we've raised our children, that they could be swayed by one speech? That this one episode will so curve their spines, disease their minds, and destroy their sense of free will that they're going to ...what...goose step down the halls of their schools now? I raised my kids with a little bit more integrity than that. They are open minded and thoughtful, and willing to take in new ideas while at the same time remembering who they are and where they come from! Are parents in this country so cowardly and so poor at their parental responsibilities that they believe this one speech will turn their precious air-heads into socialistic zombies? Really?

You don't like Obama? Fine. I grew up with Nixon. My Dad taught me one thing when I made fun of ol' Tricky Dick back in '73: If you can't respect the man, respect the position. Seems to me, too many are too quick to pull the plug on Obama already, and he's not even celebrated his first anniversary yet.

And what about the other side of this coin? The BS I keep hearing about how our school children are being 'forced' to watch this propaganda. They don't have to watch it, they get to watch it! There's a huge difference! Seems to me, parents and political figures who don't agree with our President's views and formats don't want anybody else to, either. Which is nothing new, I realize. But to raise such a stink about children getting to hear the views of the leader of the free world is not only sickening, it is embarrassing. Used to be a time in this country when listening to the president speak in school was a treat. Like watching "Gone With the Wind" or "A Charlie Brown Christmas." Once each year, maybe, tops, you got to see that. And here our kids have a chance to hear him speak, and parents are so used to dipping everything their kids come in contact with knee-deep in Purell, they're afraid it won't be sanitized enough for their tender toddlers.

And another thing. I don't care what he has to say, or if he changed his mind about it seven times before he said it, or that it's socialist dogma or political pandering or the last act of Henry V! The President would like to address our kids! How cool is that? Sure I wish it were Michael Douglas from "The American President" but, hey! This ain't a movie! And you had a chance to be casting director for this flick by casting a vote back in November. If I were king, only people that voted would get to speak about political happenings in the paper or on CNN, anyway.

Speaking of which, listen to this, from CNN:
"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.
'At a minimum it's disruptive. Number two, it's uninvited. And number three, if people would like to hear his message they can, on a voluntary basis, go to YouTube or some other source and get it. I don't think he needs to force it upon the nation's school children,' he told reporters at the Minnesota State fair."

Yeah. Right. Politics has no place in our nation's schools. Let 'em learn about it on the streets and on the internet. Good thinking, you idiot.

And how about this one, also from CNN:
"Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer released a statement this week accusing Obama of using taxpayer money to "indoctrinate" children. 'As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology,' Greer said. 'The idea that school children across our nation will be forced to watch the president justify his plans ... is not only infuriating, but goes against beliefs of the majority of Americans, while bypassing American parents through an invasive abuse of power."

Wow! Get some pitchforks and torches! Free Barabus! An invasive use of power? Obama's not coming into your living room smoking Lucky Strikes and slapping your wife on the ass, buddy. He's TALKING. Talking to your children. And if you're that scared about what they might hear or understand or misinterpret, well, then maybe you should have spent equally as much time talking to them in the first place.

I'm Scott Miller. I'm a teacher. And I am pissed off and saddened by today's Americans who think this country is some kind of metal you can beat the impurities out of. If anything, it is an amalgam, made stronger from the melding of all forms of metal, hardened in the furnaces of adversity, and forged into a shining example for the rest of the world to look at and respect. But hey. That's just me. Tell me what you think. I'll be here, polishing my shield and ironing my flag.


lostintaipei said...

Oh HOW am I the only one who has commented here?!?! You're RIGHT ON THE MONEY, damn it! I'm not a teacher, nor do I have my own kids and BOY, did this piss me off too!!! Ridiculous that you even had this topic to write about.

Mary said...

I couldn't agree with you more. Parents are only terrified of what their kids might see and hear if they are the kind of parents that let the world tell their kids what to think and never sit down and talk to their kids themselves. Having the kids hear this and then sit with their parents who can then talk to them about what they agree with or disagree with is a PERFECT opportunity. Something is seriously wrong when people are against kids listening to the President. Jeesh.