Saturday, September 05, 2009

Presidential Speech to Schools

This controversy surrounding President Obama speaking to the children at school through an address directed at them has greatly disappointed me. This ought to have been a very valuable discussion about the very nature of education and the proper role of the federal government in it, but it has only resulted in more anger on both sides. I do believe a controversy ought to have occurred because legitimate issues are at stake. Let us take a look at a few of the things that ought to have been discussed, but have not been.

1. Education what is it? Is it indoctrination? I actually think it is. The liberals pretend it is not, but they know it is. And some conservatives think it is not, but do not seem to know what it is. Many are mad because Obama is trying to indoctrinate their children. Liberals are enjoying throwing out the “Just Say No” campaign launched by Nancy Reagan. They ask was that indoctrination, and the conservatives do not answer. Clearly just from the name it is indoctrination. People should not be ashamed of it. The answer the conservative should have given was yes it was, but both sides of the aisle agreed on it. It was agreed upon indoctrination. It is clear that not everyone believes education is really indoctrination, but this is part of the discussion we ought to be having. Is education indoctrination? Is it stuff facts into kids? What exactly is it? Once that question has been answered then we have more a basis to move forward with whether or not Presidents ought to participate in it.
2. Parents have a right to believe something inappropriate is going to happen. After all, President Obama is a politician. When was the last time they kept even 40% of their campaign promises? He can promise all he wants that he will just say "stay in school", but only a fool should believe him. This is the same party that just used Ted Kennedy’s funeral to have children pray for universal health care. Inappropriate is the only thing these people know.
3. Legal issues. No one is really objecting to the speech on legal grounds, but they probably ought to. It should at least be covered. Is using tax payer dollars from the Department of Education to speak to the kids legal? Is it ethical? Is this paid political advertising and are there not equal time rules that might apply if it is? The Democrats thought so when President George H. W. Bush did this same thing.
4. Who controls education? This is another factor that needs to be discussed. Is it the parents or the government? Right now it is technically the parents. Courts have consistently ruled parents have rights over their children, common law supports it, and the fact local school boards run school districts reinforces it. The feds have no real rights here. But that is not how the liberals see it. They are using this as a time to attack parents and parents know it. Just listen to John Harwood. He thinks parents are too stupid to do it right. But notice also the implied point in his argument. "Of course the President ought to be allowed to speak to the kids, he is the President of the United States?" That is a fundamental error. The President of the United States does not have rights over children in that country. Parents do. But President Obama is not asking. He is not even allowing a permission slip option. If the Democrats had come to the speech with that mindset, I think a lot of this would have been avoided. People can inherently sense the challenge to parental authority in the tact being taken by the Dems on this one.
5. Ignorance. Really if one believes that the giving out of facts is what makes education then President Obama should not be anywhere near a school. I mean his misunderstanding of economics, lack of adherence or knowledge of the Constitution aside (VP Biden does not even know where the VP is mentioned in the Constitution – see his debate performance), it still has to be admitted that President Obama thinks Islamic nations invented the compass. This is so provable false that it makes my head hurt. That is just one of the blatant factual inaccuracies in his Cario Speech. For those who think education is about facts, then these should cause extreme worry.
6. Obvious Self-Centered behavior in the past. When the material had something in it about helping the President, and not about serving the country people had a right to get angry. It is not like President Obama does not have a long history of having people Pledge Allegience to him rather than the country.

In the end, this country could benefit a lot from a frank discussion about the nature of education. Instead it is just a name calling festival. Nothing good will come of this. And that is the real shame here.


Lisa said...

I think that this has gotten out of hand, students should be able to listen to the President.

lucydrake said...

Send the kids or don’t send them…either way, they will find out what was said…with the media and people talking, it will get out…

Andrew said...

I read the speech. Other than a few, passing liberal jabs in the middle, and its obvious self-absorption, it is not too bad. He even commends personal responsibility and gives a passing nod to the founders. It also is rather bland, probably by design. This speech won't shake the rafters or consume the talk of American school hallways.

I just don't like the idea of the president addressing children directly on such a scale. It feels far too "big brother" for my taste.

Chris said...

Students should be able to listen to the President's speech

james jefferson said...

I like obama alot..

jerry bates said...

Very inspirational speech I loved how he aimed for our kids of today to plan for tomorrow, its not giving them political empowerment or guiding them in the wrong direction as the media portrayed but its giving them hope that through all the struggles and storms you may cross you will come out the hero In the end way to go Mr. President.

Andrew said...

Since when do we need the president of a government that serves the people to give us hope? I guess my big brother point is made, although people like to be babied these days.

Andrew said...


I think you got lib spamed, and it looks like I fell for it. LOL.