Today, President Obama will be giving an address to school children about staying in school and working hard. It’s no secret that the President himself wouldn’t be where he is today without the benefit of a good education. So it seems especially important coming from a man who got to the highest office in the land just through studying and working hard to tell the children of this nation the value of valuing their education.
What has astounded/shocked/saddened me is the parents who are against this. They’re actually against the President telling their children to work hard and stay in school. And I can’t help but think that’s its not the message that has them pissed, its the man himself. They disagree with his policies so that must mean they disagree with everything that he does. During the Bush administration I heard time and time again that even if I couldn’t respect the man, I should still respect the office. And I can honestly say if Bush had wanted to do a webcast with school children telling them to stay in school I wouldn’t have had a problem with it. Children look up to their leaders and who’s to say what President Obama has to say today won’t inspire these kids to make education important in their lives? Especially for those children where this value isn’t reinforced at home or in their communities.
I can only imagine the uproar that would be on Fox and talk radio if Bush had decided to address school children in the way President Obama is doing and left-wing parents who didn’t trust Bush protested, forcing the schools into make it optional, like sex ed, with a permission slip sent home. Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh would have chewed their asses up and then spit them out. Bill O’Reilley would be screaming through the TV. Glenn Beck would be crying over the lack of patriotism.
Truth be told, I’m very disappointed with the citizens of my country right now. I don’t think I can explain what I felt the night of the election last November. There was so much unity, so much hope, a feeling of so much “oneness” after so many years of “dividedness.” And now, the President can’t even address the school children without accusations of trying to indoctrinate them into believing in socialist ideals or something. People can’t even go to a flipping town hall and share their stories about health care without being shouted down by a pack of wild dogs. When I saw the news clip with the woman from New Jersey who was in a wheelchair talking about being disabled due to 2 different auto-immune diseases and she was on the brink of losing her house it broke my heart. Here she poured out her heart about a system which had failed her and there were those in the crowd laughing and jeering at her. Really? I like what my sister said…“I would like to see compassion for our fellow human beings become depoliticized.” One man in the crowd, when the reporter told him what she was saying asked, “why does a lady in a wheelchair have more rights than me?” I would ask, what rights of his are being taken away?
I’m smart enough to realize that by sending my kids to a public school I’m already participating in a socialist system. So maybe this is what the right-wing means about indoctrination? If Obama encourages the kids to stay in school that means he’s encouraging them to keep participating in free education, a socialist system. I gotta say, I’m happy for this socialist system. I can’t even imagine having to pay to to educate my kids. Or having to pay the fire department that time they came out when our carbon monoxide detector went off in the middle of the night. Or pay the police to investigate when my purse was stolen. Or every other time they’ve protected me without my knowing about it. You see, these socialist systems, for the most part, work. And just because they’re government run institutions doesn’t mean we’re not always trying to improve them. They work and I think health care would work too. Just like I believe every American has the right to a free education, the right to be protected by the police and firefighters, I believe that they have the right to Health care.
So as I jump off my soapbox, I’d like to say that when my kids get home from school today, we’ll discuss what the President said. They don’t know the controversy surrounding it and luckily we don’t live in an asinine school district where I had to sign a permission slip saying it was okay for them to view it. I don’t know how much they’ll remember about the address. They hardly can remember some days what they had for lunch. But I hope that the President telling them about the importance of education will only support what we as parents believe. And what parent doesn’t need support in reinforcing the values they feel are important for their children? Especially by a man who holds the highest office in the country.