Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Obama's Indoctrination Message: Work Hard

In a move that speaks to the disruptiveness of the right as of late, Obama's speech to schoolchildren set to take place today was highly debated as some Republicans stated it was a move by the president to "indoctrinate" the nation's youth. The mere fact that some people think that the president of this country, who cannot even stay on message about healthcare reform and the overwhelming need for a public option, is going to try to, essentially, brainwash our schoolchildren into embracing a liberal agenda is ludicrous. It not only insults our president, but it insults the students of this country to think that they are so vulnerable and susceptible that a 20 minute speech (one via broadcast, not even in-person) will have them throwing any self-created notions out the window and pledge allegiance to the liberal "agenda."

Take the chairman of the Florida GOP, for example. Jim Greer stated last week that he was "absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology." He goes on to say that "The Democrats have clearly lost the battle to maintain control of the message this summer, so now that school is back in session, President Obama has turned to America's children to spread his liberal lies, indoctrinating American's [sic] youngest children before they have a chance to decide for themselves."

Looking at Obama's speech, however, there is not one word about healthcare. In fact, Obama has the audacity to discuss things like working hard and not letting a less-than-stellar home life get in the way of your studies. It's the "liberal agenda" at its worst: do-for-self. The socialist ideology that Greer points to? Well, Obama does say you should do well in school so that you can help the country, because "you'll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy." Ahh, the main tenet of socialism: working within a capitalist framework.

Seriously though, do people really think that kindergartners are going to retain any of this? They are learning sharing, putting the square block in the square peg, and not pooping their pants. If Obama did delve into the public option or TARP funds do you think these kids would understand what he was talking about? That didn't stop one parent from calling into a radio show and announcing, "He [the caller's son] does not have to sit in on this, he does not have to go to school and he sure as hell does not have to listen to what he has to say."

But that's part of the problem. These parents who are willing to pull their kids out of school because the president wants to address them; what kind of message does that send to the kid? You don't agree with someone, you don't want to do something like listen to someone else talk? Just don't show up that day. Don't learn to listen to others when you disagree with them, don't learn to work with other people who you may not see eye-to-eye with, don't learn how to debate with someone civilly. Then you can go into politics.

The saddest part of this is the fact that now we're not talking about the war in Afghanistan, healthcare reform, or how Wall Street has one-upped themselves and returned to their old ways while at the same time betting on sick and old peoples' lives. Instead we are talking about a relatively routine speech done by both Reagan and Bush I with little to no controversy. It's embarrassing for the country, and it's embarrassing for the Republican party. I know there are smarter conservatives out there; I went to school with some, I'm related to some. They're capable of debate without mentioning death panels or brown shirts or any other knee-jerk reactionary language. But, alas, level-headedness and intelligence aren't what cranks newsmakers are made of.

Photos - Obama at an earlier indoctrination session (Current)

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