Friday, September 11, 2009

The Significance Of Obama's Education Speech to Young People


I know it's been awhile, but I've had a whole lot going on lately and even more that will be going down in the near future. I have to make the time to do this because it's important to me even though very few actually read this blog at all. No honor without sacrifice. Here we go.

As most should already know, President Obama made a speech to schoolchildren this week about the importance of education. Before he was able to make the speech, a minor political firestorm ensued. You had right-wing conservatives claiming that the speech would be a political one, an attempt to brainstorm the children and indoctrinate them. People like Senator Steve Russell from the great state of Oklahoma.
"As far as I'm concerned, this is not civics education - it gives the appearance of creating a cult of personality. This is something you'd expect to see in North Korea or in Saddam Hussein's Iraq."

Oh, really? That's wbat you think of when you think of Saddam Hussein? TELLING KIDS TO STAY IN SCHOOL!!!!??? Russell certainly deserves to help draft legislation that affects the entire country with a rationale like that. Cer-tain-ly.
Now someone who would like to attempt to defend this garbage of the brain might say something to the effect of, " Hey, this was before the speech. He didn't really know what would be said, take it easy!
That person would be right about one thing: At the time when this and many other severely partisan comments were made, no one knew what was contained in the speech. My common sense tells me that this is all the more reason for a person to shut the you-know-what up. Obviously, as an electorate, we don't truly value common sense anymore. That brings me to my overarching theory: We are to blame for politicians who disappoint because we lack the foresight or correct criteria to put the right people in office (more on that at a later date). A person who will say things like this and believe them should not be elected in the first place. If you'll put the cart before the horse in criticizing the President, who knows what you will do in the actual drafting of legislation?
Of course, he wasn't the only one to criticize the President. One PTA president said that the President is cutting out the parent by airing the speech during the day, suggesting that instead he should have waited until the evening when the children would be home so that they could watch the speech with their parents. Read the full story here.

Riiiight. So the timing was wrong, that's it. That's why you're against
it? Did it ever occur to anyone that President Obama may have wanted to speak directly to schoolchildren so that he could get the point across that education is really serious? As in, "Wow, the president is talking to us about getting educated and how important it is to this country. I think I'm going to take my education more seriously."
This particular PTA president said that the timing should be considered because most parents agree with this message and could be right there to echo the president's sentiments. If it's what they already say, why wouldn't they want someone else to reiterate the positive message to their kids?
Plus, Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer accused the President of trying to spread his "socialist ideology." I'm still waiting on someone to define socialism and make a clear argument about why the President fits that definition.
Once again, all these remarks and decisions were made before the release of the transcript.
After the speech was delivered, Greer took back his statements about the President.

Why am I talking about this?

I'm glad you asked. I think that President Obama's speech is indicative of what his presidency will be. There was a political firestorm in the days leading up to it, but the actual speech quieted the critics and turned out to be just what we needed. The people who made these inflammatory statements looked utterly stupid afterwards. Similarly, there are people who still participate in partisan bickering as well as fear and hate-mongering in speculation about what decisions our President will make. These people will continue to participate in these things and try to create fear and panic in the days leading up to the enaction of certain policies and legislative attempts. After MOST of the actual plans, legislation, and policies are carried out - people will realize that things did not turn out to be as bad as they seemingly wanted them to be. In fact, they will most likely find out that there was no basis for their fear or rhetoric at all and that MOST of the plans that he has are just what the country needs. Let it be known that any individual that is willing to put his mind, body, family, and friends through the overwhelming stress of running this country in the midst of several crises and problems should not have his patriotism and intentions for this country challenged and questioned on the basis that our current president does. There didn't seem to be such distrust of the president's intentions (maybe his actions, but not his intentions) during the last presidency. What makes this president so different from any other (don't answer that)? Oh, and where was all of this criticism when Ronald Reagan spoke directly to schoolchildren back in 1988 (the year I was born)? Hmm...
This was truly partisanship at its worst. Yes, partisanship was hard at work here - which explains why a certain school district chose not to air President Obama's speech but instead bused students to hear a speech by President Bush. Stay in school, pursue an education instead of an entertainment career. Don't bank on the fast road to riches. Instead, be willing to work and study hard to reach a successful point in your life.
Quite a controversial message, indeed.
It turns out that those who thought they were protecting their children were the main ones who actually have quite a bit of growing up to do.